BIBSYS, a major library service organization in Norway, has announced that it has awarded a contract to Ex Libris to provide Alma as the basis for its next generation automation environment. BIBSYS provides library automation services to the national library and all of the universities and colleges in the country, totaling more than 105 institutions.
This is the second iteration for the procurement of a new system for BIBSYS. In November 2010, it selected OCLC to provide its WorldShare Management Services as the basis for a new automation environment for its client libraries. BIBSYS has a long history of creating its own automation products and expected to make intense use of the APIs of WorldShare to create a customized service. The WorldShare Platform was in an early stage of development during the period it was working with BIBSYS. As covered in the October 2012 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter, OCLC and BIBSYS mutually withdrew from their partnership, announced in August 2012.
BIBSYS selected Ex Libris Primo as the discovery portion of its new environment in March 2013. The selection of Alma solidifies the role of Ex Libris as the primary technology partner for the new generation platform for the BIBSYS and its member libraries.
The BIBSYS project represents one of the most ambitious examples of shared automation infrastructure for academic libraries in the world. It continues the momentum of the award of the Orbis Cascade Alliance of 37 academic libraries in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho to implement Alma as the basis for their shared automation environment. These projects both reflect the momentum that Ex Libris is gaining with Alma in the national, research, and academic library arena as well as for the strategy of ever larger groups of libraries to partner to share technology infrastructure. It also reinforces the affinity between discovery and management tools from the same provider.