IPSWICH, Mass. — June 5, 2018 — EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) and the Five Colleges Consortium have agreed to an EBSCO FOLIO Beta Partnership. The consortium includes Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. These institutions will leverage the FOLIO Library Services Platform in a variety of institutional scenarios.
The consortium is made up of four liberal arts institutions and one Association of Research Libraries (ARL) site (University of Massachusetts Amherst) which brings a variety of opportunities to work with technical differences and various staff sizes. While the consortium has a shared physical collection and a shared e-collection, the institutions purchase their own e-content separately. EBSCO also will be able to prove out a different migration path to the ILS used by Five Colleges.
FOLIO, which stands for the Future of Libraries is Open, is a community coming together to develop a reimagined library services platform, one that supports traditional resource management requirements and functionality, yet is engineered for innovation and growth through industry collaboration. FOLIO allows for extensibility into new services for libraries and will dramatically change the technology ecosystem available to libraries, service providers and technology developers.
Interim Associate Dean for Library Technology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Steven Bischof, says the Five Colleges Consortium sees FOLIO as a new way for libraries of all sizes to innovate. "FOLIO presents a vision for the future of libraries and as a beta partner, we will be able to ensure that FOLIO is a service for libraries of all shapes and sizes. As we work with EBSCO to map out common training and change management, we believe we will be helping create a hosting and service support for libraries of all sizes with different staff sizes that are looking toward a future based on open source technology."
EBSCO Information Services Director of SaaS Innovation, Andrew Nagy, says the consortium provides unique challenges that EBSCO wants to solve. "As we look to create the best hosting and support services for FOLIO libraries, it is essential to work with multiple scenarios. The Five Colleges Consortium brings an all-so-important perspective on the needs of consortia. By working with the five campuses in this consortium, we will be able to ensure FOLIO and EBSCO's services are in line with the needs of consortium of all types and sizes, as well as bring even more innovation to the FOLIO platform."
The Five Colleges Consortium will use EBSCO Discovery Service as the library discovery interface so the colleges do not need to use multiple platforms for traditional catalog functions such as checkouts and placing holds.
FOLIO, a community collaboration to develop an open source Library Services Platform (LSP), is being built in collaboration with dozens of organizations worldwide. The EBSCO beta program is an instrumental step in developing and establishing FOLIO as the primary platform for library management available to institutions around the world. EBSCO FOLIO Beta Partners will be testing FOLIO in large, real-world environments demonstrating the viability of the service and its role as a Library Services Platform.
EBSCO and other vendors ultimately plan to offer hosting and service enabling libraries of all sizes to leverage the full benefits of FOLIO and extend the reach of open source LSP software, which has been seen as only available to sites with large technical staffs. While institutions may decide to leverage their staff to run FOLIO, many see hosting and service options as freeing up staff to take on other projects.
FOLIO is a collaborative effort among libraries, vendors, developers and consortia that leverages open source technology and a community-based effort to redefine library services and innovate based on library futures. By building on what libraries need and by leveraging library expertise as well as vendor capacity and velocity, FOLIO is designed to move libraries forward, build on the services they provide and redefine the role libraries play within their institution. FOLIO also levels the playing field and makes open source technology available to all institutions regardless of size or staffing. FOLIO brings vendors together to innovate and host services for customers and introduces open source as a service to libraries. To sign up to participate or receive more information go to www.folio.org.
About EBSCO Information Services
EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is the leading discovery service provider for libraries worldwide with more than 11,000 discovery customers in over 100 countries. EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) provides each institution with a comprehensive, single search box for its entire collection, offering unparalleled relevance ranking quality and extensive customization. EBSCO is also the preeminent provider of online research content for libraries, including hundreds of research databases, historical archives, point-of-care medical reference, and corporate learning tools serving millions of end users at tens of thousands of institutions. EBSCO is the leading provider of electronic journals & books for libraries, with subscription management for more than 360,000 serials, including more than 57,000 e-journals, as well as online access to more than 1,000,000 e-books. For more information, visit the EBSCO website at: www.ebsco.com. EBSCO Information Services is a division of EBSCO Industries Inc., a family owned company since 1944.