Barnardo's, Britain's biggest children's charity, has selected the OLIB information management system to support its drive for greater efficiency in the library. At the charity's head offices in Essex, the library supports all the Barnardo's businesses, including project-based staff across the country. Implementation has begun with the task of converting bibliographic data from the outgoing BookshelF system. All OLIB modules will be implemented, with catalogue and circulation functions due to go live in June.
Christopher Reeve, Librarian at Barnardo's explains "As part of a working practices review we recognised the need to implement a new library system that could help us to work more efficiently. Having studied OLIB in operation, we estimated that it would reduce the time spent on administration by as much as 50% in some operations. This will release staff to expand our growing range of end-user services".
The library provides an abstracting service covering new acquisitions and articles from core journals, with over 20,000 abstracts produced to date. Abstracts are collated by subject and circulated to all in a twice-monthly library bulletin. Christopher Reeve recognises that this process could be improved: "With OLIB we will be able to reduce time collating the information. Furthermore, we can use the built-in printing facilities and its integration with MS Word to produce a more attractive bulletin".
There was a real need to offer an OPAC that would be easy for Barnardo's staff to use from their desktop. The OLIB OPAC will be networked using the newly implemented Windows network offering end user access initially at the Head Office, with the longer term aim of providing access to OLIB from regional offices around the country. As Christopher Reeve explains, "We were impressed with both the Windows and Web OPAC options; both offer the user a sophisticated searching tool but also incorporate intelligent searching techniques such as automatic Boolean logic. This will enable our users to search effectively on their own, wherever they are located".
Information provision as a whole is undergoing change at Barnardo's with reviews of both knowledge management and Intranet underway, and the library is well positioned to be instrumental in the change. Christopher Reeve sums up the situation, "We need to be able to look to the future and respond to change. OLIB is more than just a means of automating the supply of library books and services. It is able to accommodate the new developments in information provision that Barnardo's may be contemplating now or in the years ahead".