Case study: implementing a new library management system at Bristol University: experiences with Aleph 500
Program: Electronic Library and Information Systems
Abstract: In common with many other UK academic libraries using the LIBERTAS library management system, Bristol University Library set out in 1998 to acquire a replacement. This paper describes the background to the Bristol project to choose a new system, and some of its distinctive features, brie˙y indicates the outcome (acquisition of Aleph 500 from Ex Libris), and draws some lessons from the experience. It is easy to under. estimate the size of the task involved in installing a modern library management system. Careful thought should be given to an assessment of conversion needs and to the justifcation for retaining existing practices (e.g. use of UKMARC) rather than accepting the international norm. Both staff and users must understand the need for change and be prepared for its consequences. On-site support from the system supplier is vital and time is of the essence.