SOAS Library has adopted the Kuali Open Library Environment (OLE) as its new library management system.
As the UK National Research Library for Asia, Africa and the Middle East, SOAS Library has chosen Kuali OLE to manage its information and resources, including its renowned special collections. SOAS Library is the third library in the world to adopt the new system following Lehigh University and the University of Chicago.
The Kuali Open Library Environment (OLE) is an extensible service-driven library management system for managing and delivering intellectual information in academic and research libraries. It is being designed and built as a "next generation" platform by a consortium of 11 university libraries, mostly in the US, with partners in the UK and Germany. SOAS is the third Library to go live with the system.
Today's library environment demands a management system that is innovative and agile, easy to maintain and customize locally. It also needs to integrate with other library products and systems and with university enterprise systems. Since 2011, SOAS Library has led a ‘Bloomsbury group' of University of London libraries to analyse and specify the system requirements for a 21st century research library. In the traditional library model most functions are managed within the Library on a suite of locally-controlled systems. However, this model is being challenged by new initiatives such as shared bibliographic data (e.g. OCLC WorldCat), shared resource discovery systems (e.g. Primo Central, Zetoc, Jisc Discovery), union catalogues (e.g. Copac, SUNCAT), federated catalogues (e.g. Archives Hub) and shared resource-management (e.g. Knowledge Base +). This evolving digital library environment leads to increased opportunities for interoperability between libraries and significant sharing of materials. Their analysis led the Bloomsbury libraries to join the Kuali Foundation in 2012 as the first UK member of the OLE Partnership.
The Director of SOAS Library John Robinson said: "We are constantly seeking innovation in our library systems so that we can make our extraordinary resource as accessible and responsive as possible. Kuali OLE is one of a growing suite of open source systems which the SOAS Library is using for its Digital Library, its Research Repositories and its Discovery Services."
Jisc, the UK body that leads on the innovative uses of information technologies in the UK Higher Education sector, has recently recognised SOAS Library's work in this area by funding for a study of theshared-service approach to systems delivery amongst the Bloomsbury libraries and the viability of open source software for these purposes.
SOAS, University of London specializes in the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It is among the world's elite university institutions, ranked sixth in the UK and 26th in the world and for arts and humanities (Times Higher Education's World University Rankings 2013-2014), fourth in London overall (Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2014, Guardian University Guide 2013) and 32nd in the world for Modern Languages (QS World University Rankings 2014). SOAS provides resources and knowledge about Asia, Africa and the Middle East to equip people for a global economy and a multicultural world.
For more information please contact SOAS Communications Officer (Media Relations) Vesna Siljanovska on +44 (0) 20 7898 4135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.