IPSWICH, Mass. — June 22, 2018 — The University of Alabama has agreed to be an EBSCO FOLIO Beta Partner. University librarians and developers and EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) will partner together to establish FOLIO hosting and services in The University of Alabama Libraries, while also optimizing the FOLIO platform for future colleges and universities looking to adopt an open source library services platform (LSP).
FOLIO, a community collaboration to develop an open source 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 through FOLIO Library Services from EBSCO. Beta Partners will be testing FOLIO in large, real-world environments, demonstrating the viability of the service and its role as an LSP.
EBSCO and other vendors ultimately plan to offer hosting and services, enabling libraries of all sizes to leverage the full benefits of FOLIO and extend the reach of open source LSP software which, in the past, 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 leveraging vendor hosting and service options as a way to free up staff to take on other strategic projects.
University of Alabama Dean of Libraries Donald L. Gilstrap, PhD, says university staff will work with EBSCO and the FOLIO Community as well. "We are committed to helping understand how a hosted FOLIO system reacts under the stress of a large, working research library. We are also excited that the FOLIO community will leverage our librarians' expertise in FOLIO special interest groups (SIGs) and on the product council (PC) as we work with other universities to help direct future development."
EBSCO Information Services Senior Vice President of Resource Management and FOLIO Services Gar Sydnor says having the University of Alabama as an EBSCO Beta Partner enhances the development process. "Developers and librarians at The University of Alabama will provide EBSCO with essential, actionable information as part of the development process. The University of Alabama is in a unique position to ensure the success and viability of FOLIO while helping create a technology platform that increases the functionality and capabilities of the University Libraries."
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.
The University of Alabama is an Association of Research Libraries (ARL) member — one of the 125 leading research libraries in North America. Fellow ARL member, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the Five Colleges Consortium, have also been named as FOLIO Beta Partners along with Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.
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.