PHILADELPHIA — July 13, 2020 — Libraries around the world are beginning to implement FOLIO, the open source Library Services Platform (LSP), as it approaches a named release that signals a significant achievement in the development of initial apps, features and functionality.
The open source project, which leverages expertise from libraries, developers and service providers, is building a fully functional open source LSP that is being implemented around the world. The Goldenrod Release, coming in mid-July, includes additional functionality that will allow more libraries to move to FOLIO from their current, traditional Integrated Library System (ILS) or LSPs.
Institutions of all sizes have been implementing FOLIO since last year. These libraries represent a wide range of collection sizes and students, faculty and researchers and demonstrate that FOLIO makes open source a viable alternative for institutions of all sizes. Sites live or going live have collections that range between 61,000 to 5.5 million bibliographic records and serve between 2,300 and nearly 50,000 users.
Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden went live in 2019 as the first library using FOLIO. Missouri State University was the first academic institution in the United States to go live with FOLIO and Simmons University, Warner University, St. Thomas University and Washington & Jefferson College have now fully implemented FOLIO.
The University of Alabama is planning its implementation by the end of 2020. University of Alabama Dean of Libraries Don Gilstrap says, as an original EBSCO beta development partner, the University of Alabama has played a leading role in design and testing at the scale required to develop the features and functionalities for large, working research libraries. "Being able to test FOLIO extensively in a real-world environment has helped direct development and demonstrates the viability of this innovation-driven open source library services platform. As the University of Alabama development team prepares to implement FOLIO, it is gratifying to know that we do it as an institution that has provided actionable information to both EBSCO and to the FOLIO Community, as well to the open source community at large."
Several libraries have also chosen to implement the Electronic Resource Management (ERM) apps in FOLIO. GBV network library ZBW Leibniz Information Centre for Economics Kiel/Hamburg has been live with FOLIO ERM since May 2020. Leipzig University Library is also currently live with ERM. Leipzig University Library Deputy Head of IT Bjӧrn Muschall says the university's staged implementation approach aligns with its mission and focus. "By focusing on the portion of the system that is live, we are able to see the benefits of implementing a system that prizes open source technology and features and functionality designed to grow with our institution." Muschall says Leipzig University Library contributed its own developer resources to the FOLIO project and contributed to the overall functionality. "By creating an app and developing for FOLIO, we increased the sustainability of our own investments."
Lehigh University is preparing for a full FOLIO implementation in August 2020. Lehigh's University Librarian Boaz Nadav-Manes says Lehigh's move to FOLIO represents the next step in its deep commitment to open source and community-driven solutions. "As long-term members of the FOLIO and OLE Communities, we are very excited to be one of the first libraries to fully implement FOLIO and to work with others to enable and lead additional innovation as FOLIO continues its natural development process." Lehigh is currently loading records directly into a single tenant environment in preparation for its implementation date.
Additional sites will be moving to FOLIO in stages. The Five Colleges: Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College and The University of Massachusetts/Amherst are also EBSCO beta partners and will be implementing ERM this summer. Duke University will be implementing FOLIO ERM this summer and Cornell University, which is currently leveraging the FOLIO ERM, plans to move to the FOLIO LSP in 2021. Texas A&M University will implement FOLIO based on features expected by mid-2021.
Libraries are also choosing how to implement and host FOLIO. Chalmers, Missouri State University, Cornell and University of Alabama are using EBSCO FOLIO Services for implementation, hosting and services. ZBW Leibniz Information Centre for Economics Kiel/Hamburg is being hosted by its library network headquarter VZG|GBV. Simmons University, Duke University and Lehigh University are among the libraries using hosting and services from Index Data. Warner University, St. Thomas University and Washington & Jefferson College are using services from ByWater Solutions. Leipzig University and Texas A&M University are self-hosting.
FOLIO is an open community and details about the releases and future plans can be found at https://wiki.folio.org
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.