IPSWICH, Mass. — October 1, 2020 — The Five Colleges Consortium, as part of its FOLIO beta partnership with EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO), has become the first consortium to implement FOLIO Electronic Resources Management (ERM). This is the first step in a full FOLIO implementation in 2021. The consortium includes Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
In 2018, Five Colleges Consortium announced a FOLIO beta partnership with EBSCO, which allowed the institutions to contribute to the development of the library services platform and test FOLIO in large, real-world environments and multiple institutional scenarios. The beta partnership allowed EBSCO and The Five Colleges to contribute to the FOLIO Community and the development of the innovative, reimagined library services platform and demonstrate its viability for consortia.
Associate Dean for Library Technology at UMass Amherst Steve Bischof is the chair of the Five Colleges FOLIO implementation team. Bischof says, "The Five Colleges Consortium provides a unique environment for testing FOLIO as we use a shared catalog collection among member institutions. As an EBSCO FOLIO beta partner, our testing ranged from filling the needs of UMass Amherst, a large research university, to those of smaller institutions like Smith College with multiple collections. Adopting ERM is the first step, and we expect to fully implement FOLIO in 2021."
EBSCO FOLIO Services consists of a highly trained, experienced team for easier implementations and service support, as well as sophisticated technology and trained engineers for hosting. EBSCO FOLIO Consulting Services Manager Anya Arnold says working with the five campuses in the consortium allowed implementation specialists to address a variety of issues. "This beta partnership offered both the FOLIO Community and EBSCO the opportunity to address the issues library staff confront across a consortium. For ERM functionality to work, EBSCO Product and Development teams worked with the community to enable the ability to connect multiple HLM/FTF API connections to FOLIO, ensuring that each library can still mange unique and independent electronic collections in a shared FOLIO environment. The Five Colleges and EBSCO are on track to fully implement FOLIO and add to the collective knowledge for other consortia looking for their next library services platform."
FOLIO integrates with traditional EBSCO services, including the EBSCO Knowledge Base, which streamlines electronic resource management, and can easily integrate with existing EBSCO resources such as EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) for better library workflows and patron services. Four libraries of The Five Colleges Consortium use EDS as the library discovery interface, while the fifth uses the EDS API, enabling easy access to traditional catalog functions such as checkouts and placing holds while offering users a simple, intuitive search interface.
About The Five Colleges Consortium
Five Colleges, Incorporated is a nonprofit educational corporation established in 1965 to promote the broad educational and cultural objectives of its associated institutions: four private, residential liberal arts colleges and the flagship campus of the state university. The consortium includes Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The member institutions have a long history of successful collaborations dating to 1914 in the areas of library subscriptions, joint faculty appointments, public radio, and the history of science and astronomy. Long-standing cooperation among the consortium's libraries gives researchers access to their combined strength, which currently totals some 10 million volumes. Each institution's library has distinctive collections, most of which are broadly accessible for use by students and faculty members through a shared catalog.
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, and clinical decisions 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 385,000 serials, including more than 170,000 e-journals, as well as online access to more than 1,500,000 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.