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Management Information Software Tool - Research in Libraries

Objective

MINSTREL aims to develop software which will make management information more accessible and easy-to-use to support decision making in libraries. The prototype software will provide an independent environment within which data can be manipulated according to the defined requirements of the library and the individual librarian, including the generation of statistical ratios and performance measures, data integration and export to other decision tools.

The objectives of the project are to create and test a transformer for:

- development of simple ratios suitable for producing performance indicators;
- bridging between data sets collected for library management information and tools used by librarians for decision support and library operation modelling.
Impact and expected results:

The project will:

- simplify the transformation of data into usable information;
- integrate data which will encourage analysis & comparison of traditional and new forms of document delivery;
- stimulate interest and encourage librarians to develop toolboxes;
- contribute to the establishment and use of standard performance indicators.

Expected results are:

- specifications and methodologies for importing and exporting data;
- prototype transformer and user documentation.

The MINSTREL software tool will directly contribute to the efficiency of European academic and public libraries by improving decision making at all levels.

Deliverables

The main deliverable is the integrated prototype transformer, with the test user interface. Certain project reports, specifications, plans, profiles, standards, installation instructions and technical documentation will be classified as restricted or confidential.

In the public domain, in line with project progress, will be:

Performance indicators, data collection work and data set requirements report;
Data protection implications;
User needs report;
Transformer functional definition;
List of co-operating trial libraries;
Standards and tools analysis;
Data sources format profile;
Specification for importing data;
Analysis of export requirements;
Specification for exporting data;
Definition documentation ;
User documentation;
Final report.
Technical approach:

The project has three phases - definition and specification; technical development; testing and evaluation - covering eleven workpackages:

Defining information requirements by analysing current work on performance indicators and data collection, determining data sets from library information and examining data protection issues;
Defining the management information transformer functions and capabilities;
Standards and tools for the technical development and statistical analyses;
Hardware/software procurement and installation;
Defining data import formats of previously determined data sets;
Defining data export formats for decision support purposes;
Development plan including the technical specification and testing schedule;
Transformer workbench development according to specified functionality and technology;
User interface optimisation to support defined user needs;
Transformer/graphical user interface integration, testing and evaluation in five libraries;
Documentation for system implementers, system administrators and end-user librarians.

Key issues:

The main technical issuse relate to:

- identification of the information required for decision making and its sources;
- import and output formats and structures;
- transformer functions;
- user environments for the import and export of data;
- structures for standard performance indicator reports.

Coordinator

De Montfort University
Address
The Gateway
LE1 9BH Leicester

Participants (4)

BLCMP
United Kingdom
Address
Birmingham Research Park
B Birmingham
PICA
Netherlands
UNIVERSITEIT TWENTE
Netherlands
University College Dublin
Ireland