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The provision of self-service facilities for library users

Objective

The enormous pressure on libraries of all types, arising from a combination of heavy demand and limited resources, has meant that there is a great interest in a shift towards the concepts of self-service for users. At the same time, the development of client-server systems opens up the possibilities for much wider use of self-service facilities.

The objectives of the project are to examine user requirements for self service, assess their operational impact and explore the technical basis for developments in order to deliver a generalised functional specification for self-service systems in libraries.
Impact and expected results:

The study will provide a clear basis for the introduction of self-service based technological solutions in libraries and stimulate the development of such systems.

The main results expected are:

- reports on implementation and operational issues
- generalised specification for the further development of self-service systems
- recommendations on further work necessary.

All of the SELF partners are commit-ted to the principle of self service and will seek to exploit the outcome of the project.

Deliverables

The most important deliverable will be the functional specification for self-service systems development.

Other deliverables, available for public scrutiny, are:

Operational analysis of self-service systems in libraries;
Consolidated report on functional and technical requirements for self-service in libraries;
Project final report.
Technical approach:

The project was structured into four workpackages, with milestones set after Workpackage 1, Workpackage 3 and at project end.

Workpackage 1 assesses the requirements of both library staff and end-users in regard to self-service, using desk research, questionnaire and interviews.
Workpackage 2 investigates installed systems from the viewpoints of implementation, operation and management.
Workpackage 3 examines the design implications for self-service, with security aspects, of the open systems standard included.
Workpackage 4 will create a functional specification for self-service systems development in libraries.

Information dissemination to a wide audience, culminating in a seminar at project end, is considered to be a key task.

Key issues:

The main technical issues are:

- Scope and requirements for self-service functions;
- Technical platforms and architectures needed;
- Interfaces with other technologies (eg security systems, chip-cards).

Documentation is available from the contact below and from http://www.sppb.se/self/selfeng.htm.

Call for proposal

Data not available

Funding Scheme

Data not available

Coordinator

Manchester Metropolitan University
Address
Geoffrey Manton Building
M15 6LL Manchester
United Kingdom

Participants (2)

Dynix Library Systems (Ireland) Ltd
Ireland
 
National Library for Psychology & Education
Sweden