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.
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.
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.
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.