Case Study: Worldshare Management Services – a single solution for every facet of managing a library
Feb 5th, 2018

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Maintaining a server and the technical expertise to support it can be costly while running various systems can be time-consuming and inefficient. Managing multiple systems can be cumbersome for a librarian with a lack of integration causing repetition of tasks and piecemeal activities.

“Being cloud-based, WMS has certainly reduced the risk of storing important data and managing servers that requires additional technical expertise, not necessarily available within the library environment,” says Carike Schoeman of the University of Pretoria.

Varsha Sookraj of the University of KwaZulu-Natal explains: “WMS is our only system for all our library processes. As a one stop shop for our resources it saves time and costs. It has also allowed us to introduce new services, for example, we have a service called ‘pay per view’.

As budget cuts forced us to cancel some subscriptions to electronic content we introduced this service where our users can request us to purchase single articles for them rather than subscribing to an entire database”.

As a result of this, Varsha recognises that the benefits span all aspects of their work listing the following as most notable: “Workflow is simpler. Everything is on one screen. Users can access their accounts and renew, place holds and request ILL items. Licence agreements are easily managed in one system. We save time cataloguing and the ordering process is quicker with records being readily available.

Reports are customisable and detailed and there is a range of reports available.” Carike expands on these benefits describing how WMS facilitates a better service for the end-user: “The collection manager enables library staff to activate electronic resources in the knowledge base, which additionally creates a well-managed A-Z list of all titles available through library subscriptions. This, paired with a proper discovery tool, gives end-users the opportunity to not only explore resources at title level, but also search on article level, which saves a lot of time for our researchers and students.”

According to Carike, WMS yields its ultimate value “as a library management system built by librarians, with the library and its processes in mind. It allows librarians to become involved in the development of the system without being developers themselves and ensures that they can focus on being great librarians without becoming technical gurus that struggle to maintain a complex library management system.”

Everyone has their own favourite feature that brings benefits. For Varsha it’s the knowledge base where subscriptions are easily activated and deactivated. It is cloud based, so there’s no need to worry about servers, backups and updates. Carike loves the licence manager. “Even though it is a very young development and I can see the potential of the licence manager becoming the ultimate place to manage electronic content. It already integrates with acquisitions, collection manager and ILL and although these integrations are very basic and only focus on integrating information across modules, it has the potential to become a powerful aspect of managing access to electronic content for our institution,” she expounds.

While experiencing and benefiting from the current functionality of WMS, Carike also believes it is the library system of the future. “I get excited thinking about future possible developments. The WMS community constantly encourage new developments and being part of the global community changed my mindset to think globally and not only locally”, says Carike. “I’d recommend WMS,” concludes Varsha. “It’s easy to use, saves time, brings huge cost savings and streamlines workflow. All our functions are done on one system and our staff are comfortable with one interface”.

Read the full case study here. | Sabinet Press Office.