April 18, 2018


Our efforts to find a viable solution to the Interlibrary loan problems are not yielding any fruit. We will not be devoting any additional time to this issue and instead  are devoting our time to working with the New Hampshire Department of Information Technology to issue an RFP for a new ILS.

During the last few weeks we have investigated what we believed might be a short term solution to the Interlibrary Loan problem as we prepare the documents necessary to purchase a new ILS. It is clear that the solution provided by OCLC (RELAIS) will not meet our needs based on the expectations of the New Hampshire Library community. The second solution we investigated in detail was Shareit by Autographics. This solution certainly looks more promising as a way for us to handle Interlibrary loan in New Hampshire. However it is clear after extensive discussions with the vendor it is too expensive as a short term solution to our problem. We feel we are better off asking Autographics and other vendors to submit a response to our RFP where we can adequately assess functionality and costs of not just an Interlibrary loan module but all of the functions that we need in a system. As I have stated on a number of occasions we are very concerned about the disruption caused by the failure of the ILL module however we cannot let it drive the issue of the procurement of a new state-of-the-art ILS. We must concentrate on getting the best system we can to ensure that the New Hampshire library community has the best tools available to perform the tasks they have every day.

Our new ILS will be the fourth iteration of the NHU-PAC since the 1980s. From LS2K to Galaxy to Horizon, we have aimed to give New Hampshire libraries the very best available system each time we have implemented a new one. In 2007 we began the process of finding a new ILS--surveys were conducted, results were compiled, an RFP was being written. Then the recession hit. Not only was there no money for a new system but the State Library was forced to cut a number of positions. Only now, with funding approved by the state legislature last year, are we able to move forward on replacing our ILS. The lessons learned from three and a half decades of library automation, including our recent experiences with the failures of our Holdings Maintenance and ILL servers, will guide us in our search for a replacement.

We are  working on the RFP to be issued by the NH Department of Information Technology. The RFP identifies what we need to serve the library community. It also identifies the requirements the state has for any computer-based system; these include: speed, confidentiality of data, security, warranties, etc. The RFP will serve as the foundation for the contract executed between the State of New Hampshire and the successful vendor chosen to provide services. This process involves many people in State government, not only the State Library staff and the staff at DOIT; the Attorney General’s office and the Secretary of State’s office will also be part of this procurement process. The State Library, primarily NHAIS Services, is devoting effort and energy to this project so that DOIT is able to move as quickly as possible  on executing a contract.

We are concerned about getting a state-of-the-art system that will serve the New Hampshire library community. We need to be sure we get the best system at a reasonable price and as we all know these opportunities do not come along every biennium.          

Michael York
State Librarian
New Hampshire State Library
New Hampshire Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
20 Park Street
Concord, New Hampshire 03301
603 271 2397
Cell 603 497 7432
Fax 603 271 6826

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