Related product I-Share

Frequently Asked Questions About I-Share Next

Project Overview

In November 2013, the CARLI Board of Directors discussed the strategic and technical implications of a new library management system for I-Share; how best to involve our members in the process, including our formal advisory committees and the directors, staff and users at I-Share libraries; and how best to evaluate both commercial and open source options. At their December 2013 meeting, the Board approved the first version of a timeline for the "I-Share Next" (ISN) Project and the approved the charge to the I-Share Next Task Force. The I-Share Next Project is expected to continue through mid-2018.

The first phase of the process included establishing the I-Share Next Task Force.  This group is drafting functional specifications, and will develop evaluation criteria, and recommend the software that will ultimately replace Voyager.

The I-Share Next Task Force will coordinate the effort and advise the Board, member libraries, and CARLI staff on all matters related to the selection of the next generation of I-Share, i.e., a shared library management system for CARLI. The ISN Task Force will coordinate all planning, analysis, specification compilation, bid preparation and proposal review, and will recommend the finalist options and ultimately will recommend a final preferred solution to the CARLI Board of Directors for approval. The CARLI Board of Directors will make the final determination regarding the next generation of I-Share.

I-Share Next Values Statement

At their September 2014 meeting, the I-Share Next Task Force adopted this statement as a summary of the values and goals of the I-Share Next project: "Sharing resources, services, and effort, for the benefit of our patrons and staff, in ways that are more intuitive, efficient and collaborative."

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What will the work of the I-Share Next Task Force include?

The task force's review and analysis focus will include system functionality, consortial suitability and scalability, system architecture, vendor viability and support factors, operating environment and requirements, and cost of acquiring and maintaining the product. This review will cover both commercial and open source solutions.

The I-Share Next Task Force will, in consultation with the CARLI staff and Board, be empowered to create Teams to carry out specific tasks, such as developing functional specifications in a particular area, when it is advantageous or expeditious to do so. Members of the I-Share Next Task Force will then chair these Teams.

How long will the I-Share next Task Force members serve?

The expected term of service is three years. During this time the Task Force will meet at least monthly, certainly more frequently during the proposal review phase. Task Force members will be expected to attend webinars and in-person meetings, read and analyze all bid documents, and review demo systems. We anticipate that members will spend several hours a week on this project.

We anticipate that this group’s work will continue past the recommendation of a final product and through any negotiation for contractual terms and the development of an implementation timeline. This groups’s work will be considered complete when CARLI establishes one or more implementation and training teams to move the project to completion.

Who will serve on the I-Share Next Task Force?

Interested staff at any CARLI Governing library were invited to apply for service on the ISN Task Force. The CARLI Board of Directors strove to select those applicants with the best and most diverse mix of expertise and experience. Members were selected from all institutional types, representing a variety of perspectives within their institutional types. The members of the ISN Task Force are:

  • Pat Boze, Illinois State Library
  • Anita Foster, Illinois State University
  • Cindy Fuller, Millikin University
  • Tom Goetz, William Rainey Harper College
  • Kristine Hammerstrand, Chair, CARLI
  • Tammy Kuhn-Schnell, Lincoln Land Community College
  • Tami Luedtke, DePaul University
  • Michael Norman, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Ted Schwitzner, CARLI
  • Matthew Short, Northern Illinois University
  • Susan Singleton, ex officio, non-voting, CARLI
  • Connie Walsh, CARLI
  • Suzanne Wilson, Illinois Wesleyan University

How wERE the members of the I-share Next Task Force selected?

Any staff from a CARLI Governing library who were interested in serving on the ISN Task Force were invited to complete an application, which included an endorsement from their library director. Applications were screened and final members selected by the CARLI Board of Directors in order to ensure the appropriate mix of expertise and experience. Members represent a diverse array of stakeholders in I-Share, with three members each from Public Universities, Private Institutions, and Community Colleges/Special libraries. Members were expected to have considerable experience with shared ILS/LMSs. Careful consideration was given to individuals’ experience and ability to make the necessary time commitment (confirmed by their library director).

Members of the CARLI Staff, the CARLI Board of Directors, the I-Share Next Task Force, and any of the I-Share Next functional teams will be expected to disclose any relationships with possible vendors. All individuals who view vendor responses will be required by University of Illinois Purchasing Division regulations to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Why aren't we using existing CARLI committees to work on I-Share Next?

The current CARLI committees were not screened and/or selected for the intense and detailed work that will be required of the ISN Task Force and Teams, nor did they or their directors commit to the significant time that will be involved in work on these teams. Current committee members who are interested in working on the ISN project, and who have the support of their directors, may apply, or be invited to apply, for service.

When will Specification teams be called, and what will they do?

The I-Share Next Task Force issued a call for volunteers in January 2015. The specification teams will assist the ISN Task Force with the development of functional specifications and criteria for scoring vendor responses on those specifications. The ISN Task Force appointed four teams in March 2015 to work in the areas listed below. Each team includes two or more of the ISN Task Force members who serve as conveners and liaisons to the ISN Task Force. The teams are:

  • Acquiring & Selecting
  • Describing (cataloging and metadata management)
  • Sharing (circulation, fulfillment, resource sharing)
  • Knowledge Bases and Link Resolving

Spring 2014

  • Application period for service on the ISN Task Force

Summer 2014

  • CARLI Staff meet with interested vendors to provide an overview of the I-Share Next Project procedures. 
  • The ISN Task Force is appointed.

winter 2014

  • Informational webinars for CARLI Governing members about library management systems available to consortia. 
  • The ISN Task Force develops a format, outline, and list of basic specifications for the RFP.

spring 2015-Summer 2015

  • The ISN Task Force, and other designated groups draft technical specifications be used for evaluation of open source options and to prepare a formal Request for Proposal.

Fall 2015

  • The ISN Task Force presents final draft of RFP and evaluation criteria to the CARLI Board of Directors.
  • The Board makes a decision on next steps (release RFP, pursue open source, or wait).

Summer 2016

  • If proceeding with an RFP, it should be out of UI and State procurement review and ready to release for bids.

Fall 2016

  • Vendor responses due
  • Responses evaluated and finalists selected

Spring 2017

  • Evaluation of finalists
  • Final recommendation sent to the CARLI Board of Directors for approval

SUmmer 2017

  • Contract negotiation and approval

Fall 2017-Summer 2018

  • Implementation of a new system is anticipated by Summer 2018.

How can library staff find out more about current library management systems? 

CARLI will provide opportunities for vendors and other resource people to share information on current systems and visions of where library systems will be in 3-5 years. This will include both commercial and open source systems.

How can I view the vendor demonstrations?

Webinars were originally presented between January 27 and February 13.

The I-Share Next Task Force asked the presenters to focus their webinars on features of their system that address how libraries’ work is changing as we change our focus from print to electronic collections and take advantage of options like purchase on demand. We also asked them to highlight features that are specifically of interest to consortia such as union catalog views, shared acquisition ownership of materials, and consortial resource sharing.

As the functionality in these new systems changes regularly, recordings of the webinars were provided for only 60 days following the live sessions. Attendees of both the live sessions and recordings provided feedback through a survey, and the I-Share Next Task Force will review the feedback for areas of concern.

Will other members of the community have an opportunity to provide input?

CARLI will seek input from I-Share Liaisons, I-Share Directors, CARLI committee members, and other I-Share library staff. CARLI will make feedback forms available to library staff members following the webinar presentations, and following the final presentations. The responses will be compiled for public view.

where will we be able to find the most recent information about the ISN project?

CARLI Staff, ISN Task Force members, and other individuals involved in the process will post regular updates following team meetings, vendor presentations, and the completion of other significant tasks during the process. These updates will be open to registered users of the CARLI web site. To become a registered user of the CARLI web site, submit the registration request at Requests will be confirmed by CARLI staff. Users will receive an email confirmation when their account has been approved. 

CARLI staff will actively monitor comments. Any comments deemed offensive, inappropriate, or commercial in nature will be removed.