3rd December 2012
Specialist health libraries are leading a trend to migrate library management systems into "the cloud." 
In the past weeks more health sector libraries have taken up an open-source library management solution hosted by Prosentient Systems. This takes to more than 50 the number of health sector sites in Australia that have chosen the Prosentient cloud as the home for their new library management systems.
In Victoria Northeast Health Wangaratta joined a growing number of area health services by migrating to a Koha hosted LMS.
Long term Koha user Peninsula Health took the further step of acquiring a DSpace digital library system to house their electronic holdings.  Peninsula was keen to take advantage of our ability to index the DSpace holdings with Koha, so that both electronic and physical holdings can be located by searching the one unified catalogue.
The Australian Nursing Federation (Victoria Branch) switched to the Koha open-source LMS, as did the Australasian College of Health Service Management based in Ryde, NSW.
Ballarat Health Services joined Peninsula Health in acquiring a DSpace digital library capability to manage its electronic holdings.
So is there something special about health libraries that they have a particular affinity for open source library management systems delivered over the internet? 
Edmund Balnaves, Prosentient's principal, believes that many libraries today are exceedingly cost conscious and a hosted DSpace and Koha solution is functionally rich, reliable and good value.    Edmund thinks that  people in the health sector are working together to pick systems that are e-resource aware and have service layers behond the traditional OPAC to enhance the role of the library in the broader health service.


Case Studies

Koha, Interdocs and GratisNet in Northern Territory Health

The Northern Territory’s Health Library Network signed up for Prosentient System’s document delivery system and were impressed with the after sales service.  “We found Edmund to be very good to work with” explained Resources Management Librarian, Ruby Lindberg.  “No matter how many times we rang he was always patient and helpful.  After sales service and support is very important to us because we don’t have the technical in-house knowledge of the applications to do it ourselves”.  Their good experience with Interdocs soon led the library to join GratisNet, and then to take up the hosted Koha Library Management System.

DSpace: Australian Open Access Support Group

In this case study published by the Australian Open Access Support Group, Gemma Siemensma, Library Manager at Ballarat Health Services, describes the thinking and processes behind the introduction of their DSpace repository

Koha and DSpace in the NSW Parliamentary Library

When the Parliamentary Library of New South Wales began using Koha as its Library Management system and DSpace as its digital repository, the staff didn't do so to make a political statement about the viability of open source software. “This was just the software that fulfilled our requirements,” said Deborah Brown, Parliament’s chief librarian.

While having a physical collection, NSW Parliament library's lifeblood is digitized news media. Through their parliamentary copyright exemption they reproduce and store dozens of articles each day for the use of the Members of Parliament (and their staff) who make up their user base.

... more Case Studies

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