Library Systems: Recent Developments and some History
Technical Essentials
In Fall 2008, migration from DRA Classic System to SirsiDynix Symphony system. Migration from Alpha/VMS to Intel/Windows Server 2003.
New system consists of 3 Windows Servers: Sirsi, SirsiWeb, and SirsiTest.
  • Sirsi is the large production server (Quad 2.66 Ghz, 3GB RAM, 60GB disk) for Symphony (the integrate suite of staff applications) and the Enterprise Public Access (GoCat!)
  • SirsiWeb is a more modest server for running "Web Reporter", a suite of reporting tools for exatracting and manipulating data from the Symphony system
  • SirsiTest is a very similar server to "SirsiWeb." Currently, this server is not in use. It was purchased to run a separate test version of Symphony. Funds for the test version license were not available.
Goleman Library "chooses" SirsiDynix Unicorn/Rome/Symphony From 2002-2005, Goleman Library worked to obtain funds, via AI and ICO budgeting processes, for a migration away from DRA Classic, which was no longer being maintained. The library decided to keep working with SirsiDynix only.
In 2006, Goleman chose the new Dynix Horizon 8 system; a contract was signed. By Spring 2007, SirsiDynix announced the end of development of Dynix Horizon 8, and started talking about "ROME".
In Summer 2007, SD announced "Symphony," which is the latest version of the 30+ year-old Unicorn ILS. Library worked, line-by-line on contract language to obtain the most favorable implementation of Symphony, within the constraints of the Horizon contract.
Migration began in November 2008, and was completed in December 2008. Formal staff training (as part of the contract) began in October 2008 and continues through February 2009. Informal training & skill-building, implementation and post-migration clean-up** all continue into the future.
**While most data migrated cleanly to Symphony, some (Acquistions, Serials, and Reserves) did not.
Sale of DRA system to Sirsi in May 2001 and need for migration. Relying on VMS is a double-edged sword. The O/S works well and is supported, but there is diminishing development in the library marketplace.
Sirsi has pledged to maintain service for as long as financially possible.
Migration to another system will likely be required in no more than five years.
Functionality and cost will be key issues.
Current Sirsi product is far weaker in cataloging and public access modules than our current system, though they may improve.
I have seen demonstrations of other systems recently at UOP.
Sirsi did not compare very well with two other competitors (Endeavor and ExLibris)

Integrated Library System Goals and Accomplishments
Goals:Get library materials into the hands of users
Track print materials through the stages of:
ordering, receiving, cataloging, processing, checkout, and request
and (when needed) overdue notices/fines, & collection agency.
Track statistics on all relevant activities.
Provide decision making data to staff for management decisions (such as purchasing and circulation policies).
Provide users with access to information technology (hardware, and quality content (BOTH on-campus and off-campus)).
Provide access to electronic content via subscription databases and copyright controlled electronic reserve room (ERes)

Integrated library system: SirsiDynix Symphony System and ERes (Electronic Reserves) System
Off-campus authenticationEZproxy which integrates with campus LDAP services.
PC ReservationsPc Res integrates computer access within overall Library operations, and makes for a tremendously user-friendly and efficient experience.
Ethernet/TCP-IP Utilizes the robust campus network resources
Solid O/S and hardwareAll functions running on Windows Server, and (since 2012) VMware.
The move to VMware resulted in even better uptime--now virtually 100% uptime.
Previous system ran on VMS Compaq Alpha platform
Migration away from VMS will save the District about $12,000/year. Also, as of 2009, DRA software is no longer supported by SirsiDynix
Industry standardsA rigorously standards-based system
USMARC database records
Z39.50 quick search of other libraries
Unicode multilingual support
SIP2 "Standard Interchange Protocol"

Software modules and (some) Examples
Online Public Access Catalog: GoCat! ("Goleman" Library Catalog),
Demostration searches
CatalogingFull function database record editor with interface to OCLC world catalog system and Library of Congress Authority File
CirculationCheck out of materials. Circulation policies set by user profile (Faculty, Student, Staff, Community members, etc)
Notices: We use e-mail to communicate with library users when we have a requested item, or if materials are past due.
We use a collection agent to encourage library users to return very overdue materials. We communicate in an entirely electronic mode. This service has been very effective.
Reserve book room (featuring "Text Book Loan"). Our most popular service!
AcquisitionsTracking Titles and dollars. Posts order and receipt status in OPAC. x12 and EDI industry standards for order and receipt. We communicate with most of vendors electronically.
SerialsTracking issues. Claiming. Subscriptions.


Steven M. Schermerhorn Technical Services/Systems Librarian
Created: Fall 2001.
Latest update: Fall 2013.