Following the successful scoping project between The Digital Humanities Institute and Carillion to explore the future of local public libraries and library management systems (funded by a University of Sheffield Collaborative R&D Award), Carillion has commissioned The Digital Humanities Institute to develop Phase 1 of a new type of library management system that aims to overcome the deficiencies of existing systems in the library automation software sector.
The chief characteristics of Oxeye will be:
- Extensible database, so that new types of information, services and apps can be developed without the need to re-configure the existing database or bolt on additional components.
- A service-oriented architecture. Services are created as standalone but visually similar apps, built around the needs (workflow) of the user (customer or staff). A library might then choose to bundle apps into a single site (e.g. for desktop PC delivery) or as a workspace containing distinct apps (e.g. for mobile/tablet delivery).
- A web-based, system-agnostic architecture. In other words, the system can be used on any desktop, mobile and handheld device. The user only needs access to the internet via a web browser. Each app will be responsive to the device on which it is being used.
- Customers and staff see the same interface. Only the user’s status will determine what they can and cannot see.
- The interface will look clean and modern.
The ambition is to develop a library management system that is familiar to us, in the sense that it looks and behaves like the rest of our digital universe. Few library management systems achieve this at present. When completed, the system will be deployed across four London boroughs – Hounslow, Croydon, Ealing and Harrow – which are visited by millions of people each year. The system will be developed by The Digital Humanities Institute in close consultation with Carillion’s IT services team and will eventually be deployed using a cloud-based hosting service.
Project Duration: 1st March 2016 – 31st July 2016
- Neil Simpson (Director, Local Authorities – Carillion)
- Fiona Tarn (Libraries Development Manager – Carillion)
- Michael Pidd (Principal Investigator – The Digital Humanities Institute)
- Ryan Bloor (Developer – The Digital Humanities Institute)
- Charlie Topaz (Operational Excellence Senior Manager for Major Projects – Carillion)
- Balbir Saini (ICT EA Business Architect – Carillion)
- Richard Cleary (Senior Solutions Architect for ICT Enterprise Architecture – Carillion)