Thursday, 23 March 2017

LAC to replace AMICUS

Over the next two years LAC will replace its 20-year-old library management system, called AMICUS, with a purchased service from OCLC. That's the news in this announcement from LAC.

OCLC, a US-based international nonprofit library co-operative with offices in Quebec, will provide services to support the management of acquisitions, cataloguing, serials control, public access, circulation, loans to other institutions and to assume responsibility for the management of Canada's National Union Catalogue. OCLC already partners with the national libraries of New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain and the Netherlands.

According to LAC the total initial five-year contract cost for the system is $4.47 million, less costly for LAC over time than the current outdated one. In addition, users will have access to state-of-the-art services.

If you've used WorldCat, the OCLC public interface, you will know that most of the major collections included are for academic libraries. There are very few public library collections on WorldCat; they mostly use Toronto-based Bibliocommons to provide similar services. While this new arrangement for LAC will not improve that aspect of the present situation and provide a single window to search both academic and public libraries, this move away from the shop-worn AMICUS system is nevertheless a welcome move for LAC's public clients.


Bryan Douglas Cook said...

Provided we end up with a system that actually works, is efficient , improves service to the public and raises staff morale. There are lessons to be learned from the failures of Centralised Services and from contracting out the federal government's pay systems.

Teresa Eckford said...

As a librarian who uses Amicus, I'm cautiously optimistic...while AMICUS is definitely old and clunky, at least it's the devil I know and it's home-grown. I'm familiar with WorldCat and find it a bit clunky as well. We'll see how it works out...