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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Project Proposal - Natalie

Collaborative partnerships are changing the way libraries do business. The example of shared automated systems is my entry point to explore this idea w/GIS mapping. As of last year, all of Wisconsin's 17 public library systems maintain system-wide shared automated systems/union catalogs (except for maybe rogue Janesville?). This is a notable shift from each individual library operating its own system/catalog. The benefits of system-wide shared automation systems are many, as are the challenges. However, I am not going to focus on pro/cons of the current systems, I want to think about what the next generation of systems will be like and explore the feasibility of a statewide shared system/catalog. First, I will look just at public library system (PLS) information. I am aware that library systems (well, at least one) are participating in multi-type library consortia and this could lead me to considering academic/school libraries as well.

The current project outline includes creating maps to illustrate PLS areas, which automation system/vendor the PLS uses, and the "age" of the automated system. I want to identify which PLS are on similiar or same systems and which system are about the same age, to find possible compatibilities for a future migration. Also possibly interested in mapping cooperative partnership beyond automated systems. Other PLS shared activites for possible consideration of partnership beyond the PLS: delivery systems, electronic resources, centralized cataloging, multi-type consortia.

Data sources: PLS system data from DPI/DLTCL, Checkout sources identified in class w/public library information, Look for any current PLS director meeting notes, Use the SLCS delivery system info from their site, Possibly use WI population projections

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