Cook Library operating system to undergo changes

By Theresa Pratt, contributing writer

The Albert S. Cook library operating system will switch from its current system to a more modern one that will make it easier for staff members to use.

The project has been discussed for about 5 years now and the system will be switched on May 23. The Library will be switching from its current system, called an integrated library system, to a more modern one that will make it easier for staff members to use.

Head of Library Information Technology Bill Helman said Towson University was a part of “a consortium of libraries called the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions.”

“[The change] was part of a competitive RFP, request for proposal. This was a nationwide call where vendors from all over submitted proposals for new systems that we could essentially choose from,” Helman said.

There are 18 total member institutions in the USM group including College Park, Frostburg and UMBC among others. All are expected to make the switch.

The new system will allow the library staff to work better from various locations. Before, the system was client-based and staff had to install the software on their individual computers, according to Electronic Resources and Discovery Librarian Hong Li.

“The new one will be cloud-based, which means that we can access it anywhere. As long as we have our valid TU account information, we can sign in,” Li said. 

For students, the search system will become more personalized, allowing users to narrow down their search results more than they already can, according to Copyright Librarian and Head of Resource Sharing Rick Davis.

“You would have a better mobile experience. It is more adaptive. It allows you to have a more personalized search experience. With the new version of Cook One search, you can narrow down the search results even more,” Davis said.

There will be a temporary hold on books being ordered from other libraries.

“Honestly, I think the biggest changes will be on the staff side of things. Whether that is ordering and paying for library resources, cataloging them and making them discoverable and accessible by our users, creating and maintaining patron accounts…all of these things are things we already do but will be easier for us because we will have more hands-on control of the system,” Davis said.


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