UC Berkeley Law Library Implements TIND ILS

The University of California, Berkeley Law Library (BLL) last month implemented the TIND cloud-based Integrated Library System (ILS), becoming the third U.S. academic institution to adopt the new ILS. In collaboration with BLL, TIND completed the development of a new, launch-ready acquisitions and serials module as part of its initial contract.

The University of California, Berkeley Law Library (BLL) last month implemented the TIND cloud-based Integrated Library System (ILS), becoming the third U.S. academic institution to adopt the new ILS. In collaboration with BLL, TIND completed the development of a new, launch-ready acquisitions and serials module as part of its initial contract. The system is integrated with GOBI real-time acquisitions, supporting payment exports to UC Berkeley’s central enterprise resource planning system, and the EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS), enabling users to search catalog holdings and electronic resources using a single interface.

BLL Associate Director Marci Hoffman told LJ that the library hadn’t been actively looking for a new ILS, but TIND approached them, causing library officials to reevaluate their former system. 

“Some of our colleagues in the law library community have asked ‘why are you doing this?’ We actually weren’t out there shopping for other systems,” Hoffman said. “TIND came to us and we started having conversations with them. And as we looked at our legacy system and saw the escalating costs—every time we wanted to implement something new, it required an output of more money.”

As LJ previously reported, TIND launched as a commercial spinoff of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in 2015, with a suite including the ILS, as well as research data management (RDM), digital archive, and institutional repository (IR) solutions developed with the open-source Invenio Digital Library Framework, originally created in 2002 to run CERN’s document server, which manages more than one million bibliographic records. The Invenio framework features an Elasticsearch-based search engine, and allows for metadata, full-text, and citation searches, as well as faceted searching, and advanced searches with Boolean operators including proximity operators, truncation and wildcard operators, and exact operators/stop words. While it is open source, the Invenio framework is regularly updated by CERN.

Despite some initial concerns about being an early adopter of a relatively new ILS, the library ultimately decided to make the change. 

“When you look at the alternatives, most of them...are legacy systems,” Hoffman said. “We were somewhat interested in creating our own [ILS], but we don’t have the bandwidth or the staff to do that.”

In addition to BLL, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Olin College of Engineering, MA, have implemented the TIND ILS. The University of Minnesota Library is running its Agricultural and Applied Economics subject repository, AgEcon Search, on TIND’s hosted platform. UC Berkeley has also implemented TIND's IR solution, as have UNC Chapel Hill, Skidmore College, Indiana University, and Millersville University Library, PA. The University of Chicago is working with both the IR and RDM solutions. Other major international clients include the United Nations, the UNESCO International Bureau of Education, and the International Telecommunications Union.

These implementations reassured BLL of the system’s stability and capabilities, Hoffman said. “We felt that it was a risk worth taking.”

When LJ interviewed Caltech University Librarian Kristin Antelman about her institution’s implementation of the TIND ILS, she noted that while the system was fully functional, it was still new and being refined. However, Antelman added that as an early adopter, the library had been able to offer TIND a lot of input on feature development. BLL has been in a similar position, helping guide the development of the system’s new acquisitions and serials functionality, as well as other features during the past year.

“They didn’t have an acquisitions function” when BLL began talks with TIND, Hoffman said, “so they really worked with us to develop the acquisitions capabilities and the serials capabilities. In some ways, that was a little bit scary for us, but in other ways, it allowed us to actually rethink the way we do our work, and to help build a system that would work better than the [former] system. And we certainly see a lot of things that we would like to have developed in circulation and the OPAC…and we’ve given them tons of feedback on what we would like to see.”

Hoffman added that BLL is aware that it may take months for specific functionality requests to be fulfilled, but given the small, focused nature of the client base, “we feel like we actually have a say in how this particular system is going to develop. And we think we’re an important contribution to that development, because we’re a much different library than Caltech, and we’re different from the U.N. and from some of their other clients.”

BLL, which works with about one million volumes and volume equivalents, does a lot of original cataloging and “a lot of other operations that I don’t think the other [TIND ILS clients] have. I think that’s allowed TIND to rethink some of the things that other libraries might need,” Hoffman said.

BLL had been using the Millennium/Sierra ILS for more than 30 years, so this move was also a significant transition for library staff.

“I can’t say I have everybody on board. [But] I think, part of it is, we got a lot of input from staff all along,” Hoffman said. “We set up a team in the library representing different parts of the library staff.  I think that helped getting buy in and providing feedback. I think [staff] were also aware that the system that we had…wasn’t really reflective of the way we do work now—still having to load a client and not using a web-based service. The overall reaction is that people like that it’s simple and clean and straightforward. They certainly miss some of the functionality that they had in the legacy system, but they’re being open minded.”

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Matt Enis



Matt Enis (matthewenis.com) is Senior Editor, Technology for Library Journal.

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