I have recently been managing a project to prepare to integrate the Library service with a new Learning Management System and this post contains useful information for anyone else that might be involved with this type of project.
Scope of the Project
The scale of this type of project depends on how advanced you service is and if you have already have the following:
- Previous experience with integrating services with an LMS
- Many electronic resources
- Experience in creating digital learning resources
Identifying what will be needed
Understanding what will be needed requires you to look at the services you provide the resources you have and essentially trying to enable them to be plugged in into the LMS.
Library Management System
The first area involves systems and you need to decide if you want your Library Management System to integrate with the Learning Management System.
There are many benefits to integrating the two and a key benefit is shown below:
- Enable the automatic import of records into the LMS so that you do not have to regularly manually import files such as CSV files.
How the user will access and the search the Library Management System when logged into the Learning Management System
- You also have to consider how the Library Managment System will be made available to users of the LMS. For example, will there just be links to the Library Management System in the LMS, or will you try to create something more advanced like a widget that enable users to enter a search term without the need to click on a link first to open a search box.
how the Library Managment System will be made available to users of the LMS.
Policy and strategy changes
Does your strategic plan include a strategy for integrating services with the Learning management system
Does your strategic plan include a strategy for integrating services with the Learning management system and if you are going to move to start building digital collections is this reflected in the collection management policy? These documents need to be updated to reflect these changes.
If you need to now change collection development to begin to purchase more electronic content that can be accessed easily through the Learning Management System you will need to think about that types of services. In my project I have had to try and change the culture of the institution by moving more to ‘e’. which meant I also had to trial, configure and set up an eBook platform in preparation for the implementation of the new LMS. If you also need to do this allow plenty of time as it could take you many months to organise and sort this out.
Authentication and SSO
Would your users prefer to be able to use the Single Sign On to access the Learning Management System and the library’s electronic resources and if so do you have the correct type of authentication to enable this to happen? For my project I investigated what was needed for this but this was not considered a priority at this time. It would only mean that users’ would have to also login to their electronic resource account when they wanted to access the library resources when logged into the LMS.
Identifying and creating digital learning resources
It could be useful to also create videos and other type of resources that can be embedding in the LMS but you need to consider what videos or screencasts would be useful and you will also need to think about the type of software you will use to create them. Again this might be time consuming but overall it will offer a more enhanced user experience of the service. Typical types of video or screencasts could show:
- How to search for items using the Library Management System