Overlay Software Demos: Feedback Wanted!

The RAILS overlay project aims to provide library users with seamless access to the online catalogs of consortia and standalone libraries that choose to participate. We're calling it an overlay to emphasize that it will supplement, not replace, existing online catalogs. Primary goals are seamless discovery and delivery for patrons and better interlibrary loan service, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness for libraries.

The RAILS Overlay Software Search Working Group has reviewed the vendor responses to our request for proposals and has invited all three vendors to software demonstrations in May. This is your opportunity to provide feedback that will help shape our software choice. All interested library staff are invited to attend the demos and provide input.

Demonstration Schedule:

Each full-day demo will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the in-person session at RAILS Burr Ridge. Remote viewing will be available through RAILS Live, and the sessions will be recorded for later viewing. The morning sessions will concentrate on overviews and basic functionality of the software, while the afternoon sessions will cover more specialized topics such as reporting and system administration. Attendees will be asked to complete a feedback form to provide input on whatever sessions they are able to attend.

Visit the Library Learning (L2) link for each demo for more information and to register. If you can't attend the live session either in Burr Ridge or via RAILS Live, register for RAILS Live to receive a link to the recording when available.

After the Demos

The Overlay Software Search Working Group will review feedback from the demos and continue with its evaluation process. The group expects to make a software recommendation to the RAILS Consortia Committee at its meeting on July 17, after which the recommendation will go to the RAILS Board.

Following contract negotiations with the chosen vendor, RAILS will begin a pilot overlay project with up to 25 libraries. In 2016, CARLI (I-Share), PrairieCat, and Rock River Library Consortium agreed to participate in the overlay pilot project by having representatives serve on the RAILS Overlay Software Search Working Group. Participants in the pilot project will be selected from interested libraries in these consortia. After a successful pilot, the project will be expanded so that any interested library can participate.

Article Type: