The Aga Khan University (AKU) is perhaps the only university throughout the developing world that is serving through eleven campuses spread across eight countries and three continents. It has a network of nine libraries, although small in size, in five courtiers in three regions (South Asia, East Africa, and the UK). The university has recently implemented a library management system to integrate all libraries using single shared database.
The purpose of this study is to share Aga Khan University Libraries’ process of Integrated Library System (ILS) selection, project initiation and planning, system implementation including installation to data conversion and migration to training, and impact on skill development of library staff. Following a one-year selection effort, Symphony was chosen as the new system for AKU libraries. This study also describes the challenges faced by staff and the mitigation strategies. A comprehensive review of selection to go-live efforts is described including system and client configuration, functional testing and problem reporting. Training and lessons learned is also part of this study.
After successful implementation of the system, nine AKU libraries are sharing their resources from different geographical locations i.e. Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the UK. There is a single search interface to see library holdings of each or all AKU libraries. Eventually it is very helpful for resource sharing and interlibrary loan process. Users of AKU are very happy to see a new user-friendly interface. They are enjoying the empowerment to renew and hold their books remotely through web-based secured login. Also they are able to receive alerts for overdue and new arrivals in their respective fields. With the implementation of this new system, the internal processing activities of libraries are improved and library staff across contents is following same processes and helping each other. They are also learning new standards adopted in this system.
Paper presented at National Conference on Career Development of LIS Professionals and Overall Improvement of Libraries in Pakistan, Islamabad.
(2012). Integrating libraries across continents: A case of Aga Khan University’s nine libraries in five countries. Paper presented at National Conference on Career Development of LIS Professionals and Overall Improvement of Libraries in Pakistan, Islamabad..
Available at: http://ecommons.aku.edu/libraries/18