SWIMS Network and SWIMS System
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Replacement of OLIB as our ‘SWIMS’ library management system

The current work to review library and discovery systems used across the NHS in England (as outlined in Helen Bingham’s KfH blog post) has triggered the decision to replace OLIB with a more modern system.  A new system will help to streamline workflows for library staff and integrate with other systems for a better end user experience. 

After a reprocurement process running Nov 2018 to March 2019, the successful bidder was announced on 29th March: Infor (United Kingdom) Ltd.  We will be adopting Infor’s library management system comprising staff interface V-smart, statistics portal V-insight, and end-user interface Iguana.

Implementation work has commenced with a review of various data.  The go live date is as yet unknown and depends upon the time it will take to migrate data and for the training programme to take place.  Our current contract for OLIB ends on 30 April 2020.

SWIMS management and use

The SWIMS Network Board took the opportunity, at its meeting on 10 Jan 2019, to review current system governance, management and use.  Full details in the Board minutes.  To summarise, the Board agreed that much of the use and management will remain largely along the same lines, although noted that some decisions may be determined by how the successor system works.  The decisions were:

  • To retain the current model of devolved system management of the Board and the groups,  not least as this provides the benefits of shared accountability and staff development opportunities; however to review the group structure with a view perhaps to reducing the number of groups and involving more staff
  • To consider engaging paid assistance with system implementation and management from a trust in order to share the work and have trust input
  • To retain the name and acronym: South and West Information Management System: SWIMS, plus the blue card colour; however to look at refreshing the SWIMS logos
  • To ponder which modules/functional areas we need with the possibility of making use of additional modules if our chosen system provides them; this includes document supply management
  • To continue to include journals holdings data for affiliated libraries
  • To continue to bulk load e-journal bundles as now
  • To continue to catalogue e-books in order that they are discoverable via discovery systems
  • To review circulation policies with a view to rationalising – the SWIMS Circulation Group are looking at this

SWIMS OLIB – next steps

This work will mean deprioritising OLIB development work from now on such as upgrades and enhancements, and instead focussing on system tidying and data integrity checking in preparation for data migration. The exact nature of this tidying and checking work will become clearer when we know how the new system works (no point in tidying records which won’t be migrated).  However please do continue to do routine housekeeping (particularly cataloguing and circulation) and follow the requests to tidy sent out currently by module group members not least as this keeps SWIMS operating optimally and will mean less work nearer the time.  More news on other data tidying in due course.