SWIMS Network and SWIMS System
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Background to the new system and information about the implementation

The current work to review library and discovery systems used across the NHS in England (as outlined in Helen Bingham’s KfH blog post) triggered the decision to replace the previous library management system OLIB from OCLC, in place 2003 – 2020, 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 2019 Infor (United Kingdom) Ltd

OLIB stop day for circulation and cataloguing was close of play on Thur 6th Feb 2020.  On Fri 7th Feb all the data was exported and is now loaded into the Infor systems.  Access to OLIB ceased on 30 April 2020 at the end of the contract.

Implementation team

An implementation team was established in May 2019, starting with Jenny Toller as co-ordinator and Lucy Farnsworth as system manager and lead for Iguana.  Later Catherine Micklethwaite joined as lead for cataloguing, Barb Peirce as lead for circulation and users, and Steve Field as lead for print journals check-in.  Lucy, Catherine, Barb and Steve comprise what is known as the core team.  The team worked closely together during the data migration and implementation phase and continues to do so.  Under the guidance of the Board, the core team set up the arrangements for groups and support as we had for OLIB.

Work which the implementation team undertook:

  • We provided Infor the information they need for the initial build of our system:
    • Having consulted with libraries, we provided a list of location codes in V-smart and sub-location codes and names.  Sub-location correspond roughly to shelves in OLIB.
    • We determined ‘item categories’ in V-smart to which our copy categories will map – the SWIMS Board guided these decisions
    • We determined the borrower categories in V-smart to which our user categories will map – the SWIMS Board guided these decisions
  • We extracted our bibliographic and copy data and our user and current and historic circulation data and this was loaded into the Infor test database.
  • We then reviewed the way that our data has been loaded.
  • Assisted by group members, we planned and delivered a training programme for library staff users
  • Barb and the circulation group used the results of the the circulation survey conducted by the SWIMS Circulation Group to guide decisions on configuration of circulation parameters
  • On 7th Feb 2020 we extracted our bibliographic and copy data and our user and current and historic circulation data and this was loaded into the Infor live database.  The system went live on 2-4 March 2020.

Decisions made during this work

Postal addresses
No user postal addresses at all were migrated from OLIB to the new system.  HEE information governance scrutiny process for the new library management system does not allow for the collection of private postal addresses on the new system.
Please see the email to LIB-SOUTH-MANAGERS and SWIMS-SYSTEM on 21 Oct 2019 for more information.

SWIMS management and use

The SWIMS Network Board reviewed current system governance, management and use.  Full details in the Board minutes.  To summarise, the Board agreed that much of the use and management would remain largely along the same lines.  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 retain the name and acronym: South and West Information Management System: SWIMS, plus the blue card colour; the SWIMS logo has now been refreshed as has the card design
  • To make use, in due course, of the interlibrary and document supply (ILDS) module, although it will need bespoke development
  • 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