Published: June 21, 2023

The University Libraries has launched a new open-source Library Services Platform (LSP) to manage materials and resources.

FOLIO, which stands for the Future Of Libraries Is Open, went live on Monday, June 19 after a weekend-long migration of data from the previous library system. FOLIO is the most significant change in the Libraries technology in over 20 years and brings the Libraries to the forefront of library-systems technology.

“Moving to FOLIO is financially and technologically strategic, but it is also a declaration of our university’s values,” said Jamie Wittenberg, assistant dean for Research & Innovation Strategies at the Libraries. “Our libraries care deeply about supporting community-driven open-source initiatives. This move is an opportunity to develop shared services across our campus libraries and participate in a global movement towards open, transparent and sustainable infrastructure.”

“This project, which has been partly sponsored by the campus Financial Futures program, will enable both the University Libraries and the Law Library to have more direct input in the direction of the development of this open-source Library Services Platform,” said Dean of University Libraries and Senior Vice Provost of Online Education, Robert H. McDonald. “Our participation in FOLIO, as a self-governing library technology community of practice, connects us to peer research libraries such as the Library of Congress, and it will offer at least one alternative system for large research libraries.” 

As part of this change, the Library Catalog will also be updated. “The new catalog will be modern, faster, easier to use on a mobile device, and have a new look and feel,” said Nicole Trujillo, access & discovery librarian. “It was designed by libraries for libraries and is widely used by libraries across the world including the University of Chicago, Michigan State University and Texas A&M University.”

This will also be the first time that the William A Wise Law Library and the University Libraries will share both an LSP and a catalog. “This is great news for our users,” said Lauren Seney, associate director and head of resource access and discovery at the Law Library. “Unifying these systems makes our materials more accessible to the entire campus community.”

FOLIO was financed, in part, through the Financial Futures program and the libraries appreciate the support of campus in this system migration.

What is a Library Services Platform (LSP)

An LSP is the most essential of all technologies in a library. It enables libraries to check out books, place holds on items, manage electronic resources and populate a library catalog. In academic libraries, these systems are large, complex and customized for each institution - and also costly because there are very few commercial providers globally.