The Lehigh Libraries are excited to announce a plan to implement FOLIO in the summer of 2020. FOLIO (The Future of Libraries is Open) is a community-developed open source software platform that will support the ASA catalog and manage all the circulation, electronic resource management, interlibrary loan, and other crucial functions of the library.
FOLIO supports microservices and applications, allowing libraries to communicate with university systems and other software applications. The innovations of FOLIO will lead to possible integrations with the university financial systems, CourseSite, and other systems to enhance the library patron experience.
“With the modern technology stacks and open platform architecture,” says Director of Library Technology Chulin Meng, “the new FOLIO service platform will not only provide workflow support for managing library electronic resources efficiently, but also provide the capability to continue to innovate and develop better services in areas such as resource sharing and digital preservation.”
Boaz Nadav-Manes, Lehigh’s University Librarian said the work on FOLIO bolsters the technology team’s capabilities in new and innovative ways and also saved the University a major annual investment for not choosing an expensive out-of-the box vendor solution. “This is a thrilling moment for us here at a library as our staff who are very experienced with implementing open source technology have been contributing code and expertise to this project for several years now,” he said.
He adds: “In this time when technology, data, business interests, and privacy, often clash I am extremely proud of our ability to champion community-driven technology, which is aligned with Lehigh’s tradition of great engineering, with our values of excellence, freedom, and curiosity, and Lehigh’s future ambition to open new possibilities and positively affect change. Having librarians who are culturally entrusted with neutrality and are known for the highest service, leading such an ambitious global project is just perfect!”
Lehigh’s contributions to FOLIO extend well beyond the campus borders. In September, Sharon Wiles-Young, Library Access Services Director and past chair of the FOLIO Product Council, was invited as keynote speaker at the CALIS (China Academic Library and Information System) library conference at Lanzhou University in Lanzhou, China. Sharon said she was honored to present and have the opportunity to demonstrate Lehigh’s work in the FOLIO project as several large Chinese universities ramp up their FOLIO implementations, and to “share ideas and to establish new possibilities of extending open source development by fostering more international partnerships.”
“I am so proud to be a part of the Lehigh implementation team,” she said. “The team is committed to working with librarians, system analysts, software design experts and software engineers from all over the world and even with all the work ahead of us, our team is looking forward to being one of the first universities to implement this new product.”
Lehigh will join several other university libraries implementing FOLIO in 2020 including the University of Chicago, Texas A&M University, University of Alabama, the Five Colleges in western Massachusetts and GBV in Germany.