Joint library system for Danish public and school libraries
Systematic has developed and implemented a ground-breaking, common IT system for all Danish public and school libraries, which is now strengthening day-to-day operations, reducing costs and supporting collaboration between municipalities.
Smart digitisation of libraries
Modern libraries rely on efficient IT systems. An overview of materials, lending, reservations, borrowers and workflows requires specialist software in order not to end up with time-consuming, manual processes. Prior to 2015, Danish public and school libraries used several different IT systems with individual databases, which in many cases did not offer sufficient functions or the desired user-friendliness.
An association of Danish libraries asked the municipal IT organisation, KOMBIT, to launch a national tender to create a unified system with a single database – providing libraries not only with better conditions locally, but also an opportunity to collaborate seamlessly on lending and reservations across the country. Thanks to our Cicero Library Management System, we have ensured intelligent digitisation of Danish municipal libraries, to the benefit of both the staff and the millions of Danes who use the libraries’ services every year.
Comprehensive solution creates significant synergy
The common library system is an ambitious solution that has introduced a wide range of new features and benefits. The solution is based on an open platform and familiar standards, which has made it easy to integrate with the Danish municipalities’ other systems.
By establishing a single data platform, Danish libraries have achieved greater cooperation and been afforded the opportunity to coordinate the purchase of new materials and ensure that users have access to far more materials than any one local library has at its disposal. The result is a modern, efficient and user-friendly system that accommodates users and staff equally.
To ensure that the solution is in harmony with the everyday work of libraries, everything was developed in close collaboration with employees at all municipal libraries – and several libraries were also involved in regular pilot projects on testing and pilot operations to ensure a solid grounding in the daily needs and challenges of users.
The open system approach also creates great opportunities for collaboration and synergies across both public and private companies that collaborate on the library system landscapes.
Efficient development and lightning-fast implementation
The task of designing and developing the common library system was given to Danish IT company Dantek. In order to ensure success, Systematic joined as a partner during the process and subsequently ended up acquiring Dantek.
Systematic then planned the project anew and scaled it up with eight development teams. The common library system was ultimately delivered early, including migration and roll-out to 10 additional municipalities that originally were not parties to the affiliation agreement. Along the way, Systematic implemented an average of two municipalities a week for a period of 24 months and has also been responsible for training library staff to ensure good onboarding and full use of all the solution’s functions.
Unique and efficient library system
By gathering all common library data in one data platform, Danish municipal libraries now have a unique, modern digital solution that creates and exploits synergies across the municipalities.
The common library system brings the sector together and creates a uniform framework for all libraries. The open standards also make it easy to build on top of the solution and expand it with specific functions for individual libraries.
The design, development process and lessons learned from the implementation process can now be transferred to other countries that not only want to transition to a common, modern library system, but also exploit the full potential of comprehensive digitisation, as well as make use of the best practice that the common library system has established.