September 11, 2007

Living la vida CyberTools

Posted in Integrated Library Systems, Vendors at 2:33 pm by Alexia

As I am sure you all have noticed I went MIA for a while.  Why?  Well, it was the summer of the ILS migration!  We had been using Professional Software since as long as I’ve been here (November 1994) and though it was a great system it was becoming outdated and the developer seems to have disappeared.  We had extra money in our budget this year and decided to take the opportunity to make the change.  We chose CyberTools for several reason including price and the fact that three of the other libraries in our health system and the idea of a union catalog was tempting.  We have not been disappointed.

No ILS is perfect but for our needs CyberTools has come close.  So far I’ve only really played extensively with the circulation module and the catalog module.  I am particularly enamored with circulation, especially the automatic email capability to remind patrons their books are due.  There is a similar feature for the overdues but I haven’t gotten that far yet.  Besides cleaning up records after the migration I am cataloging our electronic books, which excites me to no end.  Before CyberTools we had links on our web page to our ebook vendors and links to titles in our EBSCO AtoZ product but there was no way to search our catalog, find an ebook AND access it all from one resource.

Thus far, my only major disappointment with the cataloging module is the way it handles (or doesn’t handle) loose-leaf books (i.e. – Drug Facts and Comparisons).  It’s a monograph but I wanted a serials record to keep track of the updates.  CyberTools support was able to help me but they did a lot of the work behind the scenes and I can’t recreate it on my own.  This is a relatively minor issue since that is the only active loose-leaf book we have in print.  Nothing in the circulation module has disappointed me.  I have not dealt enough with the serials module to have a strong opinion but I like what I see so far.  Most of my problems with the serials module have to do with journal publishers rather than CyberTools.

I know there are features I haven’t even discovered yet, like the ability of the patron to edit their record and renew items.  I do wish CyberTools had an RSS feature that would let a patron save a search as and RSS feed so that their reader would be updated any time we updated our catalog with an item fitting the patron’s search. I would highly recommend this ILS to any hospital library, especially ones in health systems.