California Community Colleges Move Libraries to the Cloud

The California Community Colleges (CCC) announced an ambitious new project late last month–they will consolidate all of their libraries onto a single state-funded, cloud-based, system-wide Library Services Platform (LSP). All participating colleges are expected to go live with the new LSP by January 2020. The move, according to CCC will “effectively connect all students with the most useful, high-quality resources in a single collection.”

“This opens opportunities for unprecedented digital and physical resource sharing across the state, increasing all students’ access to quality library resources,” said Barney Gomez, vice chancellor of digital innovation and infrastructure for the CCC Chancellor’s Office. “Students who take courses at more than one college will now experience very similar search interfaces, making it easier to navigate library collections across the state.”

CCC says that the move will give students “access to technology that is not currently available across the community college system, with improved search capabilities, check-outs, overdue book issues, interlibrary loans, and reserves, all available in a modern, mobile-friendly environment.”

In addition to benefiting students, the new cloud-based LSP will also benefit library staff. The new platform will provide better access to patron records acquisitions, materials processing, licensing, electronic resource management, cataloging, inventory, analytics, interlibrary loans, reserves, and more. CCC says that the improved platform will enable streamlined workflows and allow colleges with limited library staff to better serve student needs.

Eleven community colleges have been participating in a pilot program. CCC said, “the lessons learned from this portion of the project will form best-practices and guide the full implementation phase.” The campuses were selected in a move to establish a representative sampling of CCC’s campuses. CCC looking at characterizes such as college size; geographic region; range of technical expertise available; size of library staff; and urban, suburban, and rural locations. Colleges chosen were Allan Hancock College, Los Angeles Pierce College, City College of San Francisco, Oxnard College, Cypress College, Pasadena City College, East Los Angeles College, Santa Rosa Junior College, Foothill College, Shasta College, and Long Beach City College.

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