VERSO CONSORTIA™

Fully configurable ILS for complex and diverse library consortia

A-G feels that libraries benefit – both financially and in satisfying their patrons – by acting cooperatively through consortia. VERSO’s design philosophy is to build consortium functionality into all of our products, enabling libraries to extend and improve their services.

As libraries struggle to do more with less, A-G is committed to developing software that streamlines workflow for staff, that provides a better user experience for patrons, and allows libraries within a consortium to leverage each library’s individual advantages for the benefits of libraries in the group. VERSO CONSORTIA delivers localization and centralization options to satisfy diverse consortium needs.

Libraries can configure and brand their OPACs with a look and feel consistent with their library website and with their governing agency.  Libraries can configure the OPAC, and library circulation policies, to leverage that library’s strengths across the consortium’s membership.

Multi-county consortium in North Central Kansas with 31 branches

Multi-county consortium in North Central Kansas with 31 branches

CONSORTIUM TYPES

Multi-branch Public Libraries

All the libraries see themselves as a single unified entity. They share the same bibliographic database and the same user database, and they all follow the same circulation policies. An example of this model is Harrison County Public Library in Mississippi.

Multi-library system with autonomous libraries, users and policies

This consortium model allows each library to act autonomously, with its own user database and its own circulation policies. These libraries usually share a single bibliographic database for cataloging quality control, but in all other ways act as autonomous institutions.

Some consortia using this model allow for cross-institution holds to be placed, while others do not. An example of the multi-branch with autonomous libraries is the North Central Kansas Library System in Kansas.

Multi-library shared users and shared bibliographic database but not shared circulation policies

This consortium model is most applicable for large consortia where libraries want to offer expansive services across several municipalities and counties, leveraging the total collection for the benefit of all libraries in the group. In this model, users are shared across the entire consortium, the bibliographic database is centralized and shared, but each library can choose to maintain its own local circulation policies including fines, circulation limits, reserve policies, etc.

In this multi-library shared environment, VERSO supports two variations:

– Policies and transactions are based on the location where the transaction takes

– Policies and transactions are based on the home library of the user regardless of where the transaction physically

 

FEATURES

USER ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT

  • User: chooses home library at the time of registration, which is used as the default library when placing holds, receiving notices, etc.
  • User: statistical categories for reporting are based on the home library, county, township, etc.
  • Staff: The library can configure individual staff to work at more than one facility; ‘floating’ staff can use a single login at multiple physical locations.
  • Library self-registration function allows for different policies, permissions, and messages for each consortium member.
  • The library can configure Patron Groups in addition to patron categories to aggregate and report statistics for geographical groups of users.

CIRCULATION POLICIES

  • User transaction policies can be based on the user’s home location or on the location where the transaction is taking place.
  • Holds pick-up location does not need to be a library user’s home location. Users can select their hold pick-up location both in the OPAC and in circulation.
  • Shared user records mean that the user is registered only once – not multiple times.
  • Holds can be placed on any title or item across the entire consortium (subject to policy).
  • VERSO counts and reports on hold fulfillment at non-home libraries for reimbursement purposes.
  • The system supplies detailed ‘in-transit’ reports including information about what’s coming to the library, and what has been sent to other libraries.
  • System supports both temporary and permanent item transfers of holdings among and between consortium members.
  • Upon check-in, the system will route a requested item to the destination library for the next consortial request for that title, without needing to send it ‘home’.
  • The system allows re-routing of an item on reserve to a different pick-up location regardless of the ownership and status of the item.
  • Individual library policies allow each library to create different circulation parameters for patrons registered at different libraries.
  • Each individual library in a consortium can configure its own wording on receipts, notices, and other communications from the library.
  • Libraries can set up their own Reserves Fulfillment queue process, perhaps checking a nearby library before a distant one.
  • Libraries with floating collections can designate specific library/branch/location and material type parameters for what is to float, and when the floating thresholds are to be triggered. Staff can also identify a ‘backstop’ floating library for use when a threshold is reached.

CATALOGING ADMINISTRATION

  • Bibliographic Record Merge allows consortium administrators to select and merge multiple bibliographic records into a single record. This function also retains all attached items and holds, and will merge them chronologically.
  • Libraries that use a shared bibliographic database can use Local Authority Control to enter and authorize their own headings, but also have access to headings used by other consortium members.
  • Administrators can assign granular permissions among consortium members for updating and adding new bibliographic and item records.

SPLASH PAGE PRESENTATION MANAGEMENT IN UX (USER EXPERIENCE) ADMINISTRATION

  • Each library in a consortium can arrange its own splash page welcome screen, containing its own widgets that are relevant to the specific library.
  • For more centralized consortia, the administrator can distribute and replicate splash page templates to all members. This makes the task of customization across the consortium simpler.
  • UX Administration enables each library in the consortium to select its own color scheme, branding, logo, and any other library specific identification.
  • UX Administration lets each library configure the type of results presentation (gallery, list), how results are aggregated (clustered or merged) and how facets are sequenced and displayed.
  • Dozens of other library-specific look and feel options, search and results messaging options, and patron-facing My Account options are configurable.

STATISTICS AND REPORTS

  • The system counts transactions by material type, user category, user group, and location of check-out or check-in.
  • Each library can determine non-home-user traffic in the library.
  • Reports and notices can be run for a single library in a consortium or, with proper permission, globally for all members.

PAC ADMINISTRATION

  • Libraries can configure their default searching to be at the library level, the consortium level, or even the state level
  • Search targets can be local, remote (using Z39.50 or similar protocols), or a combination of both.
  • Each library in a consortium can manage its own default search indexes, menu and arrangement of search resources, and its own way of grouping and displaying search results.
  • Each library in a consortium can manage its own linkages to enhanced content, such as bookstores, Google, Zinio, OverDrive, OneClickDigital,etc.

LIBRARIES

Multi-branch City or County

Harrison County Public Library (14)

Van Buren District Library (7)

Consortia Libraries  (Not Shared)

NorthWest Kansas Library System (23)

SouthWest Kansas Library System (37)

NEXUS – Colorado (32)

Tennessee (99)

Consortia Libraries  (Shared)

SouthWest Wisconsin Library System (32)