Is There a Difference Between an Integrated Library System (ILS) and a Library Management System (LMS)?

No–they’re two names for the same thing. In U.S. English, these platforms are more frequently referred to as integrated library systems, while U.K. English speakers tend to use the term library management systems. They are the same software solutions designed and built out for the same purpose.

How is an ILS / LMS Different from a Library Service Platform (LSP)?

Purveyors of LSP platforms may argue integrated library systems are legacy platforms traditionally used for the management of print collections. According to that definition, a library service platform is one that can accommodate both electronic collections and print collections.

In actuality, this definition of LSP is essentially synonymous with modern integrated library systems / library management systems. Client organizations and institutions frequently seek out Soutron’s assistance in adopting a new, modernized integrated library system that can accommodate all types of materials, from digital media and electronic information to print collections.

In many respects, digital collections and print collections require similar management. An ILS should be able to manage all aspects of physical and digital material acquisitions, cataloging, serials, circulation and reporting through an intuitive, easy-to-use interface.

What Sets Soutron’s Modern Integrated Library System Apart from Legacy Platforms?

Many organizations are currently using legacy integrated library systems with little to no customizability. They may have to purchase their own hardware to support their ILS and deal with IT problems on their own. When and if updates or enhancements are released, they may be forced to pay extra to get the benefit of those features.

Soutron’s integrated library system software suffers none of those drawbacks. Because Soutron is cloud hosted, our clients never need to purchase hardware. Our comprehensive help desk and IT support ensures you’ll never be forced to tackle any problems that arise on your own. There’s also no extra charge for updates to a Soutron ILS.

An integrated library system should be able to handle all the library management tasks of older legacy systems while also incorporating the modern features users expect, such as search portals with responsive designs, my account features, saved searches and embeddable audio-video content.

Another benefit of cloud-based hosting is the ability of users to access your library system from anywhere in the world, on any device and at any time. Cloud hosting offers more than just convenience for your users. It also eliminates the monetary costs of internal IT support, system hardware or upgrades. As a result of ongoing support, these new ILS solutions don’t depreciate at the same rate as legacy systems.

Reasons to Upgrade a Legacy ILS to a Soutron Integrated Library System

Some organizations have sunk a significant investment into customized integrated library systems specifically designed to meet their needs. Unfortunately, these organizations don’t always have the capability or resources to modify a rigid platform to meet changing user expectations. Bringing software up to speed may require a complete rebuild and may cost more than migrating to a completely new ILS.

Older ILS systems aren’t necessarily supported indefinitely, and you could run into a scenario where your initial vendor is no longer supporting your version of the ILS. Most vendors will only support a set number of superseded versions, which means in the not-too-distant future your organization could be at risk of having an unsupported, unstable system that poses a significant data loss risk.

The cost of hardware and internal IT support isn’t just a one-time investment. Hardware ages, and newer or updated ILS might have more demanding hardware requirements. Hardware can also get old and break, and there may be no guarantee that your antiquated ILS will run on the replacement hardware.

Legacy systems sometimes rely on antiquated software that is also nearing it’s end of life. Some of these old tools aren’t just dated from a functionality standpoint, they may also pose security risks to your organization and users.

Should You Upgrade or Replace Your Integrated Library System?

If your organization is struggling with a legacy ILS, Soutron Global may have the ideal replacement solution. Contact us for a demo and see how we make migrating ILS easy.

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