July 28, 2021

ILS: Cornell Library Launches with FOLIO

From Cornell Library:

At the start of July, Cornell University Library made a giant leap to the future by implementing an innovative integrated library system (ILS) called FOLIO, becoming the first large research library in the world to migrate to the platform.

Since 2016, Cornell University Library has been collaborating with institutions around the world to develop the new ILS, which is a complex suite of software for running services and operations—from ordering, paying for, cataloging, and lending out materials to analyzing resource use across physical, digital, local, and remote collections. An acronym for “The Future of Libraries Is Open,” FOLIO is envisioned as a sustainable, community-driven alternative to proprietary ILS products that are costly to purchase and maintain and are subject to vendor control.

The open source and collaborative nature of FOLIO aligns with Cornell University Library’s commitment to open access and the wide sharing of knowledge, according to Simeon Warner, associate university librarian for information technology.

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The library’s switch to the open source system is a milestone not just for Cornell but for the global library community, according to Debra Howell, director of information technology operations at Cornell University Library.

“Cornell is the first large research library in the world to go live with FOLIO, and others are learning from our experience,” Howell said.

“In implementing a software system of this size and complexity, we had a very smooth go-live experience,” she added. “This is attributable to the dedication of our staff from every part of the library.”

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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