The Integrated Library System (ILS) has become the model for almost all institutionally based library automation activities. Lynch (1991) defines the basic concept of the ILS as, ‘‘a single system with a common database, which supported the full range of library automation functions, ranging from acquisitions to circulation to the public access online catalog, using a single integrated database.’’ Beginning with the development of these systems in the early 1980s he provides an excellent overview of the evolution within the context of the environmental factors that have shaped current ILSs. In response to the ‘‘networking access revolution’’ occurring in the late 1980s, a modern ILS is expected to interact with many other institutional data-processing centers (Online Public Access Catalogs, Online Computer Library Center, and Current Contents, to name a few). Access to a multitude of networked resources has raised user expectations far beyond the local catalog that was the standard in the 1980s. A modern ILS must support electronic downloading of text, accommodate varying hardware and software platforms, and provide a uniform user-friendly interface to a complex array of electronic resources. The intent of this chapter is to provide an overview of the organizational patterns for ILS administration and the key requirements for successful ILS management.
In the majority of academic libraries, an ILS exists. In fact, many institutions are planning second- or third-generation systems. A given is that any system will require expansion and modification over time. Due to the geometric progression of technological developments and corresponding user expectations,