Knowledge Integration

Resource sharing in FOLIO

Back in September 2017 we spotted a gap in FOLIO app provision which we felt was hindering uptake in the UK: support for Interlibrary Loans (ILL).

ILL support is important for the UK library market and is often listed as a must-have for new procurements. We set about filling that gap with a new suite of modules: mod-rs and mod-directory, to enable all libraries to participate in their existing resource-sharing networks on the FOLIO platform.

Around spring 2018 the ReShare project started to emerge as an initiative to meet the needs of consortial interlending in the US. We decided to merge our approach with theirs as our goals aligned. We’ve had five good years of collaboration and ReShare has scored some really impressive wins in the US consortial space. However, it’s not always been easy to see how these wins aligned with our original vision.

Today, we’re stepping into the same river again. Our vision of resource-sharing is one where libraries can choose the most appropriate tool for the job. The resource-sharing landscape has become more complex over the last five years. While ILL remains crucial, effectively navigating complementary approaches like Direct Consortial Borrowing requires flexibility and persistence. Our goals have started to diverge from the main thrust of the current ReShare implementors. Over the next months, we will return to our original vision for ILL, making ILL modules available as a first-class citizen in the FOLIO ecosystem. At the same time, we will be working with colleagues from EBSCO and MOBIUS to refine our approach to Direct Consortial Borrowing and integrate these approaches into a unified stack.

We are developing a roadmap for these components, and welcome all interest and feedback. Ideally we will have these modules ready for the FOLIO Poppy release. Moving forward, we will maintain these modules with the standard FOLIO release cadence.

Our initial roadmap will include

  • Significant renovations to the frameworks (Grails 5/6 and JDK 17/20) and tooling underpinning our ILL modules, addressing security and performance concerns
  • Restoring protocol and interoperability compliance to allow communication with other library systems, not just nodes running the same software
  • Conducting interoperability testing with our partner organisations.
  • Resolving security and authentication issues with the protocol endpoints
  • Introducing a sustainability and sponsorship system for these modules.

(Image on Blog page by: Yunus Esmeli from Pixabay)