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The Durban University of Technology (DUT) Library is honoured to be the first university library in Africa to join the Future of Libraries Is Open (FOLIO) community in implementing a truly modern, open-source Library Services Platform (LSP). DUT will contribute to reimagining library software through collaboration with international libraries, developers and vendors to provide libraries with more choices and delivering new services to the users.

The implementation was conducted and executed by the local service partner Universal Knowledge Software (UKS) and Elton B. Stephens Company (EBSCO) Information Services. EBSCO, the leading provider of research databases, e-journals, magazine subscriptions, eBooks and discovery service for academic libraries, will continue to provide infrastructure, integration and hosting services for the University with EBSCO FOLIO.

According to DUT’s Information Systems and Resources Library Manager, Sagren Moodley, FOLIO will integrate with other Library and University systems, including DUT’s learning management system.

“DUT will leverage the FOLIO LSP for the management of users and circulation operations, as well as cataloguing activities. The Library has integrated FOLIO with EBSCO Discovery Service™ (EDS), advancing the search experience for researchers and students and enabling them to easily locate materials digitally or within the library,” said Moodley.

Furthermore, Moodley explained that DUT Library went live with FOLIO EDS on 01 July 2021. He said the DUT community can be assured that with FOLIO EDS they have access to one of the most advanced tools that will improve their discovery of print and electronic material, including DUT research and open access resources.

EBSCO’s Manager of FOLIO Consulting Services, Anya Arnold said EBSCO has been working closely with UKS and DUT to create a more efficient library workflow.

Speaking about how this initiative will benefit DUT, Arnold said: “DUT will benefit greatly from the customisation offered by the FOLIO LSP. FOLIO was developed by libraries for libraries, offering core functionality found in traditional library systems while allowing libraries to meet their ever-changing needs.”

Universal Knowledge Software’s CEO, Neesha Ramsumar said UKS hopes to continue helping libraries in Africa to implement solutions that improve their workflows.

“The FOLIO implementation at DUT has taken away the adage, ‘all libraries are the same,’ taking this highly flexible and cutting-edge open source software and tailoring it to suit the library’s needs. Adaptability is key to any library’s success. As the first library to implement FOLIO in Africa, DUT is on their way to being Africa’s pioneer,” said Ramsumar.

In the coming months, DUT Library users can expect additional user services to be integrated with FOLIO EDS.

Pictured: DUT’s Indumiso Campus Library.

Simangele Zuma

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