Options analysis NHS library resource sharing: market review and options appraisal

This section considers the extent to which each of these developments has potential to improve resource sharing in the NHS in England

ISO ILL compliant LMSs 

None of the LMS in use in the NHS at present use the protocol, and it will be some years before there will be regional LMSs in place with the potential to use the standard across the country. Therefore, his is not an option for the short or medium term. The requirements document for the East of England and Kent, Surrey, Sussex regional LMSs includes ISO ILL compliance and it would be sensible to include this in other processes for regional LMS. It might prove possible to implement ISO ILL based resource sharing across some regions. 


RapidILL is a functional solution with a focus on non-returnables. It is a sustainable and developing solution adopted by several library consortia, and provided by a major library system vendor, Ex Libris. To take advantage of RapidILL in the NHS, we would need to establish whether holdings data from the national EBSCO system (in KBART15 format) can be uploaded to RapidILL. The response on this from Ex Libris has been positive but with some qualifications around the detail of data mapping. LMS deployed now or in the future would require integration with RapidILL. Indicative costing for deployment of RapidILL for the NHS has been requested but not yet received. 


Tipasa is a functional solution which can manage returnables, non-returnables and chargeable ILDS services. It is a sustainable and developing solution adopted by several library consortia and is provided by a major library system vendor, OCLC.  The OCLC WMS LMS is already deployed in one NHS region and we anticipate that OCLC will bid for upcoming regional LMS procurements. Like Ex Libris, OCLC has been positive about the ability to load journal holdings from KBART files with qualifications around the details of data mapping. Other key issues to be resolved are whether Tipasa will integrate with the ILL functions of LMSs other than OCLC WMS and Ex Libris Alma. A further issue is whether NHS libraries are happy to have their records in WorldCat (even if they can be excluded from inter Loans). Indicative costing for deployment of Tipasa for the NHS has been requested but not yet received. 


ReShare is not as well developed as either RapidILL or Tipasa. Its current focus is returnables rather than non-returnables. Nevertheless we do not discount it at this stage and we recommend that they be includes in any further discussions. However to participate in this initiative, HEE would need to work on a partnership basis to deliver the solution required. A UK-based development partner, Knowledge Integration, is considered by ReShare as a key asset and could be a useful partner. They are UK-based and have a track record in development of ILDS solutions .16 

Working with EBSCO to develop a national holdings database (NHD)  

As EBSCO will be maintaining a knowledgebase of NHS library holdings in KBART format to ‘feed’ the national discovery service, a further option for HEE to consider is working with EBSCO to enable the same knowledgebase to ‘feed’ a national journal holdings database which library staff could interrogate and library systems interact with for interlibrary document supply. Discussions with EBSCO are still underway on feasibility and cost. They have suggested it could be developed using the EBSCO content management system (Stacks17 ). Uncertainties remain about how it could manage load balancing and how integration with LMS could be achieved. This development would be a bespoke build and as such require both development costs and ongoing maintenance costs. 


[15] "KBART, which stands for 'Knowledge Bases and Related Tools,' is a NISO Recommended Practice". http://www.niso.org/standards-committees/kbart/kbart-frequently-asked-questions

[16] Our role in Project ReShare development and a call for participation. Knowledge Integration 2020? [blog]https://www.k-int.com/role-project-reshare-development-call-participation/

[17] EBSCO Stacks https://www.ebsco.com/products/stacks-library-websites