A new library management system for the university library - What does that mean for you?

Last updated: April 12, 2021


The library introduces a modern web-based library management system and converts the Catalogue.plus! to a new technical platform. The introduction is planned for April 27, 2021.

As part of the state initiative Digital University and funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science, more than 40 university libraries in North Rhine-Westphalia will replace their local library management systems with a modern web-based system (Alma) by 2023.

The University Library, along with five other university libraries, will be among the first institutions to start using the new system on April 27, 2021. With the change of the library management system, the Catalogue.plus! for researching books, articles and web documents, as well as the personal loan account, will also be placed on a new technical platform (open source software VuFind).


What is a library management system?

The library management system is the central administration software for the control of essential core processes in a modern scientific library: lending, renewal, reservation of media, user data administration and personal lending account, fee and reminder processes, acquisition of new electronic and physical media, cataloguing and verification of holdings in the local library catalogue and other verification systems, statistical evaluation of processes.

In short, the library management system is the backbone of the library.

 


What will change for you with the new library management system?

Find out here about the changes that are associated with the system changeover for you. The information will be expanded in the coming weeks.


More consistently than before, all notifications, e.g. about loan deadlines, reservations ready for collection or fees, as well as loan or return receipts will only be sent to you by email. This saves a lot of paper, ensures fast communication and opens up the possibility of sending you additional service information about your loans.

A valid email address is therefore a prerequisite for using the library. If you have already entered your email address in your loan account, nothing will change for you: your email address will be transferred to the new library management system.

You have not yet entered an email address in your loan account?

Please enter your desired email address in your loan account by April 16, 2021 at the latest, so that it will also be available in your new loan account after the changeover to the new library management system.
If you have any questions about logging into your circulation account, please contact info.ub@uni-bielefeld.de.

What happens if you miss this deadline and have not entered an email address in your loan account by April 16, 2021?

You are a student of the University of Bielefeld? - The @uni-bielefeld.de address assigned by BITS is preset for you in your new loan account.
You are an employee of Bielefeld University? - The @uni-bielefeld.de address assigned by the BITS or ? if available ? Your contact email from the PEVZ is preset for you in your new loan account.
Are you an external user? - From April 27, 2021 you can register your email address via the PRISMA portal.

You can change your email address for communication with the library at any time via the PRISMA portal. A change of the email address directly in the loan account is no longer possible after April 16, 2021.

Personal ID
The UniID is your new and permanent personal identification also in the library. You use the UniID to log in to your loan account and other library services or to make inquiries to the library.
The UniID is printed on the front of your UniCard.

Library card number
The previous library card numbers will no longer be used. In future, the Unicard serial number will be read out for borrowing purposes. Use your UniID when logging into the Circulation Account and other library services.

Library password:
A personal password exclusively for using library services will no longer be used. Your current library password for logging in to the circulation account is no longer valid.

Instead, use your web password for web authentication with Shibboleth (login to the loan account, interlibrary loan order) and your PRISMA password for login to the PRISMA portal (e.g. when changing the email address for communication with the library).

What to do if you do not know your web password or your PRISMA password?
Use the "forgotten password" function on the PRISMA portal login page.
After successfully logging in to the PRISMA portal, you can also reset your web password there. For students and employees of Bielefeld University, the web password is also used for other services (e.g. the eKVV).
External users can also contact the Central Lending Department of the library.

Further information on the web password and PRISMA can be found in the sections "Log in to the loan account" and "Maintenance of your personal data".

To log in to your personal loan account use the web authentication with Shibboleth.
Students and employees of Bielefeld University use their BITS user name or matriculation number or UniID and the web password to log in. As a rule, this is the password that is also valid for the PRISMA portal.
External users use their UniID and the web password to log in. As a rule, this is the password that is also valid for the PRISMA portal.
You can also use the web authentication with Shibboleth when you order books or essays via interlibrary loan or when you reserve media in the catalogue.plus!

What do you do if you don't know your web password or your PRISMA password?
Use the "Forgot password?" function on the PRISMA portal login page.
After successfully logging in to the PRISMA portal, you can also reset your web password there. For students and employees of Bielefeld University, the web password is also used for other services (e.g. the eKVV).
External users can also contact the Central Lending Department of the library.

The maintenance of your personal data is no longer done directly in the loan account, but exclusively in the PRISMA portal. Here you can change the desired email address for communication with the library or the web password you need to log in to the loan account. For students and employees of Bielefeld University the web password is also used for other services (e.g. the eKVV).

What to do if you do not know your PRISMA password?
Use the "Forgot password?" function on the PRISMA portal login page.
External users can also contact the Central Lending Desk of the library.

If you still have a valid barcode library card, you can continue to use it. With a barcode card, however, you can only borrow media from the lending terminal. Only the return of media is possible at the Self-Service Units.
To log in to the loan account you also have to use the web authentication with Shibboleth (see section "Log in to the loan account").
When applying for a UniCard as a service card or student card, this also includes the function as a library card and replaces the previous barcode card.

The known loan periods of 30 days or 15 days for borrowable media will be retained. Extensions of the loan period are still possible. The length of the maximum possible loan period after extensions also remains largely the same. However, the maximum loan period is no longer determined by the number of possible extensions, but there is a total loan period measured by calendar days. Within this period, renewals are possible as long as the item is not reserved elsewhere. With each renewal, the loan period is extended by a further 30 or 15 days, but not beyond the total loan period.

This new loan period system is valid for loans from 19.04.2021:

Loan period 30 days - Total loan period 180 days (previously: 30 days, max. 5 extensions)
Loan period 15 days - Total loan period 85 days (previously: 15 days, max. 5 renewals)

For items that you have just borrowed at the time of the changeover to the new library system, the current loan period end date displayed in the loan account remains unchanged. For further renewals, however, the new loan period system already applies.

The extended loan periods offered in the past months due to the Corona pandemic, with up to 8 renewals, will not be continued.

When all available copies of a work are checked out, you no longer have to decide for yourself which copy to reserve. You simply place a hold and receive the first copy returned. A reservation can only be made once all the copies available to you have been borrowed. It is no longer possible to reserve several copies of the same work.

The loan account is automatically blocked if outstanding fees of 50 EUR or more have been incurred. Borrowing is then no longer possible. Media that have already been borrowed can be renewed within the applicable loan periods. As soon as the fees have been paid in full or in part and the total of outstanding fees falls below 50 EUR again, the account will be automatically unblocked.

Borrowing of non-circulating media
Scientists and employees of the University can borrow non-circulating media from all subject libraries. This does not apply to journals and loose-leaf publications. The lending of books to scientists and employees, which was previously only possible in some subject libraries, has been made possible due to the Corona pandemic and will be retained permanently as part of the standardisation of lending conditions.
The loan period is 15 days. Provided that there are no other reservations, extensions are possible up to a maximum total loan period of 65 days.

Permanent authorisation for borrowing replaces the second library card.

Academics of the University can grant a permanent power of attorney to up to 3 persons (e.g. assistants or secretarial staff) in order to borrow media in the library on their behalf. A separate ID card is no longer required, as the authorized person(s) will be activated in the library management system for the lending account of the person giving the authorization.

What do you have to do to set up a permanent power of attorney for borrowing? - You use a power of attorney form to declare which person you would like to authorize. The authorized person presents the power of attorney form at the Central Loan Office and identifies himself/herself with his/her UniCard in order to have the power of attorney registered. If the long-term power of attorney is to be revoked, please inform the Central Loan Office.

Is the permanent power of attorney for borrowing secure? - The authorized person must identify himself/herself with his/her own UniCard when borrowing on behalf of the library. You will receive a borrowing or return receipt by email for borrowings and returns, which also shows who carried out the action.

Using the permanent authorisation, local and interlibrary loan media can be borrowed and returned at the lending terminal or at the terminal of the Central Lending Desk, or reservations can be collected. Only the return of items is possible at the self-check-out terminal.

Existing second library cards for loans on order can still be used during a transitional period until the end of 2021. Borrowing is also only possible at the lending terminal. Returns can also be made at the self-check-in terminal. New second library cards will no longer be issued.

Lending for offices
The long-term lending of literature for research purposes will not be continued. This lending option, which is only used to a limited extent in individual faculties, will be discontinued as part of the standardization of lending conditions implemented with the new library management system.


What restrictions will you face during the changeover?

During and in preparation for the changeover to the new library management system and the new Catalogue.plus!, downtimes and restrictions on library use are unfortunately unavoidable, as extensive data migrations are necessary for the changeover - both locally and at the level of the union catalogue of all North Rhine-Westphalian university libraries operated by the Hochschulbibliothekszentrum NRW (hbz).

You can always find out about the current status here.

 


In March and April the provision of new media for use will be slower than usual.

Ordering books via interlibrary loan is only possible until March 21, 2021. Interlibrary loan books for which you receive a collection notification can still be collected from the Central Loan Office after this date with the collection deadline stated in the notification. All open orders can only be collected from April 27, 2021 at the earliest, as soon as you have received a corresponding collection notification.
It is expected that interlibrary loan orders for books can be placed again from April 27, 2021.

The ordering of journal articles via interlibrary loan is not affected by the changeover to the new library management system and is possible without interruptions.

Reservations for borrowed media for which you have not received a pick-up notification by April 19, 2021 can unfortunately not be migrated to the new library management system for technical reasons and therefore expire.

Please archive open reservations that you still need until April 26, 2021 at the latest by printing out the list of reserved media in your lending account or by noting the works you need.

As of April 27, 2021, please reserve the media again using the new Catalogue.plus!

 

As of April 16, 2021, 8.00 pm, the Catalogue.plus! and the personal loan account will be "frozen". Until the new library management system and the new Catalogue.plus! go online on April 27, 2021, only reading access will be possible.

This means for the period from April 16 to April 27, 2021:

In the Catalogue.plus! borrowed media cannot be reserved or magazine stocks cannot be ordered. Literature research and the use of e-books and e-journals will continue to be possible. No current loan status will be displayed in the Catalogue.plus! for media borrowed or returned in restricted lending mode after April 19, 2021.

No renewals can be made in the loan account. The overview of borrowed items, reservations, orders and fees can still be viewed. Changes to the email address or password are not possible. Your loans and returns during the restricted lending period from April 19, 2021 will not be shown in the loan account.

Print or make a note of your open reservations or orders, as these will not be migrated and will expire!

 

From April 19 to April 23, 2021 a restricted offline lending operation is planned. Changes are reserved and will be communicated in due time:

This is possible:
Lending and return
Picking up reserved media
Research in the Catalogue.plus! and use of e-books and e-journals
Viewing the loan account (read-only access)

Unfortunately this is not possible:
Special lending of items in stock for all users
Reservations and orders in the Catalogue.plus!
Renewal of borrowed media
change of email address in the loan account
Interlibrary loan orders for books

If necessary, please renew before the start of offline service.

 

For final work on the system changeover, lending operations will be suspended on April 26, 2021. Loans and returns will not be possible on this day. Presence use will be offered if the Corona regulations allow this, otherwise the library will remain closed. We will inform you on short notice according to the current situation.

From April 27, 2021 the new Catalogue.plus! and the new library system should go online. Unfortunately, it cannot be ruled out at this time that further work on the system conversion and possibly restrictions will be necessary beyond this date; we will inform you of this in good time.