At the March 15th plenary meeting of the DSC a new resolution on the CUNY Library Catalog was adopted. In essence, students demanded that CUNY facilitate catalog maintenance and improvement, which will lead to improved accuracy of search results and better inter-‐ operability of the CUNY+ catalog with other library networks and search services.
We were fortunate to receive a response from Curtis Hendrick, University Dean for Libraries and Information Resources. His response is copied below.
Dear Ms. Donlon:
Thank you for sharing the resolution on the CUNY Library Catalog, passed unanimously by the Doctoral Students’ Council plenary, on March 15th, 2013. As you point out, the CUNY library management system performs many mission critical functions for the entire university and is vital to the success of faculty and students at CUNY. We are aware that users have experienced some dissatisfaction with the system, and continue to make changes to improve.
Last year we upgraded to new hardware to improve system performance. We are currently in the midst of a project to re-index the database this summer, and we have initiated planning to migrate to the current release of the software. Funding has been approved to procure a library discovery system that will enable researchers to search across multiple databases and the catalog at one time rather than having to work sequentially, and we recently introduced a service that helps users to discover relevant literature based on usage patterns of researchers around the world. In January 2013 we made a mobile catalog interface available to all users of CUNY libraries “on the go.”
As systems of all types become more complex the need for staff with specialized training and skills on specific systems becomes more critical. Moreover, during these uncertain budget times there are benefits of having predictable technology upgrade costs for servers. As we have done with other enterprise-wide systems at CUNY, we are exploring the option of moving to a cloud-based hosting arrangement with our system vendor. The Office of Library Services is working closely with Computer Information Services and colleagues in the Offices of Procurement and General Counsel to better understand the implications of such a change.
Ms. Donlon, thank you again for your letter; we share your interest in improving library systems so that they better support the work of our faculty and students.
Curtis L. Kendrick
University Dean for Libraries and Information Resources