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Telematics for Libraries - Projects

MINSTREL

Udated: 03 JUL 1998

Project Number and Title
3091 - Management Information Software Tool - Research in Libraries
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 3/ IV Theme 18 bis February 1995 July 1997 29
Keywords
management information systems; decision support system; performance measurement/indicators; library management


blue bullet Additional information is available from the MINSTREL web site . (http://elsa.dmu.ac.uk/minstrel/)


Theme
Models and tools to support decision-making in libraries (Theme 18, bis)
Project description
MINSTREL aimed to develop software to make management information more accessible and easy-to-use in order to support decision making in libraries. The prototype software provided an independent environment within which data can be manipulated according to the defined requirements of the library and the individual librarian, including the generation of statistical ratios and performance measures, data integration and export to other decision tools.
The objectives of the project were to create and test a transformer for:
  • development of simple ratios suitable for producing performance
  • indicators;
  • bridging between data sets collected for library management information and tools used by librarians for decision support and library operation modelling.
Technical approach
The project had three phases - definition and specification; technical development; testing and evaluation - covering eleven workpackages:
  • Defining information requirements by analysing current work on performance indicators and data collection, determining data sets from library information and examining data protection issues;
  • Defining the management information transformer functions and capabilities;
  • Standards and tools for the technical development and statistical analyses;
  • Hardware/software procurement and installation;
  • Defining data import formats of previously determined data sets;
  • Defining data export formats for decision support purposes;
  • Development plan including the technical specification and testing schedule;
  • Transformer workbench development according to specified functionality and technology;
  • User interface optimisation to support defined user needs;
  • Transformer/graphical user interface integration, testing and evaluation in five libraries;
  • Documentation for system implementers, system administrators and end-user librarians.
Key issues
The main technical issues related to:
  • identification of the information required for decision making and its sources;
  • import and output formats and structures;
  • transformer functions;
  • user environments for the import and export of data;
  • structures for standard performance indicator reports.
Impact and results
The project:
  • simplified the transformation of data into usable information;
  • integrated data which encourages analysis & comparison of traditional and new forms of document delivery;
  • stimulated interest and encourage librarians to develop toolboxes;
  • contributed to the establishment and use of standard performance indicators.
The main results were:
  • specifications and methodologies for importing and exporting data;
  • prototype transformer and user documentation.
  • The MINSTREL software tool will directly contribute to the efficiency of European academic and public libraries by improving decision making at all levels.
Deliverables
The main deliverable was the integrated prototype transformer, with the test user interface. Certain project reports, specifications, plans, profiles, standards, installation instructions and technical documentation are classified as restricted or confidential.
In the public domain are:
  • Performance indicators, data collection work and data set requirements report;
  • Data protection implications;
  • User needs report;
  • Transformer functional definition;
  • Standards and tools analysis;
  • Data sources format profile;
  • Importing and exporting requirements and methodology;
  • Definition and user documentation;
  • Final report .
Documentation and deliverables (in PDF format) are available from the contacts below, fromhttp://elsa.dmu.ac.uk/minstrel/ and from http://www.cms.dmu.ac.uk/~djh/library/projects/minstrel.html .


Coordinator

Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
De Montfort University, Division of Learning Development UK - LEICESTER LE1 9BH UK
Title, First Name, Name Professor Stephen BROWN Address:
Tel: +44 116-257 71 73 Fax: +44-116-257 71 70
E-mail 1: sbrown@dmu.ac.uk E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
BLCMP Ltd. UK P
PICA NL P
University College Dublin IRL P
Universiteit Twente NL P


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