INF 7435: Integrated Library Systems

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): INF 6080 and INF 6210, or permission of the instructor

Rationale for inclusion in curriculum

This course is intended to expose library and information professionals to the functions and components of an integrated library system (ILS), as well as the trends and issues relevant to the implementation of an ILS. The course content includes ILS concepts, history, and future predictions from the most prevalent researchers and authors in the industry. Students will also have the opportunity to put into practice the course concepts as they design and configure an ILS. No background in computer programming, mathematics, systems analysis, or any other similar field is assumed of students in the course.

The Integrated Library System (ILS) is the major component in the automated library. The ILS organizes, manages, displays, and retrieves electronic and print collections of information organizations. This class evaluates ILS technologies (commercial and open source) and addresses their implementation. The Online Patron Access Catalog (OPAC), the patron’s portal to the ILS, is also examined for aesthetics, function, usability, accessibility, relevance of returns, and options. Concerns of patrons and staff, trends in technology, and ILS components affect decisions regarding ILS implementation; these management concerns are reviewed in relationship to selecting and putting into operation an ILS.

Learning outcomes

By the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify major components of library information systems as related to the essential library functions, including eResources, authentication, discovery, circulation, cataloging, acquisitions, serials, and patron account management.
  2. Evaluate a typical discovery system from the patron and staff point of view by examining the OPAC or Discovery Layer's aesthetics, usability, accessibility, relevance of returns, and options.
  3. Evaluate a currently available ILS’s suitability for a specific library.
  4. Identify key considerations for training on the function and use of an automated system.


The following topics will be covered in this course:

  1. Evolution of the ILS
  2. Components and design of an ILS
  3. Past and Present of the ILS Industry
  4. Features of an Online Public Access Catalog
  5. Planning for Information Technology
  6. ILS selection and implementation
  7. Training staff to use technology
  8. Open source software and integrated library systems
  9. Technology standards and standards organization
  10. ILS in various library environments

Course methodology

The course delivery methodology will include:

  • Lectures
  • Readings
  • Class discussions and/or course blogs
  • Software demonstrations
  • Hands-on exercises and assignments

Bases for evaluation of student performance

The student’s performance will be evaluated using:

  • Midterm and final exams
  • Paper
  • Group ILS implementation project
  • Group presentation
  • Class participation


To be determined

Approved: 1/12

Updated: 8/13