About the new Franklin Project
About new Franklin
Why a New Franklin?
This project is far more than an overhaul of the Libraries catalog. It is a milestone in a broader effort that seeks to achieve three goals. The first is to enrich discovery for our users; the second, to accommodate our library services to their manner of work; and the third, to develop a flexible, modular information architecture that will gracefully and cost-effectively deliver new services and functionality as technology changes.
Enrich Discovery - New Franklin sits within a platform that will provide a single search and delivery point integrating access to our physical collections; to BorrowDirect+ search and request; to subscription databases; and to our growing collections of DLA- managed digital objects and other repository materials. Users will negotiate fewer silos to find the information they need, and the tools we provide them will be more powerful and easier to use than those offered by our legacy systems.
Accommodate the Library to the User - To make New Franklin a full functional service, we have developed an extensible and generalized set of interactive services for users. These make it possible for people to access borrower information, renew books, to edit personal data, and to engage services that operate with our search functions, for example to request materials from storage or interlibrary loan. In time, our interactive capabilities will extend to allow faculty to create researcher profiles; to offer users accounts in our institutional repository; to request streaming media services from within courseware; and manage request activity with our resource sharing partners. These interactive services will also be a medium for helping authors engage with discipline-related repositories or publication services beyond Penn. Where in the past a user would adapt their workflow to the requirements of our systems, the architectural solutions we are devising for the future will adapt to them.
Flexible, Modular vs Tightly-coupled and Closed - We are entering an exciting period of computing which emphasizes the isolation and loose-joining of moving parts. For example, the DLA-Discovery technology that supports search functions in New Franklin can be integrated with many different backend databases, not just Voyager, to provide users a seamless experience of search and the interactive parts of our digital environment. This modular, loosely-coupled architecture employs a range of technologies that can be upgraded or replaced without deconstructing the whole. It also provides much greater flexibility in designing internal workflow, which will shorten the time needed to bring new services online and link them with any existing service array.
It is important to see New Franklin within this evolving strategic context, which focuses on enhancing the user experience of the library while ensuring the economy, growth, and sustainability of our services.