Faculty Publications

Creating, Designing, And Building An Electronic Reserve System

Document Type



Electronic reserves, Open source software, Programming

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery and Electronic Reserve





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The purpose of this article is to provide the basic requirements and design for the in-house development of an electronic reserve system and to identify some of the pros and cons of implementing a homegrown system. The requirements contain enough technical detail to give the reader guidance for building a homegrown electronic reserve system, but are described in layman’s terms so as not to turn this article into a technical specification manual. These requirements can alternately aid in evaluating third party stand-alone electronic reserve systems and integrated electronic reserve system modules from library automation vendors, or they can serve as a basis for developing a request for proposals (RFP). This article does not address image or text capture hardware, software, or workflow processes needed to populate an electronic reserve system. Instead, it is concerned with the database structure needed to support an electronic reserve system, the system architecture that enables the delivery of digitized course readings to the end user, the user interface that provides access to those images, and the copyright compliance mechanisms. The Web Course Reserve System described in this article is available as a prototype at the following Web site: http://www.uni.edu/~wynstra/ wcrs. This Web site includes scripts and design documents that can be used for recreating this prototype if the reader desires to use it as a starting point for local development. © 2005, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.


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