The Model

2.1 Status

The Library Domain Model (DM) was a contracted deliverable of the JISC TILE project. The project was asked to articulate and exemplify a high level model which could be used to position the library domain in the context of Web 2.0 / Library 2.0 and the current and emerging global information environment.

The DM produced by the project (Version 1.0 – Ref TILE06) and also a supporting presentation (Ref TILE06a) are available for download at

Not all workshop delegates were aware of the extent of the documentation, therefore lacking clarity about the definition of each realm in terms of the processes underlying each realm. The next level of such roles and processes is defined and decomposed in TILE report.

2.2 Overall Assessment

Participants identified value in the Model for a range of practical purposes as well as for providing a general platform for dialogue; for example

• Expressing common vocabulary / framework / business processes to the rest of the world.
• Enabling the institution “buy in” to that articulation
• Thinking about the local context
• Thinking more broadly about why we do certain things
• Applied to catalogue and web service development
• Understanding and contextualising developments, such as the Cloud, new third party products and services, JISC services and global initiatives


Whilst the DM has the potential to be useful in these ways, it was emphasised that a number of aspects needed to be more fully or more explicitly detailed. These requirements are tabled here in the words of the participants:


DM Editor’s Response

Are realm descriptions indicative or prescriptive?

they are indicative and need to be flexible in terms of boundaries and
ongoing change, it is clear that the wording needs to be enhanced.


2. Is
this model scoped by the virtual world, covering only online information?
Remember that the Library’s USP is the offer of physical as well as virtual.

The DM is
intended to cover all content, services and interactions – virtual and physical.
This needs to be made clear – perhaps backed up with simple use cases.

Does the model cover delivery of the data from outside of the domain?

The DM Realms are designed to impose no distinction between inside and outside
the sector (e.g. Google may be a Corporation, Amazon may be a Channel,
Facebook may be a Client tool). We suggest that all such players are by
definition inside the domain, which should include any Corporation or Channel
that is part of the Client requirement in the pursuit of their learning
objectives. Herein lies an interesting challenge – whether the model should
recognise that the library domain serves wider and less clear cut client
purposes (see #4).


4. The scope of ‘academically or learning-motivated context’ needs to be
unrestrictive, including that which we do not yet know about

The context for the DM and of the Realm descriptions needs to be articulated in
more detail, recognising the challenges of Client purposes and motivations
above and beyond prescriptive study ‘on programme’. If the library is to
remain a useful ‘destination’, the definition of the domain must allow for
the unknown.


The model must cover the processes as well as the data (e.g. managing and
curating data in the Corporation realm).

As set out in the introduction, the documentation does decompose the DM in to
processes / activities. This may however require more work to be truly useful
and a comparison with the recently published OLE Schema might indicate the
appropriate level of usefulness for dialogue (as opposed to development).


6. Should corporations be attempting to deliver what the user wants or what the
corporation thinks they need? The model should be User / Client-centric
rather than Corporation-centric.

The DM is an integrated supply chain ecosystem and not a hierarchy with any party in
the driving seat. It does not take account of any feedback loops whereby the
users might express what they want. The responsibility for addressing requirements is not a function of any such model. The principle of user focus is however critical and the DM documentation could be enhanced to include guidance in this respect.


7. Users may have their own ‘domain’ model and their expectations may be orthogonal to
the corporations desire to exploit network intelligence

This could become a major challenge. As soon as we embrace more than the ‘academically or learning-motivated context’, we are likely to require a very complex
or even more generic model. We propose therefore that the DM should be geared
to a user-centric view of the library / information domain (which may be at
odds with the Corporation in some respects) as opposed to coverage of the
entirety of cradle to grave activity



2.3 Detailed Feedback

Detailed feedback largely focused on the Realms. This is very valuable as they are the
foundations of the model.



DM Editor’s Response

Maybe “Realms” should be “Roles“(e.g. A corporation could also play a client
and channel role. An individual could also play a channel role).

A very valid suggestion – the Realms idea is rich in some respects but perhaps
too obscure.

Maybe focus on ‘Corporate Services’ rather than the Corporation

This should be considered – perhaps ‘Corporate’ in line with the Roles suggestion


The definition of ‘Channel’ is perhaps too library-centric


should be addressed.

Ensure that Client to Client interactions fit in the model? (e.g.

think they already fit. It is however important to make that explicit.


Application of the Model

3.1 Scenarios developed

In order to assess how one might work with the DM to examine and specify a real requirement, the workshop groups developed three scenarios. Further detail of each is available in the Appendices.

• Corporation Scenario – The local OPAC is dead (Appendix 2.2)
• Channel Scenario – National Recommender Service (Appendix 3.2)
• Client Scenario – Maintaining current awareness (Appendix 4.2)

The workshop sessions were very time limited (40 minutes) and therefore it was not feasible to provide complete or polished documentation. It became clear that a longer period (e.g. 90 minutes) in smaller groups (e.g. 4-6 people) would have more productively exploited the DM method, which requires both thinking and documentation time.

Nevertheless, it is clear from the recorded information that each scenario could thereafter have been formalised in the sort of template used in the ‘Blue Peter’ examples in Appendix 5. The Channel example is a more complete illustration as the group elected to build on the pre-prepared scenario.

3.2 Further example scenarios

Further scenarios were envisioned in advance of the workshop in order to illustrate use of the model. Whilst each scenario is situated principally in one realm, the impact on the other realms is explored in each case.

These scenarios are found in Appendix 5:

• Corporation Scenarios

o Reduction of local cataloguing (detailed in appendix 5.1)
o Liberation of local catalogue data for wider services
o Enhanced local catalogue combining library, VLE & repository assets

• Channel Scenarios

o Sector-wide e-content licensing (detailed in Appendix 5.2)
o HEI holdings records incorporated in a wider commercial service
o ‘First stop’ sector wide online ‘subject librarian’ support service

• Client Scenarios

o Subject based forums (detailed in Appendix 5.3)
o One stop discovery source across library, VLE, etc for local resources
o ‘People like me’ service – just like Amazon or e-Music

Next steps

We have appraised the suggestions for next steps in two sequential groups – (1)
refining the model as a prerequisite to (2) what should be done to deploy and put
the DM to work

4.1 Refine the Model


Group 1 – Refine the model based on the
comments and reactions, as follows

DM editor comments

1. Provide a better description of the purpose
/ level of the model and the approach to ongoing development



2. Provide more contextual information, perhaps comparing & contrasting this with the JISC MODELS & IE scenario work to see where this fits in terms of modeling / application of models


This would be a useful Appendix – perhaps too arcane to include in the main body for the everyday reader

3. The model maybe needs to be in language and terminology that speaks to the wider sector

This needs careful consideration but is an important objective


4. Demonstrate how the model would apply in, and benefit, a local environment

A chapter on how to use the model with local environment scenarios / Use Cases would be useful


5. Clarify the fit of key developments and services (e.g. OCLC, COPAC, Suncat, what’s happening in Scotland)

These might provide good exemplars of using the DM to assess the positioning of and interfaces with a Channel; they would need to be written from all three Realm / Role perspectives.


4.2 Deploy the Model


Group 2 – Once that is done, put the DM
to work

DM editor comments

1. Do more evaluation with a different group –
possibly one that is less systems-oriented

A good suggestion – which could, of course,
lead to further revision


2. Get major HE LMS vendors to speak to it –
how do their product strategies fit in with it and in what timescale? Do not
leave this too long.


A good suggestion – which could, of course,
lead to further revision

3. Run more events covering landscapes at
local and global level, content, good and best practice

Focus on the two themes of local and global
(the distinction is very important), which could be structured to include
content and practice


4. Consider higher level discussions
(Director, PVC, HEFCE)

JISC and SCONUL could work jointly on this
opportunity, should the enhanced model prove to be sufficiently compelling



In addition to these four delegate proposals, we suggest that the DM should be used as one of the visioning and validation tools in

The business planning phase of the SCONUL Shared Services Feasibility Study
(September to November 2009)

Developing the 6 areas of investigation in the Libraries of the Future horizon scan


Feedback: Key things to move the LMS agenda forward

The following comments are taken from feedback forms completed by participants after the event.

Scope of the library domain – Progress is hampered by old-fashioned ideas about the nature and purpose of libraries on the part of senior university managers and even senior managers in converged services. We need to be making them aware that … the old model is gone

Integration within the HEI – Show the importance of LMS integration with university systems to colleagues outside the library world. Investigate approaches and best practice on how data can be shared between systems internally and externally to the corporation. Information flows in and out of the systems; the position of the LMS within a wider information environment.

Beyond LMS – The cloud is not just about the LMS so wider discussions about new models for digital library development; testing how independent alternative solutions can provide the same capabilities

Beyond local services – How can local institutional needs and for global discovery develop sympathetically and efficiently together

URM – If the LMS is heading towards a Unified Resource Management (URM – Ex Libris) model, JISC needs to be investigating the legal issues of the library community surrendering its data. Licensing issues will be crucial.

Data – Monitor closely the trend towards the “grab” of data by commercial organisations, and represent the UK library sector with a view to enhancing our role, rather becoming “turkeys voting for Christmas”.

Workflows – Work on workflows and the steps within them (different institutions may do the same things but in a different order). Also, don’t assume that all the ‘traditional’ items are all fully understood – e.g. reservations has changed dramatically with the move to 24-hour self-service libraries and acquisitions of all material is changing

Catch 22 – The difficulties of our changed requirements and the fact that we don’t appear to be able to afford new systems to meet them, therefore traditional vendors don’t develop those systems, and open source systems so far seem to replicate the old systems