This is an introduction to the core services offered by SILS. These services are delivered by the SILS Office and staff, and have been approved by the SILS Board. Some services are accompanied by a Service Level Definition, which may be linked below as a seperate document.
Integrated Library System
SILS uses the Polaris integrated library software to help members manage many aspects of their library, including tracking assets, facilitating the cataloguing of materials, powering end-user search interfaces and self-serve account pages, and relaying account notifications to third-party services for delivery via email, telephone and SMS. SILS Office staff are responsible for maintaining and hosting this software, and they configure it as required to meet the needs of SILS member libraries.
SILS migrated to Polaris in 2015. SILS staff work closely with Polaris product analysts and engineers to develop and implement solutions that meet our member libraries' needs. SILS hosts the Polaris ILS at the Rackforce datacentre, a Canadian owned and operated company located in Kelowna, BC.
More info coming soon...
The SILS Office offers consortium members a number of options for data reporting, extraction and formatting of statistics from the ILS. This data allows members to track library use in a number of ways and provides information to assist with decision making. As well as offering members access to a number of staff-driven reporting options, SILS Office staff also build custom reports that are available here on CNET using the appropriate credentials.
In addition to the standard ILS reporting options, the SILS Office introduced a real time Visual Reporting Service in the fall of 2016. The purpose of this service is to make data more accessible and more immediately transparent in order to generate an understanding of the volume and types of interactions member agencies have with their patrons via the ILS. The Visual Reporting service is meant to inspire evidence-based decision making, create an understanding of the data that is common to all staff, help member agencies celebrate their achievements, and discover new and emerging trends. The data is displayed in real time in order to be immediately relevant and to inspire SILS member agencies to make data-driven decisions to improve their services. More detail about this aspect of the Data Reporting service can be found here: Service Level Definition. Libraries that host their websites with SILS can access agency specific dashboards when accessing the pages on CNET using the appropriate credentials (https://yourlibrarydomain.ca/dashboard1 or, for example, https://lakelandlibrary.ca/dashboard1).
The SILS Office maintains the system that electronically notifies borrowers of requests that are ready for pick-up and overdue items. SILS uses cloud-based third-party service providers to deliver notifications generated in the ILS by phone, e-mail or SMS. These service providers are industry leaders that help SILS guarantee delivery of approximately 1500 phone notices and over 5500 e-mail notices every day. The e-mail service in particular has reduced the time library staff must spend correcting patron accounts by handling bounced e-mail automatically.
Web Development and Hosting
In 2015, the SILS Office launched a website framework that was used by the regional libraries. This framework provided a common user experience for public library patrons across the province and allows regional libraries to collaborate on new developments.
Also in 2015, SILS staff began developing a custom user interface for the SILS catalogue search. This simple interface is easy for patrons to use and integrates a number of other services, such as the NoveList Select API, which provides access to a database of reading recommendations.
In 2017 this service recieved several updates, notably to the user experience, the responsive layout, and the backend infrastructure, including SSL. In addition, the integrated search and account modules were made available to RPL and SPL as Drupal modules so that they could be integrated directly within their websites, too, which are not hosted by SILS. This integration keeps library customers within the library website when customers use the search and account functions, and it is unique to this service offering in that 3rd party vendors have not yet achieved integration on this level.
SILS hosts the website framework at the Digital Ocean (DO) datacenter. DO provides fast and convenient cloud technology that enables SILS staff to easily and efficiently manage website infrastructure.
This service is continually updated and improved. A full list of updates can be found on the ChangeLog.
The SILS Intranet is accessible to member library staff. It provides a space for internal news items, listings of upcoming events, and a database of library contacts. It is also used as a document repository for library staff and committee members.
Google is the primary email service provider for SILS members. The SILS Office ensures that at least one staff member maintains a current 'Certified Administrator' certificate for the Google Apps for Work program in order to provide effective support and training for SILS members that self-manage the Google Apps for Work platform.
Google Apps for Work is designed to enable organizations to more easily manage email, calendars, documents and online storage. Self-service and limited operational infrastructure are what make the service a good fit for SILS. The SILS Office uses Google services almost exclusively - the local office network has been completely replaced as a result.
SILS Office staff maintain an active Helpdesk and Knowledge Base for the most common questions encountered with all services. The knowledge base is accessible to all member staff. Staff without a helpdesk login can use the generic login to access the checklist: login: email@example.com password: blue8
Library2go is a shared province-wide collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks provided by the members on behalf of the consortium. The collection is purchased and maintained by all the public library systems and the Provincial Library and Literacy Office and is available to all public library patrons in the province.
Interlibrary loan services are provided by Palliser Regional Library. Interlibrary loans allow patrons access to materials that are not owned by any Saskatchewan public libraries. Palliser coordinates the loan of these materials from university collections or public libraries outside the province.
Community Net is an initiative of the provincial government which provides libraries with access to a protected, controlled network environment.
Cataloguing is coordinated by the Provincial Library and Literacy Office and performed by staff at designated cataloguing agencies.
Database authentication through EZProxy is managed by the Provincial Library and Literacy Office.