A University library committee has recommended that the Harvard library system be switched from the Harvard On-Line Library Information System (HOLLIS) to HOLLIS II by early 1997, according to a library staff publication.
HOLLIS II, like HOLLIS, will be a computer system supporting the internal operations of the libraries and providing the on-line catalog available to students.
But while not detailing specifics of the new system, the library's automation planning committee said HOLLIS II will be more advanced, according to last week's issue of the Harvard University Library Notes.
HOLLIS II will allow for easier connections to other computer networks. And it will rely on new software different from the nearly obsolete IBM programs currently used on HOLLIS.
Although the committee said that HOLLIS has been an adequate operating tool for the past decade, the newsletter says that "no system... lives forever."
In its report, the committee listed several factors motivating the University to change systems.
The "profound change happening in information technology" is expanding the libraries' computer needs beyond individual computers to a general network approach.
HOLLIS operates on a system "that is a very cumbersome tool in a networked world," the report said.
Changes in the library environment also forced the University to
"There are many new tools and techniquesavailable today which provide for more rapid andagile systems development," although HOLLIS is nottechnically equipped to implement thosedevelopments, according to the report.
Committee members also predicted that theHOLLIS system's IBM software "will becomeobsolete" by the end of the 20th century.
Harvard should buy HOLLIS II instead ofbuilding it, as the University had to do withHOLLIS in the 1980s.
"The systems marketplace has developed to thepoint where there are realistic commercialalternatives for us to consider," the report said.
Members are now investigating a number ofpossible system vendors, according to thenewsletter.
The committee has met for 18 months "to reviewthe changing state of library automation, and toplan the strategy Harvard should follow as itmoves to HOLLIS II," the newsletter said