I am writing to correct some errors that appeared in a recent Crimson article titled "Library System Will Change" (Feb.11).
Yes--the University Library is currently planning a replacement for our current HOLLIS system. This project has been dubbed the HOLLIS II Project, but the system itself will probably continue to be called HOLLIS.
We expect the new system will be based on state-of-the-art technology, but not (to quote the original article) "old technology in a new world." The current HOLLIS system functions well at this time, but is based on underlying technology that is getting old. There are new things we want our automated system to provide--such as a Web-based online catalog, self-renewal of books, links to full text--that the current system cannot do or does not do well.
Our next generation HOLLIS system will be purchased from one of nine automated library system vendors. Actually, we expect to reduce the vendor pool from nine to three or four before making a final choice. But we are not selecting (to quote the original article) "three or four commercial vendors to develop and install the system."
The final quote in the article is not so much incorrect as it is unintelligible. The point is: although the 2 1/2 year project to replace our current HOLLIS system will absorb much of the libraries' time and energies, we expect there to be a big payoff in terms of performance and the new services it will provide. More than this we cannot say until a new system has been selected.
One thing is definitely true--HOLLIS II planners are very interested in your input. The HOLLIS II Project has a Web site (http://hul.harvard.edu/hollis2/) offering much more information and many opportunities to send comments. If you use HOLLIS, consider using the COMMENT facility to send your comment. After selecting a database, enter the COMM command and select option 5 to send a comment about HOLLIS II. --Julie Wetherill HOLLIS II Communications Officer Office for Information Systems Harvard University Library