Reasons for Integrated Library Systems (ILS) switching in Nigerian University Libraries
This study sought to determine the reasons for switching ILS among Nigerian university libraries. A qualitative research approach using multiple case study design was used to gain a better understanding of the problem; purposive sampling technique was used to select the participants. Interview was the instrument used for data collection, and the researcher conducted five interviews with five (5) participants from university libraries across the geo-political zones of Nigeria. Data were collected from June 2016 through July 2016. The analysis of data was done using themes derived from the objectives of the study. Findings revealed that delay in getting vendors support to fix ILS problems, some ILS have limited storage space to accommodate large data, crashing and data loss, and political considerations, were some of the reasons given by Nigerian University Libraries for switching ILS. The study, therefore, recommended among others that Nigerian university libraries should conduct adequate and thorough feasibility study based on the peculiar needs of their libraries before selecting the appropriate library software, libraries should adopt
and deploy open source ILS which are more cost effective and easier to maintain rather than buying proprietary ILS which were developed based on US and UK standards and which might not fit their needs. The study concluded that the switching over from one ILS to another by NUL studied is too frequent. The frequency of change is associated with lack of proper feasibility study and knowledge involved in determining the implications of frequent switching on the libraries.
Keywords: Reasons, Integrated Library Systems (ILS), Switching, Nigerian University Libraries