The Unclassifiable Library Remix

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Odyssey of Odyssey

The Odyssey of Odyssey - Google Video

I found this video while doing some research for a current project. I found it an amusing diversion from the software documentation I was reading, and thought I would share.

Odyssey is the document delivery portion of Atlas's ILLiad software for interlibrary loan proccessing. I am in the process of implementing this software for my library - which is much more complicated than it would first appear. Not only does the software have to be set up and customizations configured, but I am also looking at work flow from the ground up, as this is an area where my ILL staff and circulation staff are going to overlap. I realized that, since we did not previously have document delivery, there was a lot of duplication in the tasks being done, and am trying to smooth out the process. Setting the software up was very easy - I just asked Atlas to turn it on for me, and they completed the set-up, leaving me to handle only the customizations. While this project is taking many hours of work, in the end it will pay off with additional services to patrons and a simpler work flow in the department. Add direct request and automated delivery, and we reduce the request load as well.

Why implement Odyssey when we have Ariel? Well, for one Odyssey will fully integrate with ILLiad, which we already use for interlibrary loan processing, and it is open source programming. Secondly, because Ariel is just not the software it once was. Problematic functionality and poor technical support are leading the anti-Ariel revolution, as the caustic comments on the Arie-l discussion list serve to underscore. And since the stand alone version of Odyssey (which works without having to purchase ILLiad) is absolutely free - it's all the more reason to make the switch - and many libraries are either switching completely or running both systems. The more libraries that join in this venture, the less Ariel with it's non-open source programming will be needed, as many libraries are hanging on to it only so they can supply other libraries who have only Ariel. Vive la revolution!!


Nate said...

Does odyssey and accompanying software reduce costs and time or effort?

Nate from DC

Unclassifiable Librarian said...

All of the above!

Nate said...

How so?