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Library Company of Philadelphia
Request for Proposals for
Library Systems & Infrastructure Assessment and Development Planning

The Library Company of Philadelphia
The Library Company of Philadelphia is an independent research library specializing in American history and culture from the 17th through the 19th centuries. Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, the Library Company is America's oldest cultural institution and served as the Library of Congress from the Revolutionary War to 1800. The Library Company was the largest public library in America until the Civil War and includes the extensive personal libraries of such prominent early American bibliophiles as James Logan. Open to the public free of charge, the Library Company houses an extensive collection of rare books, manuscripts, broadsides, ephemera, prints, photographs, and works of art, and one of the world's largest holdings of early American imprints. Particular strengths of the collection include economic history, women's history, African American history, history of medicine, history of philanthropy, and visual culture. To find out more, please visit<> .

The Library Company seeks expert guidance with respect to needed improvements to integrated library systems, digital asset management, and on-line interfaces.  We seek one or more consultants to assess current needs in each area and make recommendations for forward-looking, cost-effective, unified management solutions as well as to make staffing recommendations for the management of library systems. The consultant is expected to draft a report compiling findings and recommendations.

Proposals and any questions regarding this RFP should be directed to Richard Newman at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> . We will begin reviewing proposals on August 21, 2014. Successful proposals will specify work plans, timelines, and costs for accomplishing the following:

*             Evaluate existing infrastructure, staffing levels, and service agreements
*             Identify risks for existing services and data, provide interim mitigation strategies
*             Evaluate existing and potential partnerships and collaborations with other area institutions, particularly members of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL)
*             Assess the feasibility of shared library systems between the Library Company and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania
*             Identify cost-appropriate vendors and products, both commercial and open source, for next-generation library digital infrastructure and services (in view of needed integration in library services, digital asset management, and on-line interfaces)
*             If different, identify ideal vendors and products with respect to the above
*             Provide cost and labor estimates for implementation of report recommendations

Integrated Library System
*             Interview catalogers and reference staff to understand technical services support needs
*             Make recommendations for augmenting  current integrated library system or  implementation of next generation library services platform system (including commercial software costs, programming and implementation costs, and/or ongoing staffing needs) that will:
o             Include  functioning accessioning and circulation modules tailored to the specific needs of the Library Company
o             Provide for unified metadata creation and searches of catalog records and digital assets
o             Automate cross-referencing of records in catalog and DAMS
o             Enable transition to RDA and other emerging linked metadata standards

Digital Asset Management
*             Interview IT Manager, Digital Collections Manager, and Digitization Specialist to understand existing infrastructure and workflows
*             Evaluate current state of digital preservation efforts
*             Understand Library Company goals for digital preservation
*             Work with staff to identify key features for next generation digital services
*             Make recommendations for overall digital archival strategy, including a new DAMS to accommodate improved asset management and access

Digital Interfaces
*             Consult with IT Manager and Digital Collections Manager to recommend integration of back-end storage and user interfaces
*             Interview staff to understand goals and plans for the institutional website and point of discovery for collections access, which includes but is not limited to the catalogs, finding aids, online exhibitions and other digital humanities projects
*             Recommend programming platforms and/or "out-of-the-box" tools
*             Recommend hardware, cloud services, and connectivity to support website and other digital interfaces

Current Library Company Systems
*             Catalog uses Ex Libris Aleph software, hosted by Ex Libris.  LCP licenses this software as part of PACSCL (Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries), and participates in the PACSCL union catalog.
*             DAMS uses Ex Libris Digitool software, hosted onsite at the Library Company.  Server is a Sun Fire v240, purchased 2005.  About 25,000 digital objects.
*             Digital archival storage, currently on 42TB or so of shared storage, with write-access limited to certain staff members.  Backed up to a secondary storage array in another building.  No automated management or batch-ingest processes.

*             Extensive knowledge of current library catalog and digital asset management solutions
*             Knowledge of current and developing standards for management and preservation of special collections and archives

Nicole H. Scalessa
IT Manager
The Library Company of Philadelphia
[log in to unmask]
215-546-3181 (W) 215-546-5167 (F)
610-731-8755 (Work Cell)