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In September 2009, the BNHM-IST Steering Committee directed us to look into loans.  See the September 9 meeting notes for a summary of the discussion.  Hoffman met with staff in UCMP and Essig to see how they do loans now and find out where the major pain points exist.  He corresponded with the Herbaria (Doran) and learned more about how they manage basic loans information in SMaSCH.

Update November 5, 2009: At a meeting with UCMP Director Caldwell and with UCMP Professor Lindberg, we agreed to pursue option 3 from the list below with an initial prototype. Rather than develop a solution that fixes all the problems for all museums, at this time we will provide a basic solution that allows UCMP staff and leadership to view loans information in one-web based location.

Update February 12, 2010: A basic solution for UCMP has been developed and was shown to Mark Goodwin and David Lindberg in January.  Other staff in UCMP now have access this read-only system. See UCMP Loans List for more information about the solution.

UC Museum of Paleontology

See the notes on UCMP Loans.

Essig Museum of Entomology

See the notes on Essig Loans.

University and Jepson Herbaria

Basic transactional loan information is managed in the XDB-based SMaSCH system.  For Andrew D., the emerging needs are related to "exchange, balances, triggers for overdue loans etc."

PAHMA

Information about PAHMA loans (loans out in particular) can be found on the CollectionSpace wiki.  PAHMA follows AAM requirements for loans and are somewhat more formal than for the other museums.

Analysis

From an analytical perspective, the functionality and information provided by the existing  UCMP and Essig systems are broadly similar.  Both rely on standalone systems that are not available beyond the curator responsible for the loans, and neither connects directly to the specimen database (or species lists). 

Alternatives

This is an initial list that has not been discussed with the museums.  The order that these are presented in does not represent any recommendation or preferences.

#

Description

Cost, Size

Pros

Cons

1

Export data from existing loan systems into current collection management system (using existing or new fields)

Low to moderate

Data in specimen system.
Visible to all via web.
Not disruptive to staff.

Limited data to be loaded without major changes to specimen system.
No process or data improvements.
Only visible for loans that have corresponding specimen record.

2

Create a web-based view of the loans information (export from existing system to HTML)

Low

Visible to all via web.
Simple solution.
Not disruptive to staff.

No process or data improvements, aside from common view of loans across sub-collections.
No visibility in specimen system.

3

Create a web-based view of the loans information (export from existing system to HTML) and insert limited information into current collection management system (using existing field)

Moderate

Visible to all via web.
Some information in specimen system.
Not disruptive to staff.

Limited data to be loaded without major changes to specimen system.
No process or data improvements, aside from common view of loans across sub-collections.

4

Generalize Access database (from Essig) for UCMP (no web-based view)

Moderate

Process and data evolve.
No change for Essig.
Visible to more via Access.

Windows only. Not on web.
Technology choice not aligned.
No visibility in specimen system.
Disruptive to UCMP staff.

5

Generalize Access database AND create export to update current collection management system

High

Process and data evolve.
No change for Essig.
Visible to all via web.

Technology choice not aligned.
Limited data to be loaded without major changes to specimen system.
Disruptive to UCMP staff.

6

Generalize Access database AND create web-based view of the loans information

Medium High

Process and data evolve.
No change for Essig.
Visible to all via web.

No visibility in specimen system.
Technology choice is not aligned.
Disruptive to UCMP staff.

7

Build loans module into existing systems (UCMP and Essig)

High

Visible to all via web.
Data in specimen system.
Data and process evolve.

Technology choice is not aligned.
Loan modules likely become specific modules for each museum (given different business logic).
Disruptive to staff.

8

Build loans module in Java (Seam or Struts 2 Just-In-Time application)

High

Visible to all via web.
Data and process evolve.
Technology choice more aligned.

Loan modules might become specific modules for each museum (given different business logic).
No visibility in specimen system.
Disruptive to staff.

9

Build loans list on CalShare (SharePoint)

Low

Data and process evolve.
Visible to all via web.
Simple.

Simple list functionality.
No visibility in specimen system.
Technology choice is not aligned.
Disruptive to staff.

10

Use loans module in Arctos

Medium high?

Data and process evolve.
Visible to all via web.

Risk of creating shadow specimen system.
No visibility in specimen system.
Disruptive to staff.

11

Use loans module in Specify

Medium high?

Data and process evolve.

Risk of creating shadow specimen system.
Only visible to Specify clients.
No visibility in specimen system.
Disruptive to UCMP staff.
No web-based view.

12

Wait for BNHM-IST endorsed platform

Low

No effort now.
Solution aligned with BNHM-IST decisions.
Would not require a subsequent change.

Solution is tied to migration to new platform.

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