IDEAL is a ready platform for Agricultural Libraries of Indian National Agricultural Research & Education System (NARES) which enables them to adopt Integrated Library Management System for their day to day operations of all their library functionality. It is a software platform built on ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) concept to provide hassle free, ready to use, international standards based platform for sharing library holdings through an union catalog (AgriCat). An integrated digital library delivered at the desk of researchers, faculty and students of NARES can definitely boost the quality of research output and save time. Libraries can reduce cost incurred in procuring books & other library resources by sharing through this digital system.
At present 38 libraries of NARES as a part of eGranth project supported by National Agriculture Innovation Project (NAIP) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have endeavor to establish IDEAL platform which is easily extendible to more libraries covering whole NARES. Vast resources spread all over NARES can be made accessible by few clicks.
For library users all over NARES, an Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) of their own library provides easy and enhanced experience of using library online, sitting at their desk either in lab or home. Even while on move they can access their library using smart phone. Integrated catalog of whole NARES (AgriCat) provides access to holdings of other libraries of NARES.
A robust set of servers along with failover servers operational at the data centre of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Pusa, New Delhi provide hosting facilities for customized Koha open source software running independent instances for each library. Local mirror servers at individual libraries in sync with their koha instance at central server ensures redundancy and high availability. However, those who are not running their local server may run offline Koha module on any desktop to ensure uninterrupted circulation services in the event of connectivity failure. All circulation data can be easily uploaded to central server for maintaining full record as soon as connectivity is restored.
Any library under NARES willing to be part of IDEAL needs to bring their catalog data to standard format and learn how to use Koha ILMS for library functioning. It is not necessary to run any server or koha software locally.