Updated: Feb 15
LCF is a real step forward for libraries and suppliers and the way library IT systems integrate to deliver improved services for both staff and library visitors. We have recently implemented and installed LCF authentication for two customers with another one in progress and more in discussions.
The Library Communications Framework (LCF) is being developed as a replacement for the dated SIP and SIP2 protocols, and there are many benefits to suppliers, libraries and end users in terms of improved interoperability and security. LCF operates using HTTPS, a recognised secure form of encryption and authentication, meaning different library systems can securely work together and pass information between them. Authentication between, for example, the LMS, self-service kiosks, printing services, and booking systems is quicker to implement, more reliable, and more secure.
Now we have implemented the authentication, we are starting to look at charges and payments so charges can be logged against a library member’s borrower account and in the LMS cash management. This could then potentially facilitate payments called off against a credit on that account which gives more flexibility for members to pay for printing and PC services and to pre-pay and make deposits, as well as selecting which specific service to pay for.
In the longer term, this will provide better analytics as LCF enables library staff to access more accurate and detailed data about borrowers and their activity within the library, giving valuable data about how library services are being accessed and used.
All of this means libraries can improve their service delivery and offer a more streamlined service.
We have been working with BIC and library industry leaders to ensure we are LCF-ready and we’re excited to now be in a position where we can migrate our customers to this improved operating standard.
Following a successful migration, Scott Simpson, Head of Library & Information Services, East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure Limited commented:
“The Library Communication Framework (LCF) has been talked about and in development by library suppliers for some time and it was good to be involved with one of Insight Media’s first implementations. We initially deployed the solution in one site so we could assess the changes and, although there were a couple of considerations raised, we were soon in a position where we could roll out the changes and the new authentication to all our other libraries. Although SIP2 has been fine, and we have used this for some time, we are definitely seeing an improvement in performance since moving to LCF.
“The authentication is just the start and there are additional benefits that are planned by Insight Media to implement charges and payments to help create efficiencies in libraries and move more towards a cashless environment and we look forward to benefitting from these also.”
If this is something you are considering, or you would like to know more, we’re more than happy to have a chat.