Bringing Ontario’s Libraries into the Digital Economy

Cloud-based applications save time and money and improve collaboration. We provide our users with a robust suite of cloud-based resources though our growing cloud services portal, the ORION Nebula. As of 2013, over 4,000 users have tapped into ORION’s own cloud-based collaboration tool, O3 Collaboration, including the Ontario Colleges Library Service (OCLS). By moving to the cloud with O3, OCLS has revolutionized the operations and efficiencies of Ontario’s 24 college libraries in serving their diverse community of students, faculties and researchers.

The need to innovate, adapt and evolve to stay current is universal to all industries. However, libraries are undergoing a paradigm shift in how they serve researchers, academics, students and educators.

This has been a particular issue for OCLS, a consortium of Ontario’s 24 college libraries that coordinates acquisitions and services for college researchers and students. OCLS found that their success and efficiency as an organization was stifled by antiquated methods of communication and coordination. That’s why they turned to ORION’s O3 Collaboration tool, a perfect fit for improving their ability to collaborate.

O3 is a secure cloud-based platform freely available to all of the OCLS institutions connected to ORION ’s network. It allows them to deliver services and improve their day-to-day business functions, all through a single public website accessible from anywhere, at any time and on any device.

Members of Ontario's Colleges Library Service (OCLS) work using their O3 online collaboration portal.
Members of Ontario’s Colleges Library Service (OCLS) work using their O3 online collaboration portal.

“ORION helped OCLS achieve their mandate by providing, maintaining and facilitating 14 forum spaces for committees, research panels and groups of college library staff,” says Stacey Boileau, OCLS Support Services Technician. Stacey is responsible for membership access and updating several of the OCLS forum spaces. “These spaces allow for shared access to information and reference material important to each forum’s activities, and it provides a one-stop shop for those working with OCLS.”

Their O3 setup also integrates “askON,” a real-time chat research and information service developed by Ontario libraries and Ask Ontario. The program coordinates services such as orders and requests from all libraries, facilitating coordinated procurement rather than operating as independent institutions. Using O3 has improved their administrative processes and has revolutionized the way they operate, saving valuable time and resources in the process, while providing exceptional customer support.

Our experience with O3 has been very positive. As we have expanded the uses for our space, ORION has been very supportive and assisted us through these significant changes.

-Coralee Leroux, the Electronic Resources and Services Coordinator for OCLS.

The OCLS space has fast become one of ORION’s most active O3 collaboration groups. As the days of physically selecting books and journals become numbered, libraries can maintain a prominent position in the digital age by embracing technology to support today’s teachers, students and researchers. Thanks to O3 Collaboration, OCLS is showing the rest of the world how libraries can evolve to participate in today’s digital economy through collaboration among the library community.