Incy Wincy Spydus

Book-Wise-16x20-600pxI hope no one minds, but this is a plea to all my librarian friends out there.  Our local authority library has just adopted a new cataloguing and admissions system.  They’ve moved from Galaxy to Spydus.  No one seems to be quite certain why they’ve done this but, to judge by all the complaints going in, the convenience of the borrower wasn’t foremost in their considerations.  Neither, as far as I can gather, are the librarians in the local branch libraries happy with the change.  It definitely takes them longer to find the answer to any query borrowers might have and sometimes the system assures them they don’t have a particular book when you’re actually looking at a copy on the shelf.

After another long moaning session yesterday morning I said that I would ask here if anyone has had any experience of Spydus and if so can they suggest why it might have been a good idea to make the change.  And does anyone know if it is set up for a three week borrowing period?  With the introduction of the system we have gone from four weeks to three, however, as what I assume is a sop to borrowers we can now have ten books instead of eight.  I have asked for an explanation of the logic behind the reasoning that says while in 2012 I was only thought to be able to read eight books in four weeks, suddenly, over night, I have become capable of reading ten in three weeks in 2013. I haven’t had a response.

Any information anyone could give would be really useful.  Thanks in advance.


29 thoughts on “Incy Wincy Spydus

  1. I don’t know Spydus at all; we’ve used Horizon for the last eight years and will soon migrate to another format, but I don’t know what it will be. Typically, our borrowers are allowed 50 items of any time over a three-week period (one week for dvds), and may renew items up to two more times.

    1. Well, if anyone suggests Spydus you might want to suggest that they think again! I’m not certain even I could read fifty books in three weeks:)

  2. I know nothing about Spydus, but it is a nightmare when libraries change to a new system. After the completion of a “new” computer system at a suburban library, there was also a problem with books that didn’t get into the system. A cataloguer loses a card, a work-study student carelessly throws it out so he/she won’t have to type it in: so many possibilities.

    So good luck!

    Our library website was so terrible until recently that it was almost impossible to find anything. Fortunately they revised the website, but it still takes five minutes to find anything in their confusing newsletter.

    1. I’m not certain whether I should be glad we’re not alone in our dilemma, Kat, or sorry that libraries around the world seem to have problems. Surely someone should be able to come up with a foolproof system that works for all?

    1. Ah! A fellow sufferer! What made me even more angry, Wendy, was that I had response to my complaints that made it apparent that the person writing the response had no idea that the screen the borrower saw when they logged in gave different information to that which was available to the librarian. Maybe we should form a local support group, climb the razor wire on the outside of the new library and occupy the roof. Or is it too cold for that at the moment? Whatever, I’m glad I’m not alone in thinking Birmingham libraries have lost the plot.

    2. We have it in Norfolk.
      The ‘search’ is like something from the 1980s – heaven knows why they bought into it (in 2013, I think)

  3. Spydus seems to be a system that takes too much time and too many screens and clicks to give you the most basic confirmation to the question you ask it – that’s if it recognises the question or enquiry in the first place, More a method of stopping people borrowing books rather than encouraging them….

    1. Where are you located? I use Spydus and would love to ash-can it. I understand that there are only about 6 US customers. I’m in Michigan, USA.

  4. I work at a Birmingham Library and we’ve had Spydus since late 2012. I’ve been working in libraries and I can honestly say, Spydus is the worst of any problems i’ve ever had in this job. It’s slow, long winded, and it makes the simplest of tasks far more difficult than it has to be. It also creates problems for the borrowers, as it means they have to wait and wait while you try to navigate the system, and unfortunately, not all borrowers have patience!

    1. We may know each other, Danielle, by sight at least. If I ever have to ask you to find something in the catalogue for me I promise not to lose my patience😉.

  5. Hi – Spydus is a LMS sold via Civica. We use Spydus – have been for 7 years. There is an active user-group, so lots of ideas and technical info sharing. Our experience has been on the whole good, we have done some customisation and we operate it via managed services (i.e., external server, Civica managed) – doing that has removed 90% of the issues we had when it was in-house being “server-side” managed by IT. Similiarly we operate in a consortia environment – merged bibliographic and borrower databases with several otehr organisations, local authority & polytechnic. Like any ICT set-up it has a personality, but on the whole is maleable and works very well.

        1. Mary, it’s not like you to be optimistic where the library system is concerned. I can’t get to the LoB tomorrow, but I’ve put all day Friday to one side to spend there and I’m hoping to go and hear Malorie Blackman on Wednesday.

  6. Hello, We’re just about to move in 2014. Galaxy was far from perfect but we got used to it’s err, foybles.

    Anyone in Cambridshire/Suffolk/Lincolnshire using Spydus could comment i’d love to hear before we move over.

    Nice website by the way.

    1. Thanks, Mark. We’re a year in now and still having problems. I hope things go more smoothly for you. I think a lot depends on how well the basic system meets your general requirements. Tinkering is not a good idea.

      1. It is certainly highly challenging! The screen will hurt your eyes and unless you have a more refined version than the one we are using in Birmingham prepare yourselves for shut downs if you do certain things it doesn’t like. ie renew all the books at once on a ticket.. There are multiple ways of doing everything – in the words of an ancient comedy show ‘Confused? You will be!’ Last of all your useful message system between branches will now be gone forever and as for shelf checks….

  7. Can I ask a question on here? We’ve just started with Spydus and we’re trying to work out how to issue a new card when someone has lost one. Any ideas before I throw the terminal through the window and possibly endanger the cafe team nearby?

    1. Julie, I’ll call in at my local library on Monday morning and ask if they can tell me and then get back to you. After over a year they must have come across this problem. Cafés are among my favourite places and I can’t possibly have you endangering anyone who works in one😉

    2. Julie, this is what my librarian friends say. Go into the customer’s details and copy the number from the lost card. Then go to borrower registration and paste the old number in. Click on new. Swipe the code on the new card and then click OK. This should then transfer all the details from the old card onto the new. I hope that makes sense and helps. Do come back if there is still problem.

  8. Hi there, stumbled across this blog whilst googling Spydus – we are just about to make the change from Galaxy to Spydus at my library. I’ve been doing a bit of the training for it and there are times when it just completely cuts out and you have to re-load – I hope this isn’t a permament thing. While I’ve found it okay in a training environment, I’ve gotten so used to Galaxy that I don’t have to think about how to do things, I just do them, I’m not sure Spydus seems as quick as Galaxy. Are there any big advantages to Spydus over Galaxy, or is this just change for the sake of change?!

  9. We went from Talis to Spydus as part of austerity changes a few years ago. It is non-intuituve, obstructive and prone to system-wide crashes. Reservations do not ‘allocate’ properly. Borrowers are automatically notified to collect books that have not arrived. The data migration from one system to the other was also cheapskated and Spydus simply suppressed characters with any kind of accent or mark over them. This has never been corrected so all our Dvorak materials are now found under Dvok. It is appalling.

Your thoughts are welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s