Unified Library System

Cultuurconnect is working on a tender for a Unified Library System (EBS) for the Flemish public libraries, in partnership with the 5 Flemish provinces, Brussels and the libraries.

Feasability study

In June 2014, Cultuurconnect, the 5 Flemish provincial authorities and the Flemish Community Commission (for Brussels) jointly commissioned a feasibility study related to consolidating the provincial library systems (PBS) in a unified library system for Flanders. M&I Partners Consultancy delivered the final report at the end of April 2015 and it was approved by the steering group, which included representatives from the commissioning parties and around twenty libraries. The technical, financial and organisational feasibility was comprehensively analysed in consultation with a working group and found to be favourable.

The feasibility study presents a detailed scenario of how the consolidation of six provincial library systems (5 provincial + 1 Flemish Community Commission) could be achieved, in technical, financial and organisational terms. The study addresses the management, operation, implementation and migration of a single application platform for carrying out stable library processes in the library such as library management activities that involve patron management, collection management and circulation management. The full study is in Dutch, but there's an English summary of the feasability study available.


The feasibility study proposes to keep some functions out of the scope of the project, given the context and the fact that Cultuurconnect has already built some well-developed library functions in other applications. Following functions are not in the scope:

With regards to innovation we mainly focus on the support of innovations by openness and standards, not on innovation itself (Cultuurconnect has launched its own innovation methodology starting with small experiments).

Juridical approach

Law Firm Stibbe provides Cultuurconnect juridical advice for the project. In consultation with Stibbe, a Request for Information (RFI) was started with the suppliers mentioned in the feasability study. The RFI was run between November 2015 and February 2016. The object of the tender and the tender procedure will be chosen with the stakeholders group. After that, we will start with the redaction of the tender.

Functional-technical approach

The project team will design requirements based on a very thorough analysis of business processes in the library with DEMO methodology. All processes within the scope of the project are modelled into a construction model with actor roles, responsibilities and transactions. This model makes it possible to design functional requirement without making implementation choices. The model enables to compare differences between libraries objectively, to discover concerns and also to map the couplings with external systems of processes (a version of the construction model can be found here - version 4/12/2015). Next to that, the project team also works on the design of non-functional requirements (like technical, project approach, user experience, service management, …) and migration scenarios.