Library shelf

The benefits of an integrated library system

15 August 2022 | Lauren Harding, senior marketing officer

OpenAthens is designed to integrate with other existing library systems and directories.  This comes with benefits including user efficiency for students, researchers and staff. It also gives educational establishments access to data that can positively impact their learning environments.

Many organizations have set up their own instances of platforms and applications that have SAML access management protocols built into the system. SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) is a form of online security that allows users to access multiple web applications using only one set of login credentials.

Integration with third party apps

Our software enables organizations to establish a single sign-on connection that includes individual apps such as G Suite and VLEs (virtual learning environments) like Moodle or Blackboard. These are just some of the applications we work with.

Integration with library systems and directories

Libraries benefit from different systems that complement and work alongside each other. This means their users can access a range of library services with a single login. OpenAthens integrates with systems and directories such as Microsoft Azure, G Suite, OneLog, Shibboleth, CAS, SirsiDynix, OKTA and Ping Identity.

Creating a seamless user experience

Another key benefit of an integrated library system is that they are extremely efficient and create a seamless user experience. Users spend less time and effort learning how to navigate multiple systems. A single set of sign-on credentials for multiple applications reduces the number of failed password and locked accounts. Students, researchers and staff no longer need to worry about requesting password reminders and account resets for multiple systems.

We spoke to Theo Stubbs, Digital Librarian at Leeds Arts University about the benefits of an integrated library system:

The main benefit to students is the fact that a barrier to access has been removed. Learning how to use OpenAthens isn’t a concern for students anymore as it operates seamlessly in the background. A single set of sign-on credentials ensures the student experience is consistent, improving overall user experience. The analytics portal is easy to use and we have noticed the number of failed authentications drop significantly. Previous student engagement surveys reported struggles accessing electronic resources, this is no longer the case.

Theo Stubbs - Digital Librarian - Leeds Arts University


Our integration with library systems also helps improve the learning environment and exam systems within libraries and institutions. For example, our reporting tool enables librarians to have an early indication of student engagement and retention on sites such as G Suite, Blackboard and Moodle . With our reporting tool you can also see what services are most used and how often.

For more information on our systems integration, visit our library systems integration resource hub.

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