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Library Archival System (LAS) Replacement

Solicitation Number: LCLS20144000
Agency: Library of Congress
Office: Contracts Services
Location: Contracts Section
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Special Notice
Added: Jan 09, 2014 2:52 pm

Request for Information (RFI) - Sources Sought
Library Archival System (LAS) Replacement

(i) Objective of Request for Information
The Library of Congress (the Library) is conducting market research. This Request for Information (RFI) with its attachment is provided as information to the market place, and is an invitation for Respondents to express interest, an invitation to participate in an Informational Meeting, and to provide feedback on the Library's requirement.
The Library of Congress ("Library"), in conjunction with Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania (Solicitors), currently use a proprietary Library Archival System (LAS) to inventory and track the location of the analog, i.e., physical, general collection items. Information gathered through this RFI may be used for a possible future Library requirement to implement and migrate to a new library inventory management system to replace the existing proprietary system (LAS).

(ii) Background of Existing Library Archiving System
The following is a brief description of the existing Library Archiving System.

The LAS is a relational database management system (RDBMS) written in the Progress (Bedford MA) 4GL programming language. It operates in a wide range of environments.

The application consists of various processing and maintenance modules such as accession, circulation, file maintenance, billing; and database comprised of a series of tables (item, tray, location, order, transfile, history, client and some temp tables such as that for accession). Governing access are interface-level administrative modules for the system developer and Progress system administrator.

Access can be controlled by user role through the use of "user classes," which is readily accessible through the current interface. Typical access to the system requires two logins - first to the host machine, and then to LAS. Access to varying levels of database maintenance in LAS can be controlled so that users are logged into role-appropriate modules (e.g. accession only).

In a typical multi-user application, extensive use of record locking ensures system integrity. System development tends to follow a default to record locking, with simple "no-lock" statements used for exceptions such as certain reports.

Batch processing controls all production processing, which aids greatly in error control and workflow efficiency. Most elements of the production modules have been designed around workflow. The orders created in this batch approach serve later to create billing transactions as well as permanent historical indices for either standardized ("canned") reports or more nuanced queries. Residing at a higher level than the history table: searches of the latter are most efficient when reference to an order number is the index. In the case of refile orders, the "closure" thereof is a daily manual action taken only when all items have been successfully re-shelved.

Daily exports of accession and (closed) refile items to the Voyager Integrated Library System (ILS) are automatically scheduled for off-hours. Other such exports included errors relevant to ILS processing that did not prevent LAS accession. Planned enhancements include automated real-time exports of non-availability of retrieval requests to at least a library server, with extension to patron personal mobile device.

The great majority of all standardized reports (including client-facing billing summaries and statements) were designed in the more print-focused environment of the early 1990s. For a number of the most useful reports, the developer added output options for a file with .csv extension on request from the user.

The current plain text user interface (ca. 1993), while highly functional, is fairly antiquated. Modern system architectures can accommodate system functionality in a more user-friendly environment.

Application and database support is provided by the developer's application developer and systems / environment specialist, who have appropriate access to the server for most of their needs.

LAS and system redundancy is accomplished with use of 2 identical servers and environments, in which user actions on the primary server are written to a failover system in asynchronous mode, which renders any related overhead imperceptible, and exposure to data loss limited to the most recent scan or update. Server systems are backed up offsite daily.

(iii) Background on the Library and the Solicitors' Depository and Libraries

The Library of Congress' mission is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people. The Library's scope of responsibility has been considerably widened by subsequent legislation, and its range of service has come to include the entire governmental establishment in all its branches as well as the public at large, so that it now serves as the national library for the United States.

The Library is the largest library in the world, with more than 155.3 million items on approximately 838 miles of bookshelves. The collections include 35 million books and other print materials 13.6 million photographs, 5.4 million maps, 6.5 million pieces of sheet music and 68 million manuscripts. The Library receives some 15,000 items each working day and adds approximately 11,000 items to the collections daily. The majority of the collections are received through the Copyright registration process, as the Library is home to the U.S. Copyright Office.

The Library is not a circulating library in the sense of most libraries. Of the 35 million books and other print materials, only 200,000 circulate in a year, primarily as last resort interlibrary loans to research libraries throughout the world and as direct loans to Members of Congress and their staff. Most materials are used within the Library's 19 reading rooms or study facilities. Except for reading room reference collections, all stacks and storage facilities at the Library are closed to the public.

Unlike most other national libraries, the Library's extensive collections are universal in scope. They include materials on every subject and in a multitude of languages. Among them are the most comprehensive collections of Chinese, Japanese, and Russian language books outside Asia and Europe; general collections of the arts, humanities, science and technology; legal materials essential for study and understanding of American and foreign law; and the most extensive collection in the Western Hemisphere of books printed before 1501 A.D The Library provides a wide variety of national and international services. These include a centralized cataloging program whereby the Library acquires material published all over the world, catalogs it, and distributes cataloging information in machine-readable form; interlibrary loan of materials in its collections to other institutions; the exchange of duplicates with other institutions; and the reproduction of materials in its collections. In addition, the Library works with other standards-setting organizations; publishes print catalogs and bibliographies; circulates items from the Library's collections in travelling exhibits; provides books in Braille and "talking book" recordings for the blind and physically handicapped; and is a leader in efforts to digitize retrospective American collections.

The Harvard Depository is a secure, climate-controlled high-density storage and retrieval facility designed primarily for the long-term preservation of books and other paper-based materials, film, and magnetic media. The Depository is owned and operated by Harvard University, under the directorship of the Harvard Library administration.

Opening in 1986, the Depository currently houses over 9.4 million items on approximately 75 miles of shelving, more than half the University's 17,000,000 holdings. Over 400,000 items are transferred to the Depository each year; annual circulation is well over 200,000, or 2.4% of holdings in storage.
During its first 25 years, the Depository's scope has expanded to include service as the primary repository for the records management needs of several hundred University departments and programs. In 1988, the Depository welcomed materials from MIT, which now comprise 9% of holdings. Since 2005, the Depository has also served as one of the print repositories for the JSTOR online resource, whose holdings now occupy well over 1,000 shelves. Fulfillment of imaging requests of Depository holdings began in 2009, and has grown to well over 10,000 annually or 5% of all circulation. The so-called "Harvard model" has been emulated by several dozen institutions nationwide, including Stanford, Cornell, the ReCAP at Princeton, and internationally at the Bodleian Library at Oxford.
Designed primarily for high-density storage and warehousing efficiency, and located some 30 miles from campus, the Depository does not offer a reading room and is not open to the larger University community. Requests for stored materials are fulfilled daily via communication between the ILS and Depository inventory system, and are shipped to libraries each morning by the University's campus services.

Since 1750, University of Pennsylvania Libraries have served the teaching, research and learning needs of world-class scholars. The collection, founded by Franklin, is housed in 15 libraries with over 7 million volumes plus a vast digital library of millions more. The libraries include: Anne and Jerome Fisher Fine Arts Library (Art and Architecture), designed by Frank Furness; Annenberg Library (School of Communications), located in the Annenberg School; Biomedical Library, located adjacent to the Robert Wood Johnson Pavilion of the Medical School; Chemistry Library, located in the 1973 Wing of the Chemistry Building; Dental Medicine Library; Engineering Library, located on the second floor of the Towne Building in the Engineering School; Jean Austin duPont Veterinary Medicine Library - New Bolton Center; Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, located on Walnut Street at Washington Square; Lippincott Library (Wharton School), located on the second floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center; Math/Physics/Astronomy Library, located on the third floor of David Rittenhouse Laboratory; Museum Library (Anthropology); Otto E. Albrecht Music Library, located on the fourth floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center; Special Collections Center, home of the Lea Library and the Annenberg Rare Books and Manuscript Library, located on the sixth floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center; Steven W. Atwood Library & Information Commons (Veterinary Medicine), located on the second floor of the Vernon & Shirley Hill Pavilion Building; Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center (Humanities and Social Sciences); Veterinary Library at the New Bolton Center; and the Libraries' Research Annex, located in West Deptford, New Jersey.

(iv) Informational Meeting

The Library intends to conduct a 2-hour Informational Meeting (Meeting) on or about Thursday, January 30, 2014, at the Library in Washington, DC. The intent of the Meeting is to provide vendors the opportunity to ask questions regarding this RFI and attached Draft Requirements. The Meeting is open to any interested vendor who has products or services that are in direct support of the expectations identified in this RFI. Pre-registration is required. Vendors will be allowed no more than three (3) representatives for the entire company. Individual divisions of a company are considered a single parent company. It is recommended that at least one (1) of the participants be a senior-level strategist and one (1) from the vendors' technical division. Teleconferencing will be available.
All wishing to attend Meeting [in person or by teleconference] must pre-register by providing the names of attendees and indication of interest via e-mail with the subject heading "Library Archiving System Replacement." The session will be open only to those who have pre-registered.

NOTE: Accessibility for persons with a disability is provided, but must be noted in the pre-registration e-mail. Please include the type of accommodation required in the e-mail.

Vendors are also encouraged to submit Questions about the Library's requirement prior to the Meeting. These Questions will be addressed by the Library at the Meeting. All questions must be submitted in writing via e-mail with the subject heading "Library Archiving System Replacement." (See Points of Contact in Section viii.)

Only registered companies will be allowed to attend the Meeting and receive an email confirmation regarding attendance and additional information, such as time and place of the Meeting.

NOTE: Materials presented and discussed at the Meeting will be informational only. The Q&A will be posted on FedBizzOpps after the Meeting.

(v) Comments on Draft Requirements (See Attached)

The Library is seeking comments and/or recommendations about the entirety, a portion of, or individual points relating to the Attached Draft Requirements. Specific comments in the response should cite to the relevant section number, item number and/or page number and paragraph number.

These comments and/or recommendations are due no later than COB, Monday, February 24, 2014. mComments and/or recommendations should be sent via email to Points of Contact in Section (viii).

NOTE: Information submitted may be used as a basis for a future solicitation and/or as a basis for more in-depth research of an organization's capability.

(vi) General Information Requested from Respondents

1. Identify if you are on an applicable GSA Schedule or other Government wide contracting vehicle, and if so, provide Schedule and contract number. Being on the GSA Schedule or other Government wide contracting vehicle is not a requirement.

2. Provide the following Business information:
• DUNS Number
• Company Name
• Company Address
• Company Point of Contact, phone number and email address

(vii) General Clarification Questions regarding the RFI shall be submitted electronically no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, January 16, 2014, to the Points of Contact below.

The Government reserves the right to only answer questions that are applicable to this RFI.

(viii) Points of Contact

The Library encourages respondents to send One email that includes your pre-registration information and any Questions to be answered at the Meeting, and General Information.

Please send your email no later than 4:30PM, Eastern Time, Thursday, January 23, 2014, to the following Points of Contact:

Janet Mata-Hitz at and Shameema Rahmen at

(ix) Disclaimer

This Request for Information ("RFI") is issued pursuant to FAR 15.201(c) (7) solely for information and planning purposes and does not constitute a solicitation. In accordance with FAR 15.201(e), responses to this RFI are not offers to a contract solicitation and cannot be accepted by the government to form a binding contract. Respondents are solely responsible for all expenses associated with responding to this RFI. Responses to this RFI will not be returned. Any information submitted by respondents to this RFI is strictly voluntary. Material submitted will be deemed proprietary to the extent permitted by applicable laws and regulations if so marked by the respondent. This notice does not restrict the Government or Library to a particular procurement approach. This RFI should not be construed as a means to pre-qualify contractors. Based on the responses to this RFI, the Library may issue a Request for Proposals ("RFP") at an undetermined time in the future.


Added: Apr 16, 2014 4:54 pm

Update: Since the posting of the initial RFI, the individual institutions (Library of Congress, Harvard, Penn, and SUNY - Buffalo) have decided to still create a common set of requirements, but now pursue procurement of a new system separately.  This de-coupling will allow some institutions to move more quickly and also avoid the situation where one institution "owns" the system.

The Library of Congress anticipates issuing an RFP at the earliest in FY2015.

Please consult the list of document viewers if you cannot open a file.

Draft LAS Requirements

Other (Draft RFPs/RFIs, Responses to Questions, etc..)
Draft LAS Requirements
Posted Date:
January 9, 2014
Description: Draft LAS Requirements


Other (Draft RFPs/RFIs, Responses to Questions, etc..)
Posted Date:
February 10, 2014
Description: Informational Meeting Q&A
Description: LAS Workflow
Description: Informational Meeting Attendee List
101 Independence Ave SE
Washington, District of Columbia 20540-9411
Janet Mata-Hitz
Phone: 202-707-3532
Fax: 202-707-8611