IMMS™ - The Lyngsoe Intelligent Material Management System for academic libraries

Paperless storage and space management for Academic Libraries

Pick up to
285 items/hour

30% more storage space

60% saved on
holds management 


University of Liverpool
The library as integrated part of the university
is leading the way

The University of Liverpool is a Russel Group University with over 22,000 students on campus, as well as over 10,000 online students. Since 1881, it has worked for the advancement of learning and ennoblement of life.

In 2019 Liverpool University libraries was the first Academic library to choose IMMS in order to optimize space and help balance the high demand for study space with our need to preserve the richness of its collections for researchers into the future.

The University of Liverpool is associated with nine Nobel Laureates, the University is recognised for its high-quality teaching and research. Its' research collaborations extend worldwide and address many of the grand challenges facing mankind today.

Marshall Breeding


"Media Hotels and Permanent Storage Facilities: In addition to managing the routing of collection items among branches, IMMS™ is also able to manage materials in storage facilities. These facilities would use standard library shelving. Rather than following an arrangement, such as by topic or call numbers, IMMS manages the items based on optimal shelving capacity, tracking each item so that it can be retrieved as needed.

Items in a storage location are organized according to a warehouse management technique called “chaotic storage,” where materials are placed within a bin or shelf unit without regard to call numbers or other conventional shelf ordering. The inventory management system, however, tracks the exact location of each item so that it can be efficiently retrieved when requested.

The system can generate intelligent pick lists, ordered so that a staff member can retrieve items by following a straight path without having to continually go back and forth through the storage area."  Marshall Breeding in Smart Libraries Newsletter XXXIX, no. 9 (2019) 1-3

IMMS™ - mission-critical to the forward-thinking library


The IMMS™ professional warehouse management system handles any number of items efficiently while keeping real-time control of shelf fill rates and track of all items.


The entirely paperless work processes save staff time, align with green policies, and ease workflows. Additionally, during these challenging times of COVID 19, they also help to reduce the spread of disease through paper hold slips and shared picklists.


Batch handling and intelligent distribution ensure that staff spends less time on material handling such as holds management and shelving, making time for mission-critical alignment with broader information literacy goals.


More permanent/remote storage sites can also benefit from the efficient storage and exact space and location control IMMS™ offers.

The material can be stored in crates or directly on shelves and the system will know at all times where each item is located. Accurate statistics are managed either granularly through the IMMS™ interface or through tools in the ILS software. As with the Media Hotel, retrieval is efficient and fast, and status, as well as the present location, is always updated in ILS.

With extensive experience in Warehouse Management Lyngsoe can help you find the most efficient storage solution and seamlessly integrate it with your entire collection.

Chaos means control

The Media Hotel is organized according to a proven warehouse management system of “Chaotic storage”. Rather than following an arrangement such as by classification system or genre, IMMS™ manages the items based on optimal shelving capacity, tracking each item to be retrieved as needed.

Items in a storage location are organized according to a standard warehouse management technique called “chaotic storage,” where materials are placed within a bin or shelf unit without regard to call numbers or other conventional library shelf order.

The inventory management system tracks the exact location of each item, ensuring that it can be efficiently retrieved when requested. An example of Chaotic Storage Management use is Amazon, where it is the secret behind Amazon’s astonishingly fast order fulfillment, delivery capabilities, and accuracy.

Control shelf fill-rate and content

Many academic libraries face challenges between making their shelves look attractive, fitting in new course material and creating space for other uses demanded by students. Reduced budgets, heavy use of popular items and not enough time to tidy the shelves create daily battles for staff time.

With IMMS it is possible to control the library shelves so staff never have to redistribute entire shelving units to fit returned items, while old and careworn items are transferred to a weeding list for further inspection.

The IMMS intelligent Algorithm also allows you to set up Intelligent topical displays, based around reading list material or general subjects of interest

The surplus checks in at the hotel

The print stock on the open shelves fluctuates in line with the flow of the academic year. For example, nursing books belong on the shelves throughout the year, but having all copies available at all times is not the best use of space in areas that may also be needed for other uses such as study areas. 

So where does the overflow go when IMMS determines that the set maximum shelf space has been achieved? It goes to the Media “hotel” – an easily reachable central storage area where the items are ordered according to the modern warehouse management principles and can be picked and sent back in circulation at the high speed of up to 285/items/hr.

One app to rule it all

The daily logistics work of the library is managed through the IMMS™ app, which connects in real-time through the cloud-based IMMS™ system.

Digital, continuously updated picklists in the correct walking order, saves significant amounts of time retracing your steps or looking for items already picked by a colleague.

The RFID/Barcode reader ensures that all item movements are tracked to the location, so staff, at all times, know where each item is located, whether that is on the shelf, on a trolley,  in a transport tote, or in movement between locations.

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From 30 minutes per box to 5 minutes

One of the first benefits the Helsinki libraries noticed after implementing IMMS™, was how fast it is to shelve holds. Holds are paperless and as IMMS™ batch tracks each item in the transport box it is possible to shelve directly without handling each item.

No more putting in order and managing printed paper slips. Items on holds shelves are also placed according to the chaotic storage methodology. When the title has been (batch) checked onto the RFID-coded holds shelf, the patron is informed of title, author, and shelf number as well as hold expiry date through email or SMS/text message. The system does not allow a patron to check out a title reserved for someone else.

Removing holds that have not been picked up before the expiry date is equally simple and paperless. 


Electronic resources have strong and detailed reporting, giving staff actionable evidence of use and non-use of titles and collections. However, this is not as clear with the library’s print collections.

IMMS takes physical collection metrics to a new level with over 60 preset reports giving data on all aspects of material handling from the “big picture” overview of the collection, down to the movements (or lack of movement) of each individual item.  

Which books are circulated through holds and which are browsed from shelves? Which titles have been bought just-in-case and never been checked out at all? Which shelving units are groaning under far too much material and which have space for a little more?

Despite the growth of full-text downloads, academic libraries still have hundreds of thousands of physical books and only the traditional integrated library system (ILS) to optimize their collection. IMMS™ informs you in detail of all aspects of the physical collection, and industry strength automation will put you in control. 

Intelligently shared collections

IMMS flow

MULTIPLE CAMPUS Libraries – the way distribution was meant to be

A core IMMS™ feature is the ability to intelligently distribute material not just on the main library shelves but, if desired, also in relevant campus libraries. Not all curriculums are taught at the same time and the ability to share expensive textbooks can be managed by an intelligent algorithm controlled by library staff.

Single course material titles or entire reading lists can be used to populate the IMMS™ Display module so all material for an active list can be displayed in a dedicated area. When the course is finished, the display can easily be duplicated on the next campus or the books be distributed to campus libraries or sent to media hotel for temporary storage.

Track and trace means happy patrons

One week before the introduction of IMMS™ Aarhus and Copenhagen City libraries recorded 560 inquiries from disappointed users not being able to find material on the expected shelf.

After introducing IMMS™, this figure went down by over 60%. This is due to the granularity of IMMS™ tracking system and its industry-standard logistics management powered by Lyngsoe Systems knowledge.

Both patrons and staff will appreciate books being in their right place and being able to engage in positive dialogues, instead of looking in vain for missing or mis-shelved items. 

Batch management prevents injuries

Batch management using the smartphone makes it possible to scan the content of a transport box directly to a storage or reservations shelf without scanning the individual items. IMMS knows exactly what is in each box or on each cart at all times.

Technology today can take a lot of pressure off staff, not only does an AMH (link) take the heavy lifting away, but Ergo Carts™ make re-shelving easy and ergonomic – no more awkward angles for your back.

The introduction of batch management will save precious time for staff, and furthermore significantly reduces the all too common repetitive stress injuries in shoulders and back experienced by library staff. The only time a shelver handles an individual item is when finally shelving it. Even then precious energy is spared on always knowing there is space for the books on your cart and never having to relocate entire shelving units just because a certain subject has grown organically.

Lifecycle management, how an algorithm keeps the dust off the shelves

Automated lifecycle management is a built-in function in IMMS™. Using historical lending trends of the current material stock helps to manage an item’s life cycle from purchase to end-of-life. IMMS™ informs you of the current lending trends of each title, creating actionable reporting.

For example, titles can see increased demand due to inclusion on course reading lists, and the reservation queue suddenly becomes too long, creating a need for more copies. The automated life cycle management handles these challenging tasks by a granular set of rules that are defined by staff.
This allows the system to constantly monitor all titles, automatically changing categories if needed, and alerting the library staff when a title has reached a certain stage in its life cycle.

Reasons to implement IMMS

  • Storage becomes an integrated part of the collection
  • Automatically control shelf fill on open shelves
  • Spend time with people, not books​
  • Sophisticated modern logistics integrated in your ILS
  • Track and trace prevents loss of items
  • Efficient storage management
  • Save up to 40% on material handling
  • Time spent on each circulated item appr 0.042 hours
  • Save up to 71% on locating material which according to the catalog is on the shelf
  • Pick rate in the material hotel up to 285 items/Hour
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