Library Technology Guides

Documents, Databases, News, and Commentary

Library Technology Guides provides comprehensive and objective information surrounding the many different types of technology products and services used by libraries. It covers the organizations that develop and support library-oriented software and systems. The site offers extensive databases and document repositories to assist libraries as they consider new systems and is an essential resource for professionals in the field to stay current with new developments and trends. Relevent news items are posted daily on Twitter:

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Perspective and commentary by Marshall Breeding

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The Future of Library Resource Discovery

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The Future of Library Resource Discovery

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has published the white paper that I developed on the Future of Library Resource Discovery. I appreciate the opportunity to perform some additional research on this topic and to examine a variety of related issues. The paper provides an environmental scan of the current discovery environment, identifies gaps in the current products and services, and suggests some areas for future development. Given the current environment dominated by commercial services, I explored the possibilities of open source discovery interfaces and open access central indexes. The paper discusses linked data and other techniques which offer potential opportunities for improving the discoverability of resources of interest to libraries so that their community members might find them even when they bypass the interfaces provided by the library. Finally, the paper makes some recommendations regarding a possible next phase of the Open Discovery Initiative and highlights some areas of interest in the discovery arena that NISO may want to explore in the future. From the NISO press release:

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has published a white paper, The Future of Library Resource Discovery, written by independent consultant, speaker, and author Marshall Breeding. The white paper was commissioned by NISO's Discovery to Delivery (D2D) Topic Committee as part of its ongoing examination of areas in the discovery landscape that the information community could potentially standardize. Included in the paper is an overview of the current discovery environment; descriptions of how these technologies, methodologies, and products may be able to adapt to potential future change; and a look beyond current models of discovery to explore possible alternatives, especially those related to linked data.

The recent Electronic Resources and Libraries conference in Austin, TX, included a session to announce the publication of the white paper in which I presented a summary of its findings.

The paper is available as a free download from NISO.

Feb 24, 2015 10:11:04

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Perceptions 2014: An International Survey of Library Automation

Selected Survey Findings: Top Performers
Polaris continues to receive top ratings in all categories from large public libraries and in the general satisfaction, overall product functionality, and print functionality among medium-sized public libraries.
Apollo from Biblionix received top ratings in all categories from small and very small public libraries.
Alma from Ex Libris received top ratings from large academic libraries in the management of electronic resources, customer support, and customer loyalty. Ex Libris Aleph scored best among large academic libraries for print functionality and overall product satisfaction.
Sierra from Innovative interfaces received top ratings from large and mid-sized academic libraries for overall product functionality.
OCLC WorldShare Management Services received top ratings from mid-sized academic libraries general product satisfaction, in functionality for managing electronic resources, for product support, and company loyalty.
Small academic libraries rated Koha (managed independent of a support firm) highest in overall product functionality, management of print materials, and for product support.
Library.Solution from The Library Corporation received top ratings from mid-sized public libraries for product support.
School libraries rated OPALS most positively in response to all survey questions.

I have posted the results the eighth annual survey of data collected on how libraries rate their current integrated library system, the company involved, and the quality of customer support. Perceptions 2014: an international survey of library automation gives the general conclusions and presents all the statistical results derived from the survey. As usual, some of the most interesting and valuable information lies in the comments offered by responders.

"Libraries make major investments in strategic automation products, both during the initial implementation period and in annual fees paid for support, software maintenance, and other services. They depend on these products for efficient management of their daily operations and to provide access to their collections and services. This survey report allows libraries to benefit from the perceptions of their peers regarding the quality of automation systems and of the performance of the organizations involved in their development or support."

Just as I did for the previous editions survey, I created an interactive tool for viewing the statistical summaries and comments. The main tables in the article show statistics only for those products that had more than 15 survey responses. You can use the ILS Product Report to view the statistics on any of the products mentioned in the survey and to read the comments about that system, even if the number of responses did not meet the threshold. The comments that display have been edited to remove any text that identifies the individual or institution, preserving the anonymity of the responders. The narrative data in the comments largely corroborate the statistical responses and makes for interesting reading.

Feb 10, 2015 13:09:05

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Library Technology Forecast for 2015 and Beyond

My Systems Librarian column for the December 2014 issue of Computers in Libraries presents some of the trends that I think will play out in the coming year. One of the major business trends relates to the consolidation and investment ownership of the companies that produce tech products for libraries. Some of the technologies of interest include the increasing interest in linked data, the importance of delivering library services to mobile devices, 3D printing, and other technologies that might enhance the services that libraries offer in their physical facilities.

Computers in Libraries April 2014

With another year winding down, we’re pausing to review some of the accomplishments with technology in libraries and consider what might be in store. Each year seems to bring an accelerating pace of change. While libraries tend to operate at a safe distance from the cutting edge of technology, it is important to look forward in order to be aware of the movement underway. Given the pace of change, interesting opportunities may slip by unless libraries move more aggressively in the development of new applications based on current technology advancements. This month’s column gives a speculative glimpse of what might happen in the next year or so among the companies comprising the library-technology industry based on recent patterns. We also look at some specific technologies that are gaining momentum and warrant the library community’s close attention. continue reading...

(The full text of my Systems Librarian columns are available on Library Technology Guides 90 days following their original publication in Computers in Libraries magazine.)

Jan 1, 2015 11:04:01

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Caveat and Credit

Library Technology Guides was created and is edited by Marshall Breeding. He is solely responsible for all content on this site, and for any errors it may contain. Please notify him if you find any errors or omissions.

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Industry News

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Full Automation News Report

20 most recent items:


March 5, 2015. BiblioCommons working with the Society Of Chief Librarians to develop plan for unified digital platform for public libraries in England. BiblioCommons Inc. has begun work with the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) to envision a unified digital platform for all public libraries in England. The goal of the project is to enhance public li ... <<more>>


March 5, 2015. Mary Sauer-Games begins term as President of NFAIS Board of Directors. Mary Sauer-Games, OCLC Vice President of Product Management, is now serving as Board of Directors President of the National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS), the nation’s leading me ... <<more>>


March 4, 2015. The University of Sussex selects the Ex Libris Alma library management service. Ex Libris announced that the University of Sussex is replacing its library management system with the Alma unified resource management service from Ex Libris. Tightly integrated with the Ex Libris Pr ... <<more>>


March 4, 2015. ProQuest Advances Genealogical Research with HeritageQuest Online. ProQuest is advancing the research experience for family history enthusiasts and genealogical experts with a new version of its popular HeritageQuest® Online, a treasury of high quality genealogical a ... <<more>>


March 4, 2015. LIBROS academic library consortium is now live with OCLC WorldShare Management Services. LIBROS, the consortium of 17 academic libraries in New Mexico, is now using OCLC WorldShare Management Services as its library management solution. ... <<more>>


March 4, 2015. Innovative pledges support to Libhub Initiative. Innovative announced today its sponsorship of the Libhub Initiative, which encourages industry-wide focus on the visibility of library resources on the Web. With enabling technologies such as linked d ... <<more>>


March 4, 2015. Backstage Library Works preserves more than 19,000 pages of theatre history for Ohio State University. Backstage Library Works (www.BSLW.com) announced today the successful preservation digitization of 15 large scrapbook volumes from the Leffingwell collection documenting American theatre performance f ... <<more>>


March 3, 2015. EBSCO’s partnership with ByWater Solutions enables interoperability between discovery and ILS solutions. EBSCO Information Services and ByWater Solutions have partnered to provide more choices to its customers. ByWater Solutions is the leading US provider of support and implementation services to librari ... <<more>>


March 3, 2015. Biblionix outranks all in Perceptions Survey for Sixth year running. Biblionix, a leading provider of automation solely for public libraries, today announced that its Apollo integrated library system has again topped the Perceptions survey sixth straight year, Apollo ... <<more>>


March 2, 2015. Melbourne Cricket Club Library selectors impressed by Liberty from Softlink. The Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) Library has partnered with Softlink to implement the Liberty Library Management System, a move that has allowed the reference library to offer online access to their e ... <<more>>


March 2, 2015. Central European University finding success with EBSCO Discovery Service. Central European University, an international postgraduate institution in Budapest, implemented EBSCO Discovery Service from EBSCO Information Services two years ago. Since then, it has provided great ... <<more>>


Full Automation News Report