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Name:Marshall Breeding
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Perspective and commentary by Marshall Breeding

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Essential technology skills

Opening up Library Systems through Web Services and SOA?

My Systems Librarian column titled Shape up your Skills and Shake Up Your Library published in the January/February 2014 issue of Computers in Libraries discusses some of the skills that can benefit those that work in libraries in a variety of roles and positions. The essay also discusses how some of the recent technology trends, such as the move toward cloud computing, has the potential to reshape library tech positions, mostly in a positive way.

Libraries benefit from having specialists within their organization tasked to manage all the various aspects of technology with the ability to shape it to their specialized requirements. A skilled individual or team tasked and enabled to design and implement the library's technological infrastructure can mean the difference between efficiency and frustration. To handle this role effectively, those responsible need to have an in-depth knowledge of technology a keen understanding of the strategic and operational needs of the library, and the insight to ensure that technology operates in ways that respect its key principles and values. While libraries resemble service-oriented businesses in some ways and seem to be increasingly managed according to business principles, their value and efficiency cannot be measured economically, but according to how well they create meaningful collections for their clients or stakeholders, distribute or provide access to information resources, and provide effective services. continue reading...

My Systems Librarian columns are published in the print issues of Computers in Libraries, and are exclusively available through Information Today for three months after original publication. Following the expiration of that embargo, I make these columns available on Library Technology Guides.

Marshall Breeding Jul 22, 2014 16:04:18 Link to this thread

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Informe sobre sistemas para bibliotecas 2014: Competencia y cooperación estratégica

Automation Marketplace

The Spanish translation of the 2014 edition of the annual industry report that I authored for American Libraries has been published by ThinkEPI (Grupo de Estrategia y Prospectiva de la Información). Thanks very much to Tomàs Baiget and Alfredo Gonzolas for their help in producing this Spanish translation.

La industria de tecnologías para bibliotecas (automatización de bibliotecas y otras tecnologóas para las mismas) se vio inmersa en una fuerte competencia en 2013, en el que varios productos compitieron para satisfacer unas expectativas cada vez más exigentes. Debido a que muchas bibliotecas se encuentran en la fase crítica de adoptar sistemas de una etapa tecnológica más avanzada, los grandes vendedores intentan posicionarse para extender su alcance global, agilizar su organización interna, y completar ambiciosos planes de desarrollo de productos. La competencia se ha intensificado en las aplicaciones para uso interno del personal de las bibliotecas para gestionar las colecciones y automatizar las operaciones.

Ya está disponible la nueva generación de plataformas de servicios de bibliotecas (library services platforms, LSP), aunque siguen ofertándose los sistemas integrados de biblioteca clásicos (integrated library systems, ILS). Los llamados servicios de descubrimiento (que amplían los contenidos de los catálogos online locales con acceso a recursos externos) siguen siendo un área importante de actividad, pues son vistos por los bibliotecarios como productos especialmente críticos ya que son de uso directo por parte de los usuarios. Constituyen un importante canal de acceso a colecciones y servicios.

La industria ofrece muchas alternativas, con opciones tanto de licencia propietaria como de código abierto, algunas basadas en tecnologías en la nube y otras que siguen dependiendo del hardware local. Aunque ya se va introduciendo la nueva generación de LSP, los ILS siguen siendo opciones válidas, especialmente cuando pueden gestionar también libros electrónicos.

Se ofrecen productos nuevos, que ya han entrado en la fase de adopción. Estas implementaciones tempranas tienen la ventaja de que pueden ir moldeando el futuro entorno, dependiendo de si alcanzan la eficiencia y mejoras que prometieron. Las bibliotecas que están considerando la compra de sus próximos sistemas deben evaluar las opciones que ofrece cada empresa, algunas ya probadas y otras aún por ensayar. Las empresas que entren tarde en esta fase de desarrollo e implementación perderán oportunidades, que serán mitigadas sólo por la lentitud de los procesos de selección por parte de las bibliotecas.

Este informe describe el estado actual y las tendencias de los productos y servicios tecnológicamente estratégicos, y las organizaciones que los crean y desarrollan. Cubre los productos más importantes de gestión de recursos bibliotecarios, servicios de descubrimiento, y otras tecnologías tanto de uso interno en las bibliotecas como las que se ponen a disposición de los usuarios para acceder a las colecciones y servicios.

continue reading...

Marshall Breeding Jul 1, 2014 14:03:16 Link to this thread

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Balancing the Management of Electronic and Print Resources

My Systems Librarian column for the June 2014 issue of Computers in Libraries is available from the Information Today site. In this column I cover some of the issues that I seen in play as libraries strive to find balanced models in the management of their collections increasingly dominated by electronic resources.

Computers in Libraries June 2014

Libraries naturally strive to allocate their resources proportional with their overarching priorities. But accomplishing the proper balance is often easier said than done. While I don’t consider myself an expert in organizational matters, I am intrigued by how technology can either support or hinder the ability of an organization to carry out its work effectively. As I work with libraries of various types in all different parts of the world, I observe that many are caught in an undesirable operational state. The allocated staff time, talent, and effort has become misaligned with the character of their collections and services. Automation systems that no longer fit the operational realities contribute to the problem. The good news is, I also see lots of potential in new kinds of technology platforms that can enable libraries to be not only more flexible, but more efficient.

continue reading...

Marshall Breeding Jun 30, 2014 11:03:16 Link to this thread

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