A variety of notable events took place on the ILS market recently. There continues to be vigorous competition among a group of companies offering both proprietary and open source products.
Continuing its foray into the coveted municipal library field, Polaris was selected by the Miami-Dade County Public Library system to replace their existing Horizon ILS. Polaris, a long-time SirsiDynix customer, initially implemented Dynix in 1995 and migrated to Horizon in 2002. The 39-branch library system serves a population of over 2 million with a collection of over 4 million volumes. Miami-Dade will use the AquaBrowser Library as its primary end-user interface.
Other libraries recently selecting Polaris include the Concordia Parish Library in Louisiana, shifting from Galaxy, the company’s own legacy product, the Palm Springs Public Library in California, moving from SirsiDynix Unicorn, and the Natchez Adams Wilkinson library system in Mississippi, which will migrate from SirsiDynix Horizon.
There have also been interesting developments in school libraries. Chicago Public Schools selected LibrarySolution for Schools from The Library Corporation for its 650 school library and media centers. This new system will displace multiple legacy products from Follett Software Company, and will allow the district to move to a centralized automation system, consistent with broad trends in the K-12 school automation arena. CPS ranks as the third largest school system in the United States.
The Library Corporation also announced the development of the LS2 Kids, a version of the company’s new LS2 PAC designed for use by children, providing access to library materials through a simplified interface.
On the academic library front, Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia will replace its current SirsiDynix Horizon system with a suite of products from Ex Libris, including ALEPH, SFX, MetaLib and Primo.
In Europe, Ex Libris Group acquired full ownership of Atlantis S.R.L., a company that has served as its distributor for Italy and Slovenia since 1989. Following the acquisition, Atlantis is now Ex Libris Italy, and will report through Marc Daubach, corporate VP for Ex Libris in Europe The library of the new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology will come online with Millennium when it opens in September 2009. On the open source front, the library for Madonna University,a private Catholic institution with a collection of 80,000 titles selected a hosted version of Koha from LibLime. Salina Public Library in Kansas, serving a population of about 50,000, will migrate from SirsiDynix Unicorn to Koha hosted by Lib-Lime.
Implementations of the open source Evergreen ILS continue to come online. Three libraries in the SC Lends consortium in South Carolina, including the South Carolina State Library and Beaufort County Library, moving from SirsiDynix Unicorn, and Union County Carnegie Library previously using Follett’s Infocentre, have put Evergreen into production. The Evergreen Indiana consortium now totals 32 libraries in production with the public libraries in Alexandria-Monroe, Limberlost, Waterloo Grant Township, Pike County, and Kendalville completing implementation in June 2009.
In personnel-related news, Galen Charlton joins Equinox Software, the key company involved in development and support of the open source Evergreen ILS, as it Vice President of Data Services. Charlton comes to Equinox from LibLime, which offers services surrounding Koha, another open source ILS. Debra Denault also departs from her position at LibLime as Operations Manger to become Director for Customer Service at Relais International, a company involved in resource sharing solutions.