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.
Relevant news items are posted daily on Twitter:
Participate in the 2019 International Library Automation Perceptions Survey
Please respond to this year's International Library Automation Survey conducted through Library Technology Guides. The survey measures the levels of satisfaction that libraries have in their strategic technology products and their perceptions of the quality of service and support that they receive. The results of this survey provide valuable information to libraries as they formulate technology strategies and to vendors as they refine their support services and product development.
The report based on the 2018 survey, with links to previous reports is available:
I am now collecting responses for the 2019 edition of the survey. Please take this opportunity to register the perceptions of the library automation system used in your library, its vendor, and the quality of support delivered. The survey also probes at considerations for migrating to new systems, involvement in discovery products, and the level of interest in open source ILS. While the numeric rating scales support the statistical results of the study, the comments offered also provide interesting insights into the current state of library automation satisfaction.
Note: If you have responded to previous editions of the survey, please give your responses again this year. By responding to the survey each year, you help identify long-term trends in the changing perceptions of these companies and products.
As with the previous versions of the survey, only one response per library is allowed and any individual can respond only for one library. These restrictions ensure that no single organization or individual can skew the statistics. While all the individuals that work in a library may have their own opinions, please respond to the extent that you can from the general experiences of your library.
How to participate
The survey links each response to the listing for a library in the libraries.org directory. This connection provides the ability to correlate responses with the extensive library demographic data in libraries.org.
Find your library in libraries.org:
Select and view the listing for your library
Complete the form and write in your comments!
When viewing the entry for your library in the libraries.org directory, please check for any incomplete or inaccurate information and let me know of any needed changes.
If your library isn't listed in libraries.org, please
submit its information.
In a move that further consolidates the library technology industry, Ex Libris has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Innovative Interfaces, Inc. from its private equity investors. Since December 2015, Ex Libris has been owned by ProQuest. In addition to its role as a major content provider to libraries, ProQuest is now responsible for a growing portfolio of library technology products, including major systems for resource management, content discovery, materials acquisition, reading list integration, and research services. While ProQuest faces major competition for each of its product categories, this move substantially strengthens its position in the sector and broadens its scope to include public libraries.
(Smart Libraries Newsletter, January 2020)
FOLIO Crosses New Thresholds
The initiative to develop FOLIO as an open source library services platform has been underway since 2016 and has continued to cross important milestones. The software has continued to advance in its functionality and completeness, leading to its first production migration, selections in formal procurement processes, with other libraries waiting in the wings for future implementation.
(Smart Libraries Newsletter, November 2019)
Ex Libris Acquires RapidILL
In a move that expands its exiting involvement in resource sharing for academic libraries, Ex Libris has acquired RapidILL from Colorado State University. This acquisition expands the company's existing strategy to develop resource sharing products based on its Alma library services platform. RapidILL will continue as a service available to all libraries regardless of the automation systems used. Ex Libris and Colorado State University position this acquisition as an opportunity for RapidILL to see faster software development and to expand its presence globally.
The library technology field continues to see modest growth overall, though that growth is unevenly distributed among companies. Large companies with expanding portfolios of products and services are giving new shape to the landscape. Despite the dominance of a few globally diverse and large companies, midsized and small companies continue to hold their own and in some cases thrive. Massive companies such as Follett, ProQuest/Ex Libris, and EBSCO represent formidable competition for any challenger in their markets. SirsiDynix and Innovative Interfaces continue to retain and attract diverse libraries to their evolving integrated library system (ILS)–centric product portfolios.
It's a complex industry, with different business and technology trends running simultaneously, often along divergent paths. Economic prospects are low risk, with adequate room for new business opportunities. It is an industry of established companies and few start-ups. It resists new entrants or even the advancement of local or regional companies to the global sphere. The global market for library companies must be seen in the context of client saturation. Almost all libraries that fall within the ranks of eligible customers have at least some level of automation infrastructure in place. In such a zero-sum economy, the success of one company comes at the direct expense of another.
Perceptions 2018: An International Survey of Library Automation
This twelfth edition of the International Survey of Library Automation presents the latest data
on how libraries perceive the effectiveness of the strategic technology systems upon which they
depend for their daily operations and to fulfill the expectations of their patrons.
This report presents and interprets survey responses gathered from November 2018 through February 2019.
The survey focuses primarily on integrated library systems and library services platforms as the applications
used to acquire, describe, manage, and provide access to their collections. It also assesses the
quality of support given from the respective vendor and probes interest in migrating to new
solutions and attitudes toward open source alternatives.
The migration away from legacy ILS products is in full swing.
Most libraries using Millennium, Voyager, and Aleph noted they are considering moving to new systems.
Academic libraries considering migration mention Alma as one of their replacement candidates almost three times more than any other product.
Products with steady or rising satisfaction scores and high migration indicators include Ex Libris Aleph, Ex Libris Voyager, SirsiDynix Horizon.
Innovative Millennium has diminishing satisfaction scores and high migration indicators.
Larger proportions of libraries using flagship ILS products registered interest in new products.
About 20 percent of libraries using Library.Solution, Sierra, and Symphony are considering replacements.
Biblionix Apollo received high satisfaction scores and very few libraries using it are considering alternatives.
Even through its satisfaction ratings are not superlative, libraries using Ex Libris Alma registered a very low level of interest in changing systems.
Both major open source products, Koha and Evergreen, show increasing levels of satisfaction, with variance depending on support arrangements.
Awareness of FOLIO continues to increase with 65 libraries mentioning it among their migration candidates.
3,549 libraries completed this year's survey, providing sufficient data to focus the analysis
more on each category of library type and size rather than aggregating across all responses.
Libraries of different sizes and types bring different expectations to their systems, making
it essential to segment survey results to make meaningful comparisons and extract trends.
The functional requirements of public, academic, school, and other types of libraries overlap
to a certain extent, but in other areas each has distinctive, if not contradictory, functionality.
Some of the products represented in the survey have been designed for specific sectors.
For those used by multiple types of libraries, the analysis of the survey results by size
and type of organization provides an opportunity to observe any differences in satisfaction
across these categories.
Several themes are evident in the last few editions of the perceptions survey.
Large libraries of all types have complex requirements and evaluate their systems on a much harsher
scale than smaller organizations. Conventional integrated library systems dominate public libraries,
with top scores going to proprietary products in the largest tier and to those based on
commercially supported open source software in the mid-size category. Small and very
small public libraries also favored proprietary ILS products. In the academic library
sector, survey results reveal interesting patterns regarding the newer generation of
library services platforms. These products received strong marks in most categories
but are perceived as less capable for managing print resources than legacy ILS products.
Small libraries give superlative scores--with little differentiation among question categories--to
products able to meet their basic requirements without complex features they don't need.
I appreciate the time given by all the libraries that responded to the survey
this year and in its previous iterations. Each response contributes to a growing body of
data available for the broader library community to explore as they consider their options
regarding these strategic technology products. Libraries have always relied on recommendations
from their peers as they make system decisions. This survey provides a large aggregation
of evaluative data that can complement more in-depth conversations that libraries
considering a system would have with specific reference sites.
Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Integration and Interoperability Versus Unification
An important set of contracting trends can currently be seen in play in the library technology arena. The issue centers on whether the scope of technology systems should continue to expand to encompass an ever-broader universe of functionality and services, or should products ideally focus on a more finite scope with an emphasis on interoperability so that libraries can assemble customized environment?
Library Technology Guides was created and is edited by
He is solely responsible for all content on this site, and for any errors it may contain.
him if you find any errors or omissions. (off)
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