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. Relevant news items are posted daily on Twitter:

GuidePosts

Perspective and commentary by Marshall Breeding

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Disintegration to Integration and Back

Photo of Marshall Breeding author of GuidePosts

In my Systems Librarian column for the March 2016 issue of Computers in Libraries I discuss the issue of how the scope of functionality of library automation systems has been organized over the course of the history of these products. There have been waves of expansion and consolidation of functionality, working toward systems able to address the operational and business requirements of each new collection format. A key issue remains in play regarding whether patron-facing discovery products should be tightly interwoven with the resource management systems used by library personnel.

Computers in Libraries April 2014

One of the most important questions in the realm of library technology concerns the composition of the systems that support the library in how it manages and provides access to its collections and services. Is it better to have one do-it-all product or to assemble a set of modules from different providers? The history of library automation has seen a general trend toward more comprehensive platforms, but are we now at a time when it makes sense to consider other possibilities?

In this current phase, we can see at least two tracks in play-one that emphasizes the efficiencies gained through a fully integrated platform and another based on the flexibility gained through open systems able to integrate diverse components. Today, the key question centers on the extent to which patron-facing discovery products should be packaged together with resource management systems or if libraries can mix offerings from different providers.

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

Oct 23, 2016 18:40:16
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Participate in the 2016 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.

Reports that summarize the findings from each of the previous surveys are available:

2015 Library Automation Survey

I am now collecting responses for the 2016 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.

  1. Find your library in libraries.org:
    Find your library:
    (hint: for public libraries, enter city or county)
  2. Select and view the listing for your library
  3. Press the button
  4. Complete the form and write in your comments!

When viewing the entry for your library in lib-web-cats, 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.


Nov 2, 2016 18:04:34
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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. (off)

Industry News

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Full Automation News Report

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August 15, 2017. ODILO chosen by European Commission to help boost literacy in schools. ODILO has been selected by the European Commission to provide their digital reading platform to European schools and universities. ... <<more>>


August 15, 2017. Kuennen named Vice President of Professional Learning at VitalSource. VitalSource Technologies announce the hire of Eric Kuennen as its new Vice President of Professional Learning. In his role, Kuennen will lead VitalSource’s efforts to enable customers’ and partner com ... <<more>>


August 15, 2017. New release of Ex Libris Summon expands research paths and facilitates learning. Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, announced a new release of the Summon discovery service. This release helps libraries further address researcher and student needs and improve their users’ experience. P ... <<more>>


Full Automation News Report