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:
OCLC Acquires Capira Technologies, Strengthening its Mobile Offerings
OCLC has acquired Capira Technologies, a small firm specializing in mobile apps for libraries. In a deal concluded on July 1, 2020, OCLC assumes responsibility for the company, including the development and support of its existing mobile apps. The four employees of Capira Technology also joined OCLC, including company founder Michael Berse.
(Smart Libraries Newsletter, October 2020)
Vendors Rush to Support Curbside Services
As libraries phase in access to their buildings and services in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, they strive to identify processes that give the greatest benefit at the lowest risk to patrons and library workers. Many have offered patrons the option to request items in advance through their online catalogs and collect them at a designated time with minimal physical contact. This curbside pickup model has become a routine service in the retail sector throughout the pandemic. The July 2020 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter listed some of the efforts in the library community to develop or enhance technology products to accommodate the special circumstances surrounding the pandemic crisis. Such developments have continued.
(Smart Libraries Newsletter, October 2020)
Smart Libraries Q&A
What are the main differences between an ILS and an LSP?
(Smart Libraries Newsletter, October 2020)
Library Systems Report 2020: Fresh opportunities amid consolidation
The library technology industry took some significant turns in 2019. Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, acquired Innovative Interfaces and shifted the balance of power, strengthening Ex Libris’s position in technology for academic libraries and propelling it as a major player in public libraries. This move narrows the slate of competitors in an industry already offering few viable options for many libraries. Technology for public library automation has been mired in stagnation. It takes a substantial level of development to both maintain existing products and build next-generation technologies for the emerging realities of a given library sector. Will Ex Libris opt to invent a new platform for public libraries, as it did for academics? How it responds may shape whether we see ongoing stasis or a new phase of innovation. Consolidation can also accelerate the development of alternatives. Concern about the lack of options for academic libraries was a factor in the launch of the open source FOLIO project. This year FOLIO became more real when a library moved it into production for the first time; a cadre of major libraries is poised for implementation. Success among these early sites will shape whatever position FOLIO might hold in the next phase of academic library technologies. New product categories have begun to emerge. Many companies look beyond the library as their sole audience for development and create products targeting their parent institutions or communities. Recent efforts include tech products that support teaching, such as reading-list applications, discovery services for open educational resources, and support for application program interfaces (APIs) and protocols that connect the library with student information systems. Interest in support services for higher-education research has increased. Research information systems have been available for quite some time, but this new wave of products positions libraries as research stakeholders.
(American Libraries, May 1, 2020)
EBSCO Information Services Acquires Zepheira
Zepheira, a company that has played a prominent role in the promotion and implementation of linked data to libraries and related institutions, has been acquired by EBSCO Information Services.
(Smart Libraries Newsletter, April 2020)
Library Perceptions 2020: Results of the 13th International Survey of Library Automation
The thirteenth 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 2019 through February 2020. Repeating the survey annually reveals interesting trends and insights into the companies and products involved. 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.
|Survey responses suggest possible trends in the next phase of system selections for academic libraries. Ex Libris Alma continues to be recognized for its sophisticated capabilities, especially among large and mid-sized institutions. OCLC WorldShare Management Services is well regarded among mid-sized academics. An increasing number of academic libraries mention interest in FOLIO as it enters the implementation phase of its product cycle.|
|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. The number of libraries using these legacy products continues to diminish rapidly and will fuel the churn of the next round of system selections.|
|Academic libraries considering migration mention Alma as one of their replacement candidates more than any other product, though interest in FOLIO continues to build.|
|Products with steady or rising satisfaction scores and high migration indicators include Ex Libris Aleph, Ex Libris Voyager, SirsiDynix Horizon, suggesting a higher likelihood that these libraries will choose thier next system from their incumbent vendor. Both Millennium and Sierra show diminishing satisfaction scores, high migration indicators, and diminishing company loyalty ratings, suggesting interest in moving away from the current vendor to other alternatives.|
|Libraries using traditional ILS products expressed varying levels of interest in migrating to new products. About 15 percent of those on currently supported products, including Symphony and Library.Solution, indicated they were looking for a new system.|
|Libraries using modern web-based products have little interest in changing systems. Biblionix Apollo received high satisfaction scores and very few libraries using it are considering alternatives. Even through their satisfaction ratings are not superlative, libraries using Ex Libris Alma and OCLC WorldShare Management Services expressed little interest in changing systems.|
|Open source products have been adopted in all library sectors. Both major open source ILS products, Koha and Evergreen, show increasing levels of satisfaction, with variance depending on support arrangements. Awareness of the FOLIO library services platform continues to increase with 104 libraries mentioning it among their migration candidates.|
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. Presenting results without regard to size categories would give misleading impressions. Products designed for small libraries would not be sucessful among larger and more complex institutions, despite superlative ratings by the small libraries that use them.
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 notable patterns regarding library services platforms. These products received strong marks in most categories but are not rated as highly 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.
(Library Technology Guides, March 5, 2020)
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.