Library Technology Guides

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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:


Perspective and commentary by Marshall Breeding

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Library Systems Report 2018: New technologies enable an expanded vision of library services

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Library Systems Report

The 2017 edition of the annual industry report that I have produced since 2002 has been published by American Libraries. The report is available online and in the May 2017 print issue. The 2002 through 2013 editions of this report were published by Library Journal.

Technologies that focus on supporting traditional library services no longer meet the needs of libraries that wish to strengthen their involvement in new service areas.

Academic libraries are looking beyond efficiencies in collection management or improvements in library-provided discovery services. Instead, they are addressing broader education needs by inserting relevant resources into platforms that support the curriculum and enhance their institutions’ research activities. Public libraries seek technologies that improve engagement with their communities. These libraries value reliable and feature-rich automation systems, and they are especially drawn to those that help them deliver compelling digital services. Basic library resource management and discovery capabilities no longer differentiate competitors in this market of mature products.

Library services platforms (LSPs) have been in use for more than half a decade and are a proven solution with products that continue to mature and evolve. The move from legacy products to an LSP may provide new efficiencies for internal library operations, but current models extend deeper into the academic enterprise.

A plethora of integrated library systems (ILS) with long lineages pervades the industry. In many respects these products have not only matured in functionality but have also adapted to changing expectations. The ILS continues to be the dominant solution for public, school, and special libraries, though it faces formidable challenges from LSPs in the academic library sphere.

In 2017, many ILS vendors devoted considerable development efforts to web-based interfaces. Many have evolved from earlier client-server technologies with graphic interfaces installed on the computers of staff members or service desks. The age of client-server computing has passed, and the transition to web interfaces is long overdue. Libraries seek fully web-based products without compromising the rich functionality and efficiencies embodied in legacy platforms. It’s unfortunate at this late phase of the cycle of cloud computing that development efforts are consumed in a lateral move toward new interfaces at the expense of innovations.

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May 2, 2018 09:22:59
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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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August 17, 2018. D-Tech International announces new Canadian reseller agreement with Ristech Company Inc.. D-Tech International announced its new reseller, Ristech Company Inc. to serve the Canadian library market. Ristech is a leading global distributor of automated digitization solutions. Ristech current ... <<more>>

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August 15, 2018. Dartmouth College Library selects Preservica for long-term digital preservation needs. The Dartmouth College Library, an integral part of the private Ivy League research university in Hanover, New Hampshire, has chosen Preservica’s cloud-hosted active digital preservation software to pr ... <<more>>

August 14, 2018. University of Sydney selects Ex Libris Alma and Primo. Ex Libris announced that the University of Sydney has selected the Ex Libris Alma library services platform and Primo discovery and delivery solution to improve the visibility and accessibility of the ... <<more>>

August 14, 2018. APLIC 18: Amazing speakers, overseas guests, new and familiar faces. Insight Informatics, leading provider of LIBERO - the internationally recognised library software, was a proud Exhibitor at the Australian Pacific Library and information Conference (APLIC) 2018 confe ... <<more>>

August 9, 2018. OASIS platform adds 5,000 SAGE Knowledge Ebooks. Academic libraries can now search for and acquire SAGE Knowledge content directly through the OASIS platform, ProQuest’s search, selection and ordering system for print and ebooks. ... <<more>>

August 9, 2018. VitalSource Simplifies Courseware Integrations. VitalSource announced today it will simplify courseware integrations by removing barriers to access for students and instructors and streamlining administrative setup for institutions. Beginning this ... <<more>>

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August 8, 2018. Oberon Council selects Civica’s Spydus cloud based library solution to strengthen its community focus. Civica, one of Australia’s leading suppliers of critical software applications, digital solutions, and managed services that help transform the way organisations work, today announced that Oberon Coun ... <<more>>

Full Automation News Report