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Perspective and commentary by Marshall Breeding

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Participate in the 2018 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 2017 survey, with links to previous reports is available:

2015 Library Automation Survey

I am now collecting responses for the 2018 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 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.


Nov 4, 2018 10:49:03
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Library Systems Report 2018: New technologies enable an expanded vision of library services

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 institutionsí 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. Itís 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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Name: Marshall Breeding

Title: Publisher

Organization: Library Technology Guides

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