Library Technology Guides

Blog content

Blog Posts from Library Technology Guides


Perspective and commentary by Marshall Breeding

subscribe to GuidePosts via RSS

It's Time to Break the Mold of the Original ILS

I'm been thinking lately about what a library automation system would look like today if we had the chance to start completely from scratch. I don't necessarily think we'll ever get the chance to start over, but I do worry that we're entirely too constrained by the ILS in its current form. In my Systems Librarian column for the Nov / Dec issue of Computers in Libraries, I present a few of the ways that library automation systems could serve libraries better if we could rebuild them around the ways that libraries work today.

Computers in Libraries Nov / Dec 2007
I anticipate that the next cycle of library automation developments will focus more on the ILS, but hopefully in a completely redefined form. The basic structure of today’s ILS was cast more than 20 years ago. The next generation of library automation systems needs to be designed to match the workfLows of today’s libraries, which manage both digital and print resources. In order to provide efficient and effective support, the software needs to be designed around the processes and tasks that meet the goals of the organization. The current slate of ILS products works on many assumptions about library workflows that have long since changed. The next generation would benefit from a thorough re-examination of the day-to-day work that takes place inside libraries.

Read the entire article. Here's a list of Systems Librarian columns.

Feb 12, 2008 18:39:13
Link to Posting:

Login or register to leave a comment.

Open Minds, Open Books, Open Source

Inside Higher Ed leads today with an article by Andy Guess titled "Open Minds, Open Books, Open Source." The article starts with a reference to my Perceptions 2007 article and survey, and how it "revealed a measure of discord over the options available to librarians for automating their electronic catalogs and databases, software called integrated library systems."

Inside Higher Ed

The article then goes on to describe some of the open source initiatives in the new generation library interface realm, including VUfind from Villanova University, the eXtensible Catalog work at University of Rochester River Campus Libraries, and LibraryFind from Oregon State University. None of the open source ILS poducts such as Koha or Evergreen were mentioned.

This article makes great points about libraries inventing their own way by embracing open source alternatives as they feel that the traditional ILS companies have not provided the level of innovation needed.

I agree that these projects represent important efforts within the library community. Interest in open source has never been stronger. I would only temper this observation with the other major finding in the Perceptions 2007, that libraries as overall expressed a relatively low interest in open source ILS alternatives. While I think that the levels of interest will continue to grow, I can't disregard the surprising low rankings given in response to the question regarding interested in implementing an open source ILS.

I expect to see robust competition between open source and proprietary closed source options in the library software space for the foreseeable future. But having the open source alternatives in the game at all represents an incredible change.

Feb 19, 2008 10:43:00
Link to Posting:

Login or register to leave a comment.


Photo of Marshall Breeding author of

Name: Marshall Breeding

Title: Publisher

Organization: Library Technology Guides


Nov 2018 (1 post)
May 2018 (1 post)
Mar 2018 (1 post)
Nov 2017 (2 posts)
May 2017 (1 post)
Jan 2017 (1 post)
Nov 2016 (1 post)
Oct 2016 (1 post)
Jul 2016 (1 post)
Mar 2016 (1 post)
Feb 2016 (1 post)
Nov 2015 (1 post)
May 2015 (3 posts)
Apr 2015 (1 post)
Feb 2015 (2 posts)
Jan 2015 (1 post)
Oct 2014 (2 posts)
Aug 2014 (1 post)
Jul 2014 (3 posts)
Jun 2014 (1 post)
Apr 2014 (1 post)
Mar 2014 (1 post)
Feb 2014 (1 post)
Dec 2013 (1 post)
Nov 2013 (3 posts)
Aug 2013 (2 posts)
Jun 2013 (1 post)
Apr 2013 (1 post)
Jan 2013 (2 posts)
Dec 2012 (1 post)
Nov 2012 (1 post)
Oct 2012 (1 post)
Sep 2012 (1 post)
Aug 2012 (1 post)
Jun 2012 (2 posts)
May 2012 (3 posts)
Mar 2012 (1 post)
Feb 2012 (1 post)
Jan 2012 (2 posts)
Dec 2011 (3 posts)
Nov 2011 (3 posts)
Oct 2011 (1 post)
Aug 2011 (1 post)
Jul 2011 (1 post)
May 2011 (1 post)
Apr 2011 (1 post)
Mar 2011 (3 posts)
Jan 2011 (1 post)
Dec 2010 (2 posts)
Nov 2010 (2 posts)
Sep 2010 (1 post)
Aug 2010 (2 posts)
Jul 2010 (1 post)
Jun 2010 (2 posts)
May 2010 (1 post)
Mar 2010 (2 posts)
Feb 2010 (1 post)
Jan 2010 (3 posts)
Dec 2009 (2 posts)
Nov 2009 (2 posts)
Oct 2009 (3 posts)
Sep 2009 (2 posts)
Aug 2009 (1 post)
Jul 2009 (1 post)
Jun 2009 (1 post)
May 2009 (1 post)
Apr 2009 (2 posts)
Mar 2009 (1 post)
Feb 2009 (1 post)
Jan 2009 (2 posts)
Dec 2008 (1 post)
Oct 2008 (2 posts)
Sep 2008 (2 posts)
Aug 2008 (5 posts)
Jul 2008 (1 post)
Jun 2008 (4 posts)
May 2008 (2 posts)
Apr 2008 (3 posts)
Mar 2008 (2 posts)
Feb 2008 (2 posts)
Jan 2008 (2 posts)
Dec 2007 (2 posts)
Nov 2007 (3 posts)
Oct 2007 (3 posts)
Sep 2007 (1 post)
Aug 2007 (3 posts)
Jul 2007 (1 post)