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Perceptions 2018: An International Survey of Library Automation

Library Technology Guides [February 10, 2019]

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Abstract:

This twelfth 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 2018 through February 2019. 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.

Notable Observations
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.
Academic libraries considering migration mention Alma as one of their replacement candidates almost three times more than any other product.
Products with steady or rising satisfaction scores and high migration indicators include Ex Libris Aleph, Ex Libris Voyager, SirsiDynix Horizon. Innovative Millennium has diminishing satisfaction scores and high migration indicators.
Larger proportions of libraries using flagship ILS products registered interest in new products. About 20 percent of libraries using Library.Solution, Sierra, and Symphony are considering replacements.
Biblionix Apollo received high satisfaction scores and very few libraries using it are considering alternatives. Even through its satisfaction ratings are not superlative, libraries using Ex Libris Alma registered a very low level of interest in changing systems.
Both major open source products, Koha and Evergreen, show increasing levels of satisfaction, with variance depending on support arrangements. Awareness of FOLIO continues to increase with 65 libraries mentioning it among their migration candidates.

3,549 libraries completed this year's survey, providing sufficient data to focus the analysis more on each category of library type and size rather than aggregating across all responses. Libraries of different sizes and types bring different expectations to their systems, making it essential to segment survey results to make meaningful comparisons and extract trends. The functional requirements of public, academic, school, and other types of libraries overlap to a certain extent, but in other areas each has distinctive, if not contradictory, functionality. Some of the products represented in the survey have been designed for specific sectors. For those used by multiple types of libraries, the analysis of the survey results by size and type of organization provides an opportunity to observe any differences in satisfaction across these categories.

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. 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 interesting patterns regarding the newer generation of library services platforms. These products received strong marks in most categories but are perceived as less capable 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.

I appreciate the time given by all the libraries that responded to the survey this year and in its previous iterations. Each response contributes to a growing body of data available for the broader library community to explore as they consider their options regarding these strategic technology products. Libraries have always relied on recommendations from their peers as they make system decisions. This survey provides a large aggregation of evaluative data that can complement more in-depth conversations that libraries considering a system would have with specific reference sites.


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Publication Year:2019
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Library Technology Guides
Issue:February 10, 2019
Publisher:Library Technology Guides
Place of Publication:Nashville, TN
Online access:https://librarytechnology.org/perceptions/2018/
Record Number:24499
Last Update:2019-11-20 07:34:06
Date Created:2019-08-02 07:36:36