Library Systems: Curent Developments and Future Directions
Healy, Leigh Watson
Copyright (c) 1998 Council on Library and Information Resources
Abstract: The Council on Library and Information Resources commissioned this report in response to concerns
expressed to us about he gap between institutional digital library initiatives and the products offered
by library systems vendors. Leigh Watson Healy, in this commissioned study, analyzes from the
perspective of libraries the strategies, visions, and products that vendors of integrated library systems
are offering as solutions. She has also developed case studies of different types of libraries that have
installed commercially available systems to provide a snapshot of the extent o which these systems
met the needs of the institutions.
Those who are looking for information about he "best" commercially available library management
system will be disappointed. This report is not meant o be a comparative study of integrated library
systems, nor does it analyze all of the features of these systems. The focus of this study is the needs of
libraries, and the analysis is meant o help librarians determine to what extent he integrated library
systems vendors deliver products to met hose needs. Any librarian in the process of choosing an
integrated library system will have to do far more research than is detailed in this report, but we hope
that the discussions of company philosophies and approaches will stimulate library discussions about
long-term institutional strategies.
Leigh Watson Healy has provided an excellent starting point for discussions that must take place in all
sizes and types of libraries as they begin to make use of Web-based technologies for the discovery and
retrieval of information in many different formats. We are pleased to offer this report as a stimulus.