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Smart Libraries Newsletter

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Volume 40 Number 10October 2020
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: The Challenges Ahead
The library technology industry will face one of its most challenging periods as a result of the global pandemic crisis. Libraries have rallied to protect their workers and their patrons through closures of their physical facilities and careful reintroduction of services that can be provided safely. Yet, there will undoubtedly be a more enduring economic impact on libraries and on the vendors that serve them. Libraries and their parent institutions will likely see painful budget reductions for multiple years. Each Library sectors may see different budget trajectories, but the library technology industry as a whole is not likely to remain unscathed.
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Breeding, Marshall, OCLC Acquires Capira Technologies, Strengthening its Mobile Offerings
OCLC has acquired Capira Technologies, a small firm specializing in mobile apps for libraries. In a deal concluded on July 1, 2020, OCLC assumes responsibility for the company, including the development and support of its existing mobile apps. The four employees of Capira Technology also joined OCLC, including company founder Michael Berse.
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Breeding, Marshall, Vendors Rush to Support Curbside Services
As libraries phase in access to their buildings and services in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, they strive to identify processes that give the greatest benefit at the lowest risk to patrons and library workers. Many have offered patrons the option to request items in advance through their online catalogs and collect them at a designated time with minimal physical contact. This curbside pickup model has become a routine service in the retail sector throughout the pandemic. The July 2020 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter listed some of the efforts in the library community to develop or enhance technology products to accommodate the special circumstances surrounding the pandemic crisis. Such developments have continued.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
What are the main differences between an ILS and an LSP?
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Volume 40 Number 09September 2020
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Community Development
Almost all libraries rely on technology systems to manage their collection resources and provide access to their users. It is hard to imagine libraries carrying out their work without the assistance of some type of computer system. The level of involvement that a library will devote to its key technology products varies.
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Breeding, Marshall, Ex Libris Introduces Cloud Apps
Ex Libris has recently released a new framework on its software platform that emulates the app paradigm experienced in the mobile arena. Ex Libris Cloud Apps brings installable apps into the environment of its strategic products. Apps can be created and deployed for any of the major products running on the “Ex Libris higher-ed platform,” which includes Esploro, Primo VE, Leganto, Rialto, and Rapido, in addition to Alma. The new framework enables Alma users to find, select, and enable apps without technical intervention. These apps, created by Ex Libris customers, give Alma users an extended set of tools to work more efficiently or perform specialized tasks. These apps run within the Alma platform and are used directly within the Alma staff-use interface, inheriting context such as authorizations and preferences.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
As libraries prepare for service post-pandemic, self-checkout is looking more appealing. What are functionalities or factors we should be looking at in choosing a self-checkout station? Who are the major vendors in the marketplace? What are recommended steps for sanitizing self-checkout stations in operation?
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Volume 40 Number 08August 2020
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Competing Visions and Technology Ecosystems
ProQuest and EBSCO Information Systems continue to vie for the busines of libraries across a growing range of products and services, spanning many different aspects of technology and content. While there are many other competitors in the mix, these two have an interesting set of competitive dynamics.
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Breeding, Marshall, FOLIO Advances with New Implementations and Organizational Changes
The project to create the open source FOLIO library service platform has made significant advances, including a round of new installations and some changes in organizational structures. Libraries have partnered multiple support vendors, demonstrating the readiness of the software to accommodate a wide range of academic libraries. Other libraries have opted to implement FOLIO apps, such as electronic resource management, as a first phase, while continuing to rely on their existing ILS for other areas of functionality.
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Volume 40 Number 07July 2020
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Privacy and Security in Times of Crisis
One of the important elements of controlling the spread of the coronavirus involves contact tracing. If a person becomes ill with, or tests positive for, COVID-19, to limit further spread, it is important to determine the other persons who may have been exposed. As noted in a recent American Libraries article,1 the skills of librarians are well suited to this task, especially since they bring a concern for protecting privacy to the process. I would further emphasize the need for a strong firewall between any patron data in library systems and involvement by library personnel in contact tracing. The use of names and addresses in patron records for other purposes, even for a good cause such as public health, would probably be inconsistent with most library privacy policies. The use of ILS contact details to make calls to check up on elderly or vulnerable patrons may likewise exceed the terms of privacy policies.
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Breeding, Marshall, Libraries Prepare to Reopen
Although the COVID-19 pandemic crisis has not yet fully abated in the United States, most states have begun a process of reopening, allowing businesses and other organizations to resume public activities with varying levels of restrictions. Libraries are part of this movement, striving to provide services to their communities in ways that assure the safety of library workers and their patrons.
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Breeding, Marshall, Overdrive Sale Has Closed
The February 2020 issue of Smart Library Newsletter featured the proposed transfer of ownership of OverDrive from Rakuten to investment firm KKR. This transaction, initiated in December 2019, closed in early June 2020.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
What are some of the email transmission standards and protocols that a library should implement to ensure privacy and reliable delivery? Can libraries depend on reliable email delivery for important communications such as circulation notices? How does email fit into marketing campaigns?
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Volume 40 Number 06June 2020
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology:Library Systems Report: Epilogue
The latest “Library Systems Report” was published in the May issue of American Libraries. Subtitled “Fresh opportunities amid consolidation,” the report features the latest rounds of consolidation that continue to shape the library technology industry. As a systematic view of the library technology industry, the annual report brings together data from a variety of sources and provides some observations and predictions based on the events that transpired within the previous year. Vendors submit data on sales and personnel via a questionnaire as well as a narrative section that describes the year's major accomplishments. The report also considers other sources, such as press releases and system installation data from Library Technology Guides
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Breeding, Marshall, Market Share Dynamics: US Public and Academic Libraries
The library technology industry comprises multiple distinct sectors. It is segmented by type of library and by geographic regions. Distinctive assortments of companies and vendors compete within each geographic region. Languages and economic levels favor different selections of products. While the global vendors have some presence in almost all global regions, most countries also have a set of specialized local vendors. Sectors defined by library types have even stronger demarcations of products and vendors. Public, academic, school, and special libraries have increasingly diverged in the shape of their collections and the essence of their services. Each require substantially different technology support. This section takes a closer look at the market dynamics of the academic and public library sectors in the United States.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
What should be the librarian's role with digital and social media in 2020?
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Volume 40 Number 05May 2020
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on libraries. Most governmental authorities issued orders to close nonessential services, to restrict gatherings, and to maintain social distancing. Leaving economic forecasts to the experts, it seems reasonable to conclude that the library community will face budget challenges and will need to reshape at least part of their service programs for the next few years. We can also expect longterm or even permanent challenges for libraries after the initial wave of this pandemic abates
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Breeding, Marshall, Vendor Responses to COVID-19
The COVID-19 crisis has had a major impact on vendors in the library technology industry. The operations of these organizations have seen major disruption consistent with those in other business and governmental sectors throughout the world.
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Breeding, Marshall, FTC Reviews ProQuest Acquisition of Innovative Interfaces
The acquisition of Innovative Interfaces by ProQuest, announced in December 2019, is one of the major events in the history of the library technology industry. The deal in which ProQuest purchased Innovative from its previous investors, HCCG and JMI Equity, closed on January 16, 2020. Innovative has become a wholly owned subsidiary of ProQuest, with Yariv Kursh in place as general manager. This transaction has attracted the attention of the Federal Trade Commission, which has initiated a review of the impact of the acquisition on the competitive environment. No specific timeframe has been given on the review, nor can any outcomes be predicted until it is concluded.
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Breeding, Marshall, Patron Point Launches Online Patron Registration
Patron Point, a firm offering a set of services to help libraries improve their marketing and communications with patrons, introduced a new product for patron self-registration.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
Our library has closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to provide Wi-Fi connectivity for use by our patrons from our parking lot and grounds. Are there any security issues or other concerns that we should address?
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Volume 40 Number 04April 2020
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Linked Data Brings Challenges and Opportunities to Libraries
For a decade or more, libraries have been working toward increased adoption of semantic web technologies and linked data. As early implementors of online systems, libraries created their own set of protocols and metadata formats that were optimized for a technical world that pre-dated the web.
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Breeding, Marshall, EBSCO Information Services Acquires Zepheira
Zepheira, a company that has played a prominent role in the promotion and implementation of linked data to libraries and related institutions, has been acquired by EBSCO Information Services.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
What changes can we implement to ensure our catalog and discovery services are protecting our patrons' privacy? How can we help ensure our patrons' confidentiality in regard to reader privacy, reading statistics, and digital information access?
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Volume 40 Number 03March 2020
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Implications of Company Ownership in the Library Technology Industry 1-2
Breeding, Marshall, Consolidation Takes a New Form: BiblioCommons Acquired by Constellation Software
BiblioCommons, a Toronto-based company providing a suite of applications and interfaces for public libraries, has been acquired by Volaris Group, one of six operating companies of Constellation Software, Inc. BiblioCommons has become established as a major force in the public library sector, and its products have been implemented by an impressive list of libraries and consortia in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This transaction marks a departure from its status as a founder-owned company. Though BiblioCommons will continue to operate independently, it now falls under the ownership of a large multinational technology firm managing a diverse portfolio of technology and software companies. But unlike general private equity firms, Constellation has never sold the companies it acquires.
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Breeding, Marshall, Update on the Acquisition of Innovative by ProQuest
The acquisition of Innovative Interfaces by ProQuest featured in the last issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter closed on January 15, 2020 and is now finalized. Closing the acquisition begins the business and product integration process, which will play out over the next couple of years. Innovative ultimately will be incorporated into the Ex Libris subsidiary of ProQuest.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
Many libraries used shared accounts to log into staff computers at public service points. Can you discuss benefits and risks with this and also share your recommendation on using shared accounts versus individual user accounts?
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Volume 40 Number 02February 2020
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: High Stakes for Digital Lending in Public Libraries
It's hard to imagine a topic of greater impact to public libraries than digital lending. Public libraries continue to invest higher proportions of their collection budgets to digital content. As illustrated in Figure 1, public libraries in the United States have steadily increased their investments in digital content. In 2017, the last year for which statistics are publicly available from IMLS, digital resources exceeded over $374 million. Most of this spending goes to subscriptions to digital lending platforms and licensing of e-book and audiobook titles. While aggregate spending on print materials by US public libraries has diminished since 2008, it has held steady in the last few years. If these trend lines continue their current course, access to digital materials may surpass acquisitions of print materials within a few years.
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Breeding, Marshall, OverDrive to Change Ownership
OverDrive, the largest commercial provider of e-books and other digital content to libraries, issued a Christmas Eve announcement of its pending change in ownership. The company's current owner Rakuten has entered into a definitive agreement to sell OverDrive to KKR, a major US-based investment firm. As digital lending continues its steady rise, this news sparks interest and raises questions for the library community.
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Breeding, Marshall, Ex Libris Completes Sweep of Higher Education in California
Ex Libris has now sold its Alma library services platform to all three of the public higher educational systems in California. A recent announcement from the Systemwide Integrated Library System taskforce of the University of California libraries announced the final selection of Alma and Primo from Ex Libris, now part of ProQuest. The University of California system joins the California State University System and the Consortium of Community Colleges in the selection of Alma to provide shared infrastructure for the management of their collections and Primo for discovery and access. Each of these projects on its own would be considered massive; together these three systems represent an unprecedented level of involvement by the libraries in a single governmental jurisdiction with a single vendor.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
Are there advantages to having a mobile library app when you have a responsive library website? If so, what are the advantages?
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Volume 40 Number 01January 2020
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: The Consolidation Continues
Consolidation has been a constant theme of the library technology industry for the last two decades. Through a relentless pattern of mergers and acquisitions, the number of companies offering integrated library systems (ILSs) and other strategic technology products has become drastically reduced. This activity has included the acquisition of companies that directly compete with each other and the absorption of technology companies into larger organizations that offer content products or other services to libraries.
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Breeding, Marshall, ProQuest to Acquire Innovative Interfaces
In a move that further consolidates the library technology industry, Ex Libris has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Innovative Interfaces, Inc. from its private equity investors. Since December 2015, Ex Libris has been owned by ProQuest. In addition to its role as a major content provider to libraries, ProQuest is now responsible for a growing portfolio of library technology products, including major systems for resource management, content discovery, materials acquisition, reading list integration, and research services. While ProQuest faces major competition for each of its product categories, this move substantially strengthens its position in the sector and broadens its scope to include public libraries.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
What are the top 5 “new” technologies that librarians should be expected to answer questions about or see students using in the next few years?
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Volume 39 Number 12December 2019
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Balance in Library Tech News
One of the biggest challenges in selecting and developing news stories for Smart Libraries Newsletter lies in providing balanced coverage of the library technology industry. It is important to ensure that each story covers the events and companies objectively and to select stories that reflect the overall state of the industry. Objective coverage means that each story must be based on information and data from reliable sources. In this newsletter, sources can include announcements from vendors, email or verbal interviews with company executives or librarians, and observable data such as product implementation statistics. I maintain extensive data related to the technology products used by libraries in Library Technology Guides, which are often referenced in news articles.
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Breeding, Marshall, Update on Ex Libris Alma
The Alma library services platform (LSP) from Ex Libris, now part of ProQuest, continues to make gains in the academic and research library sector. The product's steady stream of product releases deployed monthly and new implementations by library have become routine. The dominance of Alma in this sector must be seen as the backdrop or context for other events that spark interest but tend to have smaller impact. Alma has seen strong and steady adoption since its initial implementations in 2012, including some of the largest university library systems and regional or national consortia.
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Breeding, Marshall, First U.S. Library Live on OCLC Wise
OCLC launched its strategic resource management product for public libraries in the U.S. last year, branded as OCLC Wise. This product aims to go beyond the model of a traditional ILS, to also include capabilities for community engagement.
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Breeding, Marshall, Progress on Inspire Discovery from Innovative
Innovative interfaces announced its strategy to create its next generation set of products on a new platform, branded as Inspire. Smart Libraries Newsletter featured this new product in the May 2019 issue. The company recently announced that the product has been deployed by two early adopters, Cairn University in Pennsylvania and Hillsdale college in Michigan. Neither institution has fully replaced its existing catalog or discovery services with Inspire Discovery, though they are working with their patrons to introduce this new search service.
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Breeding, Marshall, ByWater Expands Support Offerings to Include Aspen Discovery
ByWater Solutions, a company involved in providing services surrounding open source software, has recently expanded its portfolio to include Aspen Discovery. This open source discovery interface based on VuFind was originally developed by Mark Noble. His business, Turning Leaf Technologies, has been acquired by ByWater solutions and Noble now serves as Aspen Discovery Team Lead.
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Breeding, Marshall, Kevin Sayer Joins Kanopy as Chief Executive Officer
Kanopy, a company providing a streaming video service to libraries, has named Kevin Sayer as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The company's founder and long-time CEO Olivia Humphrey will remain involved with the company as its Executive Chairman of its Board of Directors. Kanopy was founded in 2008 in Australia and has since expanded into New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States. The company is now headquartered in San Francisco.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
When moving to a new ILS, what recommendations do you have to prepare collection data for migration?
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Volume 39 Number 11November 2019
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Open Source Perspectives
Open source library systems continue to represent an important component of the library technology industry. This approach to software development and distribution embraces a distinct set of values and business models compared to proprietary technology products. The mandatory rules relating to how the software can be shared and modified aligns well with the collaborative values inherent to the culture of libraries. Communities that develop among the individuals and organizations involved with each open source product likewise appeal to libraries. These communities enable libraries to participate in the design and development of these software products that they rely on as vital components of their technical infrastructure. Libraries using proprietary products also engage in participatory processes to guide ongoing developments, usually through user groups.
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Breeding, Marshall, FOLIO Crosses New Thresholds
The initiative to develop FOLIO as an open source library services platform has been underway since 2016 and has continued to cross important milestones. The software has continued to advance in its functionality and completeness, leading to its first production migration, selections in formal procurement processes, with other libraries waiting in the wings for future implementation.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
The library's ISP won't provide a means for us to change the Wi-Fi password or provide usage statistics without doing it themselves and charging more than we can afford for the service. We cannot change ISPs. I was thinking about buying a new router and installing it so that I could control these functions. Neither the library nor the county has an IT department or even an IT person. Do you have any recommendations?
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Volume 39 Number 10October 2019
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Technologies to Address Public Library Trends
Over the last few weeks I have been aggregating public library statistics into the libraries.org directory on Library Technology Guides. These data sets are made publicly available by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for public libraries in the United States. I see interesting possibilities in making associations between technology services implemented and use patterns, demographics, or collection characteristics. I have created a few tools to view individual library statistics and aggregations of statistics by state and for all states combined.1 While I'm in the early phase of this investigation, some patterns already stand out.
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Breeding, Marshall, Follett Corporation Makes New Leadership Appointments
Follett Corporation, one of the largest companies providing products and services to libraries and educational institutions, has made new appointments in key executive positions. These changes apply to senior executive positions within the context of ongoing top-level leadership with Patrick Connolly as President and Chief Executive Officer and Todd Litzsinger as the chair of the board of directors.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
How can voice recognition software be used in libraries?
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Volume 39 Number 09September 2019
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Strengthening the Impact of Print Collections
Despite increased interest in digital and electronic content, libraries continue to manage print materials as a core part of their work. While much of the new opportunities lie in digital content and services, the future of libraries also depends on how well they can manage the diminishing—yet persistent—print collections. Current trends do not point toward a future of all digital libraries. Rather complex, multi-format collections composed of print and electronic resources will prevail for the indefinite future.
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Breeding, Marshall, Lyngsoe Systems: Intelligent Material Management System (IMMS)
Lyngsoe Systems, a major supplier of automated material handling equipment and related technology products, has recently developed the Intelligent Material Management System. This product was introduced in partnership with the Aarhus and Copenhagen public library systems in Denmark and has since been adopted by other libraries in Scandinavia and the UK. The IMMS is a business application that supplements a library's ILS and self-service and automated material handling equipment to achieve savings in personnel costs through increased efficiency and reduced inventory errors.
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Breeding, Marshall, Gobi and Oasis
EBSCO Information Services and ProQuest both have diversified businesses that include book marketplace and ordering platforms. GOBI, originally created by YBP Library Solutions, was acquired by EBSCO in 2015. ProQuest acquired the OASIS and MyiLibrary platforms from Ingram Content Group in April of the same year. ProQuest has begun the development of a new content acquisition platform branded as Rialto. The two companies compete in many different areas of content and technology.
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Breeding, Marshall, Mergers of Non-profit Organizations Now Complete

The March 2019 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter described the anticipated merger of the DuraSpace into Lyrasis. The respective boards of directors of these two non-profit organizations have given final approval to the merger. As of July 1, 2019, the personnel and activities of DuraSpace are part of the Lyrasis organization.

Likewise, the merger of NFAIS into NISO has been finalized. NISO announced that the transfer of assets and other organizational details were completed by June 30, 2019. Key NFAIS activities such as its advocacy and educational activities, annual conference and the NFAIS Humanities Roundtable will continue within the NISO organization. NISO recently hired Jason Griffey as Director of Strategic Initiatives to support new activities of the expanded organization.

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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
What should we consider when looking at print management systems?
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Volume 39 Number 08August 2019
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: The Critical Need for Efficient Resource Sharing
It's an unfortunate reality that no library today has the funding to acquire all the resources needed to satisfy the research needs and interests of its users. Even the most well-funded libraries must make difficult choices regarding the print and electronic resources they are able to acquire. The limitation of library budgets and the constant increases in pricing result in incredible pressure on the development of collections. Libraries naturally supplement their direct collections with additional services where they can obtain materials from external sources when needed by their patrons. Interlibrary loan, document delivery, and other resource sharing services. When not available locally, libraries aim to provide requested materials in the fastest, most efficient, and least costly way possible.
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Breeding, Marshall, Ex Libris Acquires RapidILL
In a move that expands its exiting involvement in resource sharing for academic libraries, Ex Libris has acquired RapidILL from Colorado State University. This acquisition expands the company's existing strategy to develop resource sharing products based on its Alma library services platform. RapidILL will continue as a service available to all libraries regardless of the automation systems used. Ex Libris and Colorado State University position this acquisition as an opportunity for RapidILL to see faster software development and to expand its presence globally.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
What best practices do you recommend for our library websites?
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Volume 39 Number 07July 2019
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: The Stewards of Library Technology
One aspect of the library technology that I find interesting concerns the diverse ownership arrangements of the companies and organizations that provide technology products and services to libraries. The mix includes for-profit commercial companies and non-profit organizations. The commercial companies fall under differing ownership arrangements, such as those that are privately held by the founding owner or family, those controlled by investment firms, publicly traded companies, as well as those with hybrid ownership structures.
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Breeding, Marshall, Springshare Acquires QuestionPoint from OCLC
OCLC has divested its QuestionPoint online reference service, selling the product to Springshare, a commercial company offering a variety of products, mostly focusing on public-facing library services delivered through a software-as-a-service platform. This product, officially branded as the QuestionPoint 24/7 Reference Cooperative, has been offered to libraries as a subscription service since 2002.
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Breeding, Marshall, Atairos Invests in ProQuest
The ownership arrangement for ProQuest has undergone a major change. The investment firm Atairos has made a major investment in the company, essentially replacing Goldman Sachs as the minority owner of the company. Cambridge Information Group (CIG) acquired ProQuest in 2007 and continues as its majority investor.
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Breeding, Marshall, Baker & Taylor Exits Services for Retail Bookstores
In a major shift in the retail bookseller market, Follett-owned Baker & Taylor announced that it will phase out its operations as a wholesale distributor for bookstores. The company will instead strengthen its operations related to providing books and other content to public libraries. This change is consistent with the business focus of its parent company, Follett, on libraries and educational institutions. This move will provide opportunities for large distributors such as Ingram Content Group, the other major competitor in the retail book distribution sector, as well as for smaller companies.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Q&A
How will blockchain impact libraries?
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Volume 39 Number 06June 2019
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Balancing Print and Digital
It's a basic observation that libraries today remain committed to providing access and services to collections spanning all possible formats. While libraries generally see increasing proportions of digital content, print has not vanished from the scene as many predicted a couple of decades ago. Libraries therefore must manage complex collections spanning physical and digital formats.
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Breeding, Marshall, An Open Source Option for Public Library E-book Lending
A collaboration between DPLA, NYPL, and LYRASIS is working to develop a new alternative for public library e-book lending. 1 This infrastructure includes an open source repository, a mobile e-book reader, and a marketplace for libraries to purchase titles for lending. In the context where e-book lending for public libraries is dominated by commercial platforms, this new alternative represents a community-based alternative that is based on open source software and a non-profit business model.
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Breeding, Marshall, Executive Changes at Innovative
Innovative Interfaces announced a change in its executive leadership at the recent Innovative Users Group meeting (May 6, 2019, Phoenix, AZ). The company's Board of Directors has appointed Shaheen Javadizadeh as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). James Tallman will take the role of Executive Chairman and will continue in an advisory role with the company, providing continuity with the strategies established under his tenure.
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Breeding, Marshall, Ex Libris Consolidates Discovery Indexes
Consistent with previous announcements, Ex Libris is creating a single discovery index that will power both of the company's discovery products, Primo and Summon.5 Following the acquisition of Ex Libris by ProQuest, the company's product portfolio included two index-based discovery products, each with distinctive interfaces and features. At the time of the merger, the company assured its customers that both products would be supported indefinitely. Both Primo and Summon are widely implemented in academic libraries. Given the substantial differences between Summon and Primo, combining them into a single interface will likely not be well accepted by customers.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
How can libraries effectively market their institutional repository?
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Volume 39 Number 05May 2019
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Evolution or Revolution?
>The current slate of technology products and services has come about through the developments of a diverse set of companies, non-profit organizations, and open source initiatives. The library technology industry has seen an overarching trend of incremental, evolutionary development. There have also been some episodes where new products have been introduced that depart substantially from the prevailing path through a more revolutionary vein. Sometimes the revolution has been a minor deviation; in other cases, it has led the way to establishing new trends, which then become the basis for a new wave of evolutionary development.
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Breeding, Marshall, Innovative Launches Inspire Discovery
Innovative has launched a new patron-facing search interface, branded as Inspire Discovery, positioned as its next generation discovery technology. The company officially launched the product at the ACRL conference in Cleveland, OH on April 10, 2019. Inspire Discovery is the initial product built on a new technology platform from Innovative that has been in the design and development stage since early 2017.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
When our library decides to put its data in the cloud for backup storage and emergency access, what encryption, level of security, and access do we need to consider for non-personal information data versus personal data that might include payroll information and such? Is there a going rate that is reasonable? Are there other considerations and issues to watch out for when considering contracting with a tech company providing these services?
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Volume 39 Number 04April 2019
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Dominance or Domineering
One obvious observation relates to the size of companies able to gain a dominant market share. Companies that have amassed a larger customer base gain the revenues needed to support the development capacity to continually enhance core products and spin off new offerings. Follett and Ex Libris have not remained complacent with their core automation products despite quite successful sales; instead, they have gone on to develop products in new areas of functionality of interest to their respective library types. These corporate giants have an appetite for growth in their business that cannot be satisfied just by selling their core product to more libraries but also by seeking out opportunities in lesser explored territories.
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Breeding, Marshall, Business Transition at Turnitin
Turnitin has become established as the leading brand associated with technologies and services related to the verification of writing for originality and related services. The products of Turnitin are used by educational institutions, publishers, companies, and other organizations to look for indications that portions of a submitted text may have been copied from other sources. While generally thought of as automated plagiarism checking, these tools do not necessarily make categorical judgements, but present scores of similarity that can be reviewed for any necessary follow-up. Turnitin's products have become a routine component of an educational institution's technology infrastructure through integrations with learning management systems (LMSs) as well as an expected element of the review and grading of student papers submitted for course requirements. In addition to reviewing originality of papers, Turnitin offers additional services that can help automate the grading of student papers, providing some relief to instructors with onerous workloads. The service is used by 34 million students in 15,000 educational institutions, including both K-12 and higher educational institutions.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
What recommendations do you have for libraries outsourcing technology, such as hosting, etc.?
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Volume 39 Number 03March 2019
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Consolidation and Concentration
Consolidation has been a prevailing trend among organizations that provide products and services to libraries—including both commercial and non-profits—since about the late-1990s. This newsletter and its predecessor Library Systems Newsletter have chronicled a constant succession of events that have transformed the industry from a large array of smaller organizations to a more consolidated landscape. These business acquisitions, often positioned under the more neutral sounding label of “merger,” have formed some dominant powerhouse companies as well as some mid-sized organizations.
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Breeding, Marshall, EBSCO Acquires Stacks
EBSCO Information Services has acquired Stacks, a company that has developed a specialized web portal for libraries. Stacks has worked with EBSCO as a partner in the development of Stacks since 2016 and has served as its exclusive channel for sales and support. This move advances the arrangement from partnership to full ownership. The launch of Stacks as a new product was featured in the November 2016 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter.
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Breeding, Marshall, Axiell Acquires Bibliotekenes IT-senter
Axiell, a major provider of technologies to libraries, museums, and archives, has acquired Bibliotekenes IT-senter, more commonly known as Bibits, expanding its presence in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. This acquisition brings two important products into the Axiell product portfolio, the Micromarc ILS dominant in Norway, and Saga, a library web portal. This move represents a significant expansion of Axiell's library business and brings in a new set of customer libraries with potential interest in its flagship Quria library services platform.
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Breeding, Marshall, Lyrasis and DuraSpace to Merge
Lyrasis, a major non-profit library services organization, and DuraSpace, the non-profit organizational home for open source repository platforms DSpace and Fedora as well as the VIVO collaborative research profile platform intend to merge.
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Breeding, Marshall, NFAIS to Merge into NISO
The two major non-profit organizations involved with the broader library and information science community will merge. NFAIS (National Federation of Advanced Information Services) will become part of NISO (National Information Standards Organization). Discussions regarding the possibility of NFAIS and NISO joining forces beginning in the summer of 2018 have progressed and culminated in a decision to go forward, and ultimately in approval by the organizations' respective boards. The merger, still contingent on approval by the NFAIS membership, was announced in February 2019.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
How do you think the internet of things will impact libraries in the future?
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Volume 39 Number 02February 2019
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Toward Greater Transparency in the Library Tech Industry
Libraries benefit from access to the most information possible as they make technology decisions, especially regarding their needs to replace or retain strategic products such as integrated library systems, library services platforms, discovery services, or other major automation components. These products represent major investments by organizations with limited budgets and that depend on technology for much of their work and in the provision of their services to their communities.
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Breeding, Marshall, ProQuest and Ex Libris Reorganize Latin American Operations
ProQuest and Ex Libris have reorganized and consolidated their operations in Latin America. This move is consistent with a longstanding strategy where Ex Libris has steadily shifted away from working through distributors for sales and support in specific regions to direct operations through wholly owned offices or subsidiaries. It also reflects a growing integration between ProQuest and its Ex Libris subsidiary.
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Breeding, Marshall, Library and Archives Canada Launches New Library System
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has completed another milestone in its transition to OCLC's WorldShare Management Services and WorldCat Discovery Service for the management of its own collections and for end user access to its catalog and the National Union Catalog.
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Breeding, Marshall, OCLC Attracts Another ARL Member
OCLC has also announced that McGill University Library in Canada has opted to replace its Aleph integrated library system from Ex Libris with WorldShare Management Services. This library implemented WorldCat Local as its discovery interface in 2009. McGill becomes the fourth member of the Association of Research Libraries to select WorldShare Management Services; the University of Delaware, University of New Mexico and the University of Louisville had previously selected the product.
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Breeding, Marshall, Product Advancements
Libraries expect continual development of their products as a benefit of their ongoing maintenance and support payments. Many vendors recently announced new versions and enhancements of their products.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
If money was not an object, what technology tools would you recommend for a library to purchase? This would not be for lending, but for patrons to view and use in-house.
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Volume 39 Number 01January 2019
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Looking Forward into the New Year
This January issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter gives us the chance to review some of the events in the field that happened in 2018 and speculate about what might lie ahead in the next year or so. It's helpful to look at past events to get a better sense of the trajectory of ongoing trends that will impact the technology decisions that face libraries in the near and long term.
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Breeding, Marshall, Follett Acquires NextTier Education
In a move that strengthens its position in the educational technology sector, Follett has acquired Chicago-based NextTier Education, a relatively new startup offering a platform designed to help students apply for post-secondary education programs. This acquisition builds on a previous arrangement announced in May 2018, where Follett became the exclusive distributor of NextTier Education products to domestic and international institutions.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
We’ve recently had several patrons ask for technology to magnify documents and print books. What’s the best tech for this (portable, desktop computer peripheral, and/or standalone)?
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Volume 38 Number 12December 2018
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Integration and Interoperability Versus Unification
An important set of contracting trends can currently be seen in play in the library technology arena. The issue centers on whether the scope of technology systems should continue to expand to encompass an ever-broader universe of functionality and services, or should products ideally focus on a more finite scope with an emphasis on interoperability so that libraries can assemble customized environment?
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Breeding, Marshall, ProQuest Introduces Rialto
The January 2015 acquisition of Ex Libris by ProQuest joined the leading technology provider for academic and research libraries with a larger-scale company offering a wide range of content and workflow products. Since its acquisition, Ex Libris has continued to develop, support, and market its products through its own brand and business identity. In a move that highlights the synergies between ProQuest and Ex Libris, the company has launched a new product branded as Rialto to deliver the capabilities of ProQuest OASIS through the Alma platform.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
Are any ILS companies investing in BIBFRAME based systems?
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Volume 38 Number 11November 2018
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Increasing Impact and Efficiency through Collaborative Technology
Driven by ever-increasing pressures to operate more efficiently, libraries continue to collaborate through partnerships, networks, or consortia participating in shared technology environments for the management and discovery of their collections. Through participation in a shared system, libraries can see significant cost savings for technology infrastructure compared to independent implementations. These libraries can also devote their technology personnel to other tasks supporting the library other than maintaining local servers and systems. More importantly, these shared systems enable libraries to have more impact, through providing access to a much broader array of resources than would be possible through the collections they acquire directly.
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Breeding, Marshall, Ex Libris Alma to Form Basis of National Academic Network in Switzerland
The Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP) has selected Ex Libris and Alma as the technology to power a new technical environment to support all the academic and research libraries in Switzerland. This initiative, coordinated through the ETHBibliothek, will encompass about 600 libraries spanning 130 institutions. This new centralized system will displace several incumbent individual-library and consortial ILS implementations including Aleph, VTLS Virtua, and Intota.
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Breeding, Marshall, Bibliotheca Makes Organizational Changes
Bibliotheca, a large consolidated company offering self-service, material handling, and e-book technologies to libraries, announced organizational changes to its North American operations. Matthew Bellamy, who came to the company when it acquired 3M Library Systems, was recently named as President for the Americas. He will lead the company's operations in the United States, Canada, and Brazil as well as coordinate with its business partners throughout Latin America. Bellamy was previously the Chief Commercial Officer for bibliotheca's global organization. Tom Henke has joined bibliotheca as Vice President of Sales for North America and Partners America. Prior to this role, Henke served as Vice President of Sales and General Manager for Blackboard. Gary Gillem has joined bibliotheca as Inside Sales Manager.
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Breeding, Marshall, OCLC Wise Implementation Underway in Flanders
OCLC has positioned Wise as its strategic library automation offering for public libraries. WorldShare Management Services has proven to be successful among academic libraries but has not seen much adoption by public libraries (see figure 1). One of the largest public library groups using WorldShare Management Services are the public libraries in Northern Territory in Australia that selected the product in 2016.
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Breeding, Marshall, Lyrasis Receives Funds for CollectionSpace Development
Lyrasis continues its close partnership with the Andrew W. Mellon foundation for the CollectionSpace collection management system for museums and related institutions. The Mellon Foundation has funded a new three-year $1.2 million grant for the ongoing technical development of CollectionSpace and to work toward expanding its user community. The grant will fund additional staff to carry out this agenda and to provide support for the product to the institutions that have adopted CollectionSpace.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
What best practices should we implement when assessing tools and resources that libraries may be using that could impact patron’s data security, such as Google Analytics?
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Volume 38 Number 10October 2018
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Disruption in Scholarly Publication
The realm of scholarly communications has entered a period of increased uncertainty, where pressures toward open access publishing increasingly present challenges to longstanding business models. The shift from the commercial subscription model to open access has major ramifications not only in the business economy for scholarly publishing but for the technologies involved in discovery and access to scholarly resources.
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Breeding, Marshall, SAGE Publishing Expands Its Tech Offerings
There has been a strong trend in recent years for publishers to become involved with technologies supporting the broader scholarly communications process. SAGE Publishing has likewise joined this trend. Throughout its business history, SAGE Publishing has consistently expanded its portfolio of publications and its international involvement, both through launching new publications and through acquisitions. The company has increasingly been involved in open access publications. This year, SAGE has also ventured in to the technology arena, through the acquisitions of Talis and Lean Library and with the launch of the Advance preprint archiving service.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
What kind of disaster response plan should we have in place in regards to data management and security?
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Volume 38 Number 09September 2018
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: The Evolving Academic Services Ecosystem
Products and services oriented to academic institutions, including teaching, research, and libraries, address a wide range of activities crossing many different stakeholder groups. This newsletter focuses primarily on products and services related to libraries, but these companies are increasingly expanding into other aspects of the academic enterprise.
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Breeding, Marshall, Ex Libris Expands Learning and Research Division
In a move that strengthens its position in the research services arena in research-oriented universities, Ex Libris has acquired Research Research Limited, or *Research, a company based in London, offering content and services related to research initiatives and funding opportunities. This move follows the shift of the RefWorks reference manager, the Pivot research opportunities resource, to Ex Libris in October 2017 and the launch of Leganto in 2015. These products are now managed under the Learning and Research division of Ex Libris, led by corporate Vice President Shlomi Kringel. The expanding efforts of the company in the broader higher educational arena can be seen as seeking opportunities beyond its well established stable of products and services focused on academic libraries.
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Breeding, Marshall, Elsevier Acquires Aries Systems
Elsevier continues its pattern of business acquisitions of companies offering scholarly workflow tools, compared to earlier phases where its focus was more on the expansion of its portfolio of publications. Its most recent move involves acquiring Aries Systems and its platform for managing publication submissions, peer review, and production tracking
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
What is the state of the art of integration between new integrated services platforms, OPACs, institutional repositories, open access journal portals, and discovery services?
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Volume 38 Number 08August 2018
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Exploring New Directions for Library Services
Many opportunities seem to be emerging today for libraries to become involved in new areas of service. Libraries will naturally continue to carry out their traditional roles of acquiring, describing, and providing access to physical and digital collections and providing reference and other information-related services. But in addition to these traditional roles, libraries are increasingly exploring opportunities for involvement in other areas that will leverage their core expertise and values and benefit the communities they service. The long-term prosperity of libraries could be weakened if they remain constrained within the confines of traditional roles. Libraries have continually adapted to new forms of content, publishing models, technology, and cultural expectations. In this current era, libraries are expanding their sites beyond collections to new types of services. Many of these services are enabled through new technology components.
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Breeding, Marshall, Follett Acquires Fishtree
Follett Corporation, in a move that strengthens its position in educational technology for the classroom, has acquired Fishtree and its adaptive learning platform. Fishtree is a relatively new company in the rapidly expanding sector of educational technology platforms for online learning and markets its platform to K-12 schools and districts, higher educational institutions, and the corporate sector. Fishtree distinguishes its products from other players in the increasingly crowded educational technology sector through incorporating machine learning to curate and align all resources and deliver personalized experiences for every student, while reducing the time required for teachers to prepare and deliver courses. The Fishtree platform has some characteristics of a learning management system, but it is an adaptive learning platform powered by machine learning, social tools, and analytics and comes pre-populated with a large repository of educational resources.
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Breeding, Marshall, BiblioCommons Launches BiblioOmni
BiblioCommons continues to expand its portfolio of products and services for public libraries. The company has recently developed a new marketing platform to enable libraries to create and distribute content to promote its collections, services, and events. This new product aims to help libraries increase awareness of their services by the communities they serve using some of the techniques that have been well established in the marketing and communications activities in other commercial and non-profit sectors.
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Breeding, Marshall, New Modules for Bibliotheca cloudLibrary
Bibliotheca has recently introduced several new components of its cloudLibrary digital lending platform. These new modules expand the scope of cloudLibrary interfaces to also integrate services related to the library's physical collection.
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Breeding, Marshall, People in the News
ProQuest has named Oren Beit-Arie as its Chief Strategy Officer. Backstage Library Works has promoted Lara Henry to Vice President of Metadata Services.
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Breeding, Marshall, Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative Update
The June 2016 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter included an article on major academic library projects that had been awarded to Innovative Interfaces. These awards included the selection of Sierra and Encore for resource management and discovery for the 40 institutions associated with the Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative (FALSC). This project has been terminated with an amicable separation agreement between FALSC and Innovative. FALSC will continue to operate its two Aleph instances and work toward a more consistent set of deployment options based on its locally developed Mango interface, EBSCO Discover Service, and Full Text Finder as it considers future options
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
Which OPAC vendors are best known for compliance to accessibility best practices and standards? How can we advocate to make sure vendors make Section 508 and WCAG compliance a priority in their design?
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Volume 38 Number 07July 2018
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Collaborative Resource Sharing Strategies
Libraries have a strong interest in technologies able to improve patron access to information resources. A variety of products have been developed to enable groups of libraries to collaborate to pool their resources, greatly expanding the body of resources available to their patrons. These products are based on a variety of resource sharing models, ranging from centralized interlibrary loan services to peer-to-peer lending networks
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Breeding, Marshall, VersaCard: A New Ad Hoc Consortia Option from Biblionix
Biblionix, the supplier of the web-based Apollo ILS, recently introduced a new set of features to help libraries share their collections with selected library partners without the overhead and complications associated with prevailing models of consortial infrastructure. The company's VersaCard Ad Hoc Consortia enables multiple libraries using the Apollo ILS to let their patrons borrow materials from each other's collections. This new service complements its VersaCat discovery interface, which enables patrons to search multiple library catalogs. Biblionix recently launched a new inter-library reserves feature that can let patrons request materials from other libraries.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
What is the most suitable software that can be used for integrated library automation in an academic library?
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Volume 38 Number 06June 2018
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: The Growing Trend for Shared Technology Infrastructure
One of the most prevalent trends in the current phase of the library technology industry has been increased movement toward shared technology platforms to help libraries increase the impact of their collections through cooperation. Budget constraints prevent libraries from acquiring all the print and digital electronic resources to fulfill the interests and research needs of their communities. Libraries therefore seek out technologies that enable them to expand their offerings, often through partnerships and cooperative services with peer institutions. Many different models of resource sharing support this need for libraries to offer materials beyond their immediate collections. Interlibrary loan, union catalogs, consortial borrowing, and expedited document delivery services are some examples. Each of these models helps libraries using different automation systems exchange materials.
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Breeding, Marshall, Cicero: A New System Designed for Shared Library Management
Recent months have seen the completion of one of the most ambitious library automation projects globally. The Danish Joint Library System (Fælles Bibliotekssystem), based on the Cicero product developed by Systematic, has been put into production by 97 of the 98 municipalities to support their public and school libraries. In terms of libraries served, this project ranks as one of the largest consortially shared library management systems, serving 2,428 library facilities. Other measures of the scale of the project are likewise impressive. The cumulative inventory of items managed within the consortium totals over 62 million items with an annual lending volume of 50 million transactions; the libraries serve a population of 4.2 million.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
What can we do to ensure we’re evolving to meet the needs of our mobile users?
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Volume 38 Number 05May 2018
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Addressing Disruption in the Discovery and Access to Scholarly Literature
This issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter examines this genre of web browser extensions as a strategy for providing simplified access to scientific literature. These extensions interoperate with existing components provided by libraries, including discovery interfaces, link resolvers, and proxy services. They also supports researchers working with Google Scholar and other non-library search services. The acquisition of Kopernio by Clarivate Analytics illustrates the growing role of these browser extension in the scholarly communications ecosystem.
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Breeding, Marshall, Clarivate Analytics Acquires Kopernio
In recent years, several companies in the scholarly publishing industry have expanded their portfolios with new workflow and analytics products and services. In a move consistent with this trend, Clarivate Analytics has acquired Kopernio, a company that has created a web browser extension that facilitates access to scholarly articles. The acquisition of the product further extends the tools Clarivate Analytics offers in scholarly communications arena.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
What tools and strategies do you recommend we implement to help make our materials more discoverable online, such as through Google searches?
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Volume 38 Number 04April 2018
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: OCLC Expands and Strengthens Its Services
This issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter features two recent initiatives from OCLC. We take a closer look at OCLC Wise and its launch to US public libraries as well as the new Syndeo suite of services that will enable WorldCat to provide customized capabilities for union catalogs and resource sharing according to the needs of national and regional networks.
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Breeding, Marshall, OCLC to Launch a New Product for US Public Libraries
OCLC has announced a new product specifically designed for public libraries that will be launched in the US in summer 2018. Branded OCLC Wise, this new platform centers on the library user and enables the library to deliver personalized services. This product builds on technology OCLC acquired from the Dutch company HKA in 2013, which has been enhanced and tailored to meet the expectations of public libraries in the US, increasingly seeking technologies that strengthen engagement with their communities.
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Breeding, Marshall, OCLC Introduces Syndeo
OCLC has created a new suite of services and tools, branded as Syndeo, to meet the needs of national and regional union catalogs and resource sharing networks. This initiative adds an additional layer of tools and customizations to the global WorldCat platform. National libraries or regional networks often provide bibliographic services or union catalogs with specific authority files, record ingestion or distribution mechanisms, or other customized workflows. WorldCat, as a global resource, may not easily accommodate these customized requirements.
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Breeding, Marshall, Bepress and SSRN
Bepress, formerly known as the Berkeley Electronic Press, offers Digital Commons, a commercial publishing platform used to support institutional repositories for universities and related organizations. In a move that explores synergies among the acquisitions of products related to the workflows surrounding scholarly publishing by Elsevier, bepress has announced a pilot project to integrate Digital Commons institutional repositories powered by bepress with its SSRN collaborative platform for sharing research papers.
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Breeding, Marshall, People in the News
Duncan Smith and Roger Rohweder, founders of the reader advisory service NoveList, have announced their retirement from their roles at EBSCO Information Services. EBSCO has promoted Danielle Borasky to the level of Vice President, including leadership for NoveList.
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Breeding, Marshall, Yewno Discover Expands Multilingual Capabilities
Yewno announced a significant enhancement to its Yewno Discover product through the expansion of its content base to include German and Chinese documents in addition to the English materials previously ingested. Yewno’s Discover product makes use of artificial intelligence, especially machine learning techniques, to extract concepts from texts and provide a visual interface to enable researchers to explore scholarly literature through the relationships of concepts that ultimately produce lists of articles or other documents of interest. The technology is based on concept extraction rather than keyword indexing.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
With online content and subscriptions dominating our budgets in academic libraries, how can we ensure and encourage more usage of our electronic resources by our library users?
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Volume 38 Number 03March 2018
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Trends in Resource Management and Discovery Product Strategies
Library services platforms are an established genre of technology products that provide library staff members with the tools to manage almost all aspects of their work. The current slate of products is oriented to academic and research libraries, but at least one new offering for public libraries are in the wings. These products do not necessarily include interfaces used by library patrons for discovery and access of library collections and services. In the current business landscape, each of the organizations offering a library services platform has also developed an index-based discovery service that can also be used in conjunction with other resource management solutions. In most cases, these two products are packaged together. The bundling or integration between library services platforms and discovery services has become a sensitive topic for academic libraries and in the competitive business environment.
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Breeding, Marshall, Virginia Tech Libraries to Implement Koha
The libraries of Virginia Tech University have begun the implementation of the open source Koha integrated library system and the Coral electronic resource management application. Virginia Tech selected ByWater Solutions as its technology partner, not only to provide support services for Koha and Coral, but also to enhance these systems to meet the library's specific needs while offering substantial savings relative to its current environment. The library will migrate from Sierra ILS from Innovative Interfaces, which was implemented in 2011.
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Breeding, Marshall, ByWater Solutions to Offer FOLIO Services
ByWater Solutions has become well established as a support services firm for open source library software, primarily for the open source Koha integrated library system. The company announced that it will also offer support for the open source FOLIO library services platform in partnership with EBSCO Information Services. ByWater Solutions will provide services to libraries to implement and support FOLIO hosted on EBSCO's technology infrastructure. EBSCO will also provide data services, such as access to its knowledge base and to EBSCO Discovery Service. ByWater Solutions will also explore using FOLIO microservices and apps to enhance services for its current clients using Koha and other open source components.
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Breeding, Marshall, Ex Libris Launches Esploro
Ex Libris has launched Esploro, a new product it positions as a research services platform, extending Alma to address a broad array of needs by a university to capture, assess, and showcase the activities of its researchers. The data and analytic tools in the platform can strengthen and refine grant proposals to advance the work of researchers and to advance the standing of the institution.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
Our library has begun a project to capture photos of the community through Scan Day events, helping local agencies, like the Fire Department, scan and index their photo/negative collections. We would also be interested in using crowdsourcing as part of our program. Can you suggest some ideas or resources use crowdsourcing to extend or enhance our photo collection? We are aware of Res- Carta but would be interested in additional options or ideas.
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Volume 38 Number 02February 2018
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Customer Relationship Management
Libraries are beginning to shift their emphasis of technology support systems from a narrow focus on the back rooms of processing collection materials to an expanded view that's more inclusive of the front lines of information services and patron engagement. Library automation systems developed to date have focused primarily on managing and providing access to collections. The integrated library system and the more recent genre of library services platforms have developed very sophisticated functionality for technical services and for circulation of physical materials. Discovery services enable library users to easily find and gain access to patron materials and continue to improve capabilities for digital lending. These systems have not, however, been developed to deliver sophisticated tools to help libraries assess and improve their services to patrons or strengthen engagement. Room remains to extend the scope of the core library automation infrastructure to fill voids unaddressed by traditional models of functionality. These tools adopt the characteristics of products and services available in the business sector for marketing automation and customer relationship management but are tuned to reflect the values and strategies of libraries.
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Breeding, Marshall, Ex Libris Establishes Connect Partner Program
Ex Libris has launched a new program that provides an official mechanism for third party organizations to integrate products with Alma and other products. This program enables other commercial or non-profit vendors to tap into the APIs exposed by its products to create services of mutual interest to external vendors, to Ex Libris, and to the libraries that might take advantage of these integrated solutions. This program formalizes arrangements that have previously been available informally. As the number of services and organizations involved in the ecosystem of Alma APIs expands, additional structures, legal agreements, and technical safeguards are needed to ensure consistent and reliable interoperability.
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Breeding, Marshall, Digital Science Launches Dimensions
Digital Science, a major provider of products and services for research and scholarly communications, has launched Dimensions as a new citation database product that includes discovery, analytics, and links to scientific articles. Dimensions will be a potentially disruptive product, offering free access to a very large citation database in a field of subscriptionbased competitors. Digital Science also offers subscriptions to Dimensions with additional features.
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Breeding, Marshall, People in the News
Follett Corporation has announced that Ray Griffith has retired as its Chief Executive Officer and has been succeeded by Patrick E. Connolly. The Board of Directors of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has selected Mary Lee Kennedy as its next Executive Director. Bill Schickling, a well-known executive in the library technology industry, has retired as of December 2017. Tom Jacobson has rejoined Innovative Interfaces as Vice President, Executive Library Advocate and Strategist. Jason Goodson has joined the Equinox Open Library Initiative as a sales executive.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
How can we ensure library vendors are following the best security practices? What questions should we ask when looking to utilize their services to ensure their security practices best match our user's needs?
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Volume 38 Number 01January 2018
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Reshaping Academic Library Systems
The last five years have brought substantial change in the realm of resource management and discovery services for academic libraries. Key drivers to these changes relate to the urgent need to have workflow tools for library personnel more in tune with the shape of their collections, to provide effective tools for discovery, and to provide the infrastructure for supporting library activities beyond traditional areas of service.
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Breeding, Marshall, FOLIO: Advancing from Vision to Software
The open source FOLIO project to create a new library services platform continues to see progress in its development timeline. Since the project was launched in late 2015, the project has crossed a number of significant milestones in its technical development, community-building, outreach, and in support structures. Project documentation posits the end of 2018 for the availability of its initial version able to replace a library's existing ILS. This three-year development effort from project launch to a minimally viable product can be seen as ambitious but reasonably consistent with the timelines of other products.
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Breeding, Marshall, Harris Computer Systems Acquires ResourceMate
ResourceMate, an ILS developed by Jaywil Software Development based in Guelph, Ontario, has been acquired by Harris Computer Systems, which is one of the largest software firms in Canada. Harris Computer Systems also does business in the United States and in other international regions. It was founded in 1976 and produces software and technology products for many aspects of public service, local government, and other business sectors. Jaywil software now operates as part of Harris Computer Systems and will continue to develop ResourceMate.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
Our library is looking to digitize historical photos for patron access as a research tool. There are a lot of companies offering these services. What specs and features should we look for when comparing various database options in terms of user friendly uploading and metadata collection, as well as user friendly on the patron side?
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Volume 37 Number 12December 2017
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Beyond IP Authentication: The Need to Modernize Access to Library Resources
Providing access to electronic resources is a core role of libraries. Academic libraries devote most of their collection budgets to subscription fees for these resources and therefore have a critical interest in making sure that they can be easily accessed by their patrons. Many of these resources cannot be accessed freely by the general public on the web but must be restricted to those associated with a subscribing institution. Those not associated with a library subscribing to the resource might be able to purchase a personal subscription or pay for individual articles. Although an increasing portion of the new scholarship is being published as open access, the model of restricted subscription-based resources remains a fundamental part of the library information ecosystem and requires a technical solution.
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Breeding, Marshall, Library Technology Vendors and ISO Certifications
Since libraries depend on external providers for critical aspects of their technical infrastructure, they require reassurance that those providers can deliver their services according to the highest possible standards. Individual customers of those businesses usually do not have the time or expertise to perform audits to verify performance in each area of concern. Instead, service providers apply for certifications that they comply to the requirements established by the International Standards Organization (ISO). ISO has developed standard and measurable requirements in many different areas of technology and organizational practices.
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Breeding, Marshall, Resource Sharing Services: A Duopoly
Libraries have a long tradition of implementing technologies to help improve their services to their clientele through resource sharing. These services enable libraries to provide access to an expanded universe of materials available through peer institutions in addition to those they directly own. The number of organizations offering these services has consolidated, with OCLC and Auto-Graphics left as the primary providers. The open source FulFILLment software is also available but has seen limited adoption.
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Breeding, Marshall, People in the News
Infor has promoted Jean-François (JF) Piat to the role of General Manager for its Library Division. Tech Logic Inc. reports the death of its co-founder Mark Frich at age 66.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
What is the possible impact of artificial intelligence on library automation if it is to be applied?
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Volume 37 Number 11November 2017
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: New Technology Platforms for Public Libraries Emerge in Scandinavia
In recent weeks, important milestones have been reached in the development and deployment of new technology systems for public libraries by Scandinavian companies. Although not currently available to libraries in North America, these two projects provide an opportunity to observe the impact of new platforms built anew with current technology components and architectures in a sector mostly dominated by integrated library system (ILS) products based on older architectures.
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Breeding, Marshall, Lucidea Acquires Eloquent Systems
In a move that further consolidates the technology sector for special libraries and archives, Lucidea has acquired Eloquent Systems. Eloquent specializes in providing digital asset management products for archives, libraries, and museums. The company is based in Vancouver, Canada and will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Lucidea.
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Breeding, Marshall, Axiell Acquires ATP Automation
Axiell continues to expand its portfolio of products through business acquisitions. The company's latest move involves the acquisition of ATP Automation Ltd Oy, a small company based in Finland that supplies self-service and automated material handling equipment to public libraries. The company was founded in 2006. Over 70 libraries in Finland have implemented its products as well as a small number of organizations outside the library sector. ATP Automation previously worked with Axiell as a partner in library implementations prior to its acquisition. The four staff members of the company will join Axiell.
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Breeding, Marshall, People in the News
Kathryn Harnish has joined Innovative Interfaces as its new Senior Vice President of Product Strategy. She takes the role vacated by Leif E. Pedersen, who recently left the company. Harnish comes to Innovative with substantial industry experience. At ProQuest, she was Director of Product Development for Library Services Platforms, providing leadership for the development of Intota. She was director of Unified Resource Management Product Management for Ex Libris during the early development period of Alma. Harnish also held positions at OCLC and Endeavor Information Systems.
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Breeding, Marshall, Open Source Developments
The development community for the open source Evergreen ILS has released Evergreen 3.0. Used primarily by consortia of public libraries, Evergreen has been continuously enhanced since its first release in 2006. Villanova University announced that version 4.1 of the open source VuFind discovery interface has been released.
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Breeding, Marshall, OCLC Further Enhances CONTENTdm
OCLC has enhanced its CONTENTdm digital asset management system to expand its support of the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF). IIIF, initially proposed in 2011, has gained broad support among digital archive communities for its ability to provide interoperability among collections even when they are based on different image repository platforms. Support of IIIF in CONTENTdm, the most widely implemented digital asset management systems used by libraries, substantially expands the body of materials available within this interoperability framework. Overview of the International Image Interoperability Framework
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
Do you think the increasing consolidation of library automation companies will be met by more independent companies entering the field? Are more mergers in the industry inevitable?
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Volume 37 Number 10October 2017
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Technologies to Improve Management of Physical Resources
Although it's easy to view libraries as increasingly involved with digital and electronic resources, we cannot neglect the reality that public libraries continue to thrive on providing print materials to their communities. The Pew Research Center's “Book Reading 2016” shows that while the trends for e-book reading are increasing and print decreasing, the rates of change are quite modest. Print continues as the preferred reading format by large margins. The dominance of print likewise can be seen in public libraries. The number of book loans continues to hold strong for most public libraries.
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Breeding, Marshall, People in the News
EBSCO Industries has named David Walker as its new Chief Executive Officer. Ann Melaerts has joined Axiell as Vice President and Business Area Director for Axiell Public Libraries. Justin Duewel-Zahniser has rejoined The Library Corporation (TLC) as its Chief Technology Officer. TLC has also promoted Mike Willis to Business Development Manager.Hamish McDonald has joined Yewno as its Channel Manager for APAC.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
What trends are you noticing with resource management and discovery systems? Are more libraries mixing and matching products from different vendors or utilizing the discovery system provided by their ILS vendor?
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Volume 37 Number 09September 2017
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Vertical Consolidation Deepens
Business consolidation has entirely transformed the library technology industry over the last two decades. One aspect of this trend can be seen in the mergers and acquisitions among companies with similar business profiles. This consolidation of direct competitors can be thought of as horizontal consolidation, which has the impact of narrowing the number of companies operating within a given product area. This horizontal consolidation has produced companies such as SirsiDynix, which carries forward previous organizations including Sirsi Corporation, Dynix, DRA, NOTIS, MultiLIS, and others. The acquisitions of diverse companies spanning distinct product areas within an industry can have an even greater transformative impact on an industry. The 2015 acquisition of Ex Libris by ProQuest exemplifies the vertical consolidation, which extends a company's reach into many distinct product areas. Companies pursue vertical consolidation to exploit synergies that may be possible in areas of overlapping functionality, data, or marketing opportunities.
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Breeding, Marshall, Elsevier Acquires Bepress
In a move that continues its expansion into technologies and services supporting a diverse range of research activities, Elsevier has purchased bepress, a company best known for its repository solutions for academic libraries. Bepress, based in Berkeley, CA, offers a platform and services to support institutional repositories as well as a variety of tools to support editorial processes and to highlight and assess the impact of research publications. The acquisition of bepress represents Elsevier's latest investment in products outside its traditional role as a publisher of scientific literature. In recent years—likely in response to increased interest in open access, moderation of journal pricing, and other factors in the scholarly publishing industry—Elsevier has diversified its portfolio to include tools and services that tap into other aspects of the research process.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
When transitioning to a new library automation system, what time frame should libraries anticipate and prepare for?
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Volume 37 Number 08August 2017
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: 50 Years of Technology at OCLC
July 2017 marks fifty years since OCLC was founded as a pioneering organization to provide a new model of collaborative cataloging. OCLC has been a mainstay in the realm of cooperative services and in library technology. The history of OCLC has played out in terms of creating new services, expanding its reach through partnerships and acquisitions of other organizations, and evolving its products through new generations of technology. A detailed history of OCLC would consume volumes. In this issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter, we review some of the high points of the organization's evolution, focusing mostly on the technology trends behind its products and services.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
How do you determine if a SaaS solution is best for your library’s integrated library system? What pros and cons should we be mindful of when exploring options?
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Volume 37 Number 07July 2017
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Executive Perspectives
The library technology industry, as we have chronicled in Smart Libraries Newsletter, is increasingly dominated by a shrinking list of ever-larger corporations. Some of these organizations have broad portfolios of products, touching almost every aspect of library operations, content offerings, and services. Others remain focused on technology products, but even here consolidation has made an enormous impact, and these companies work hard to create new products to penetrate into new areas of interest.
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Breeding, Marshall, New Leadership for ProQuest and Ex Libris
The board of directors of ProQuest has announced that Matti Shem Tov, President of Ex Libris, will assume leadership of the entire ProQuest organization, succeeding current CEO Kurt Sanford. This change comes a year and 4 months after the acquisition of Ex Libris, a move that significantly expanded the position of ProQuest as a content, services, and technology company for libraries. This move represents an interesting change in ProQuest where the top leadership comes from the technology sphere rather than the publishing industry.
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Breeding, Marshall, Sierra Powers National System for Ireland
Innovative Interfaces has completed the implementation of its Sierra library management system and Encore discovery interface for a shared automation environment for all of the public libraries in Ireland. This initiative includes 333 public libraries in the country with combined holdings of over 15 million library materials, serving the country's 4.6 million inhabitants. The public libraries in Ireland see an annual combined circulation of around 20 million transactions.
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Breeding, Marshall, TIND RDM: A New Platform for Research Data Management
TIND has developed modules for its platform to provide the functionality needed to support the preservation and management of research data. This product, the TIND RDM, includes support for the DataCite metadata scheme developed to identify research data sets and facilitate their citation and retrieval (see https://www.datacite.org). TIND has incorporated support for the DataCite 4.0, the latest version of this schema into their platform and has worked with Caltech to create the functionality needed to support the management of research data. The product can make use of cloud-based services to accommodate the storage of research data sets that often require very large-scale capacity.
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Breeding, Marshall, Recent System Selections
OCLC has announced that 23 additional libraries have selected WorldShare Management Services in recent months. Most of these libraries are associated with small to midsized colleges and universities.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
How is the industry adapting to and supporting BIBFRAME, and what can we do to begin preparing our records for a BIBFRAME conversion?
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Volume 37 Number 06June 2017
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Ten Technology Trends for 2017
As we approach the mid-point of 2017, it seems like a good time to write about some of the important trends playing out in the library technology sector. Most of these trends are not necessarily breaking news but represent areas of critical concern or opportunity for libraries. This list of trends focuses on the technologies within the scope of the newsletter, primarily the strategic resource management and discovery systems used by libraries. These trends represent important context for the individual events and developments that transpire within the sphere of library technology.
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Breeding, Marshall, Library and Archives Canada to Implement WorldShare Management Services
Library and Archives Canada announced that it has finalized its contract to implement WorldShare Management Services from OCLC to replace AMICUS. The selection of WorldShare Management Services by this national library represents a major boost for OCLC, especially given the broad scope of service it provides. The current AMICUS system, in addition to managing the collections of Library and Archives Canada itself, supports a national union catalog, which includes materials held by 1,300 libraries throughout Canada. AMICUS includes over 30 million bibliographic records, representing many different formats of materials, including books, serial publications, government documents, maps, audio recordings, and braille and large print materials. Once implementation is complete, WorldShare Management Services will support the acquisitions, cataloguing, access, and circulation of the collections of Library and Archives Canada, and WorldCat will function as the national union catalog.
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Breeding, Marshall, Demco Software Established
Demco Software has been established as a new technology-focused company, operating as a division of Demco, Inc., a major distributor of furniture, supplies, and other products. This new division brings together the technology companies that Demco has recently acquired, Evanced Solutions and Boopsie.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
What measures can we take when looking for new library automation software that can help negate the possibility of winding up with an outdated or obsolete product a few years down the line?
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Volume 37 Number 05May 2017
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Protecting Patron Privacy
The ability for the technology systems of libraries to safeguard the privacy of patrons continues to be an issue of utmost importance. The library profession as a whole upholds the privacy of their patrons as they make use of library-provided resources. Most libraries also have privacy policies stating what data they collect about their patrons and how that data will be used or shared. Those values tend to be well understood and enforced in the realm of physical materials. How libraries safeguard patron privacy within their virtual presence appears to be much more uneven. In this issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter, we discuss the complexities of protecting patron privacy in both the physical and virtual arenas and present the results of a mini-study of the current state of practice of patron privacy on the websites of a selected group of large libraries. Unfortunately, this study reveals a fairly lax level of implementation of the technical mechanisms necessary to protect patron privacy as they make use of library resources via their library's websites and catalogs.
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Breeding, Marshall, The Current State of Privacy Practice in Large Library Organizations
Securing the actions performed on a web-based service via HTTPS has become well established and may soon become the expected norm. Organizations dealing with financial data, medical records, or other confidential information routinely implement security via HTTPS. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, all the services offered by Google, and most news sites now operate entirely over HTTPS. Consistent with this growing expectation for security and privacy, many web browsers, such as Chrome, now display information or warning indicators for any site not using HTTPS.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
Are open source systems inherently more secure than proprietary library automation products? What are some of the issues that libraries need to consider when choosing systems related to security?
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Volume 37 Number 04April 2017
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Start-Ups Inject Innovation into the Industry
The library technology industry is dominated by a set of large organizations, most of which have been in business for multiple decades. These organizations provide an array of complex and sophisticated products that libraries need to support their work. They work with large numbers of libraries and create products that will have broad appeal. These large, well-established organizations have less tolerance for risk and less ability to focus on potential products based on emerging technologies or for smaller niches.
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Breeding, Marshall, Yewno Advances as a New Type of Discovery
A new product has recently launched called Discover from Yewno for Education, which takes quite a different approach to the discovery of scholarly and educational resources. Yewno Discover (a play on “you know”) provides a new type of discovery environment, which presents a visual search experience that enables researchers and students to explore and select information resources based on concepts rather than keywords. It also allows users to discover information resources as they traverse the connections or relationships among those concepts.
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Breeding, Marshall, Major System Selections
This section provides a sample of some of the major contracts announced for library automation systems in the last month.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
Within the library field, I often hear comparisons of ILS or discovery search with Amazon and Google capabilities, with the deficiencies of the ILS/discovery being on the losing side. It is natural this occurs since search is so ubiquitous within the online world, but my suspicion for this library search weakness is that the library search market is so small compared to the giant internet companies most associated with search. Is this a correct assumption? Are the number of software developers employed by the companies most often involved in library software a good comparison and a reason for this? Or is there something more fundamental at the root of it all, e.g. MARC21, RDA, not enough money spent? I would say I hear the comparison with library search vs ‘big search' so often among my peers that the deficiencies of the library software are just a given and is not an assumption that requires being challenged, but why is this happening
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Volume 37 Number 03March 2017
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Overlapping Models of Resource Sharing
In this issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter, we take a look at two models of resource sharing. OCLC WorldShare Interlibrary Loan is an example of a global centralized interlibrary loan service. Based on a central database of bibliographic information and the libraries that own each item, the service is able to receive a request from a library for an item needed by one of its patrons, identify libraries which own the material, and track its fulfilment and return. This centralized brokering service for interlibrary loans provides access to almost any possible resource, but given that the supplying library may be distant geographically, there may be significant delivery times and processing costs.
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Breeding, Marshall, OCLC Expands Its Reach into Resource Sharing
The global non-profit organization OCLC has taken two steps to strengthen its position in the resource sharing arena. It has acquired Relais International, a major provider of resource sharing technologies, and has launched Tipasa as its new service for interlibrary loan management.
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Breeding, Marshall, Innovative’s New Business Strategy and Management Team
Innovative Interfaces, under the leadership of its new Chief Executive Officer James Tallman, has begun to execute major changes to strengthen its position in the library technology industry. Innovative has expanded its management team to include a new set of executives with proven abilities in other sectors to take the company forward. In its next phase, Innovative intends to make major investments to transform itself into an “enterprise class library solutions company,” adopting practices and methodologies that have proven successful in other technology-oriented business sectors. These investments will also support new product development initiatives.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
Libraries have seen major changes in technology over the years with a feverish pace of development from the mid-80s to the mid-2000s. Now with discovery tools and ILS, it feels like we are essentially done, with minor tinkering needed on language, view options, and full mobile capabilities. What is the icebreaker movement that we should be looking for—when do you think we will see a shift to fully cloud-based services?
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Volume 37 Number 02February 2017
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Cloud Computing Reshapes Library IT Expectations
The technology infrastructure in libraries and other organizations continues to see a major shift away from local installations to various forms of externally hosted deployments. SirsiDynix, for example, recently announced that it now hosts software for more than 2,000 of its customers. Products such as OCLC's WorldShare Management Services, Ex Libris Alma, and Apollo from Biblionix, are available only through software as a service. The majority of libraries implementing a new integrated library system (ILS) opt for a vendor-hosted solution, even when there is an option to host locally. Even libraries continuing with a given ILS often shift from local implementation to hosted services from their vendor at the point of contract renewal or when their server equipment reaches its end of life. These factors result in the move toward hosted services as one of the pronounced library technology trends currently underway.
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Breeding, Marshall, Follett Expands to Dubai
Follett has expanded its international efforts through opening a new office in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The office reflects the company's interest in strengthening its business interests in the Middle East region. The Follett International group includes 35 associates, with 8 in the Middle East region. In addition to this new office, Follett has local support in Africa, Asia, the Asia Pacific region, Europe, Canada, Mexico / Central America, and South America / Caribbean.
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Breeding, Marshall, Equinox Shifts to Non-Profit Status
Equinox Open Library Initiative has been established, carrying forward the work of Equinox Software, Inc., to provide services related to open source library software, including the Evergreen ILS, Koha, and the FulfILLment resource sharing environment. This change in status took effect on January 1, 2017. All personnel, assets, and liabilities of Equinox Software, Inc. have transferred to the new organization.
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Breeding, Marshall, System Selection and Implementation Announcements
This section provides a selection of the major procurement announcements made in the last month
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
With all the consolidation in the industry, what do you think the industry will look like in another five years? Where do you think the innovation will come from? What are the most innovative things you have seen related to library tech? What excites you about the future of the industry? How will artificial intelligence, big data, and the tech titans (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon) affect the future of libraries? Does everyone have to be an IT professional in the future?
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Volume 37 Number 01January 2017
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Looking Forward to 2017
The advance of a new year on the calendar prompts consideration of what we might expect in the next phase of library technology. Avoiding any attempt at exact predictions, at best we can extrapolate from existing trends to make informed projections and set expectations within areas of interest. Technology planning requires at least a degree of anticipating the future in order to shape strategies and prepare long-term budgets and resource allocations. Areas of interest where we can make some predictive observations include the next phases of library services platforms and integrated library systems (ILSs). These genres of resource management systems remain distinct, with differing directions of strategic development. The privacy of online patron activity has become a critical concern, which stands out as a priority for attention by both libraries and the vendors providing technology products. Since business transitions can have a major impact on the products and services available to libraries, it is always important to monitor relevant industry conditions.
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Breeding, Marshall, Biblionix: New Integration Capabilities for Apollo
Biblionix, the company behind the Apollo ILS for small public libraries, has created a variety of new enhancements that provide better integration between its catalog and the library's website.
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Breeding, Marshall, HighWire Press Acquires Semantico
Business consolidation continues through almost all industries. Mergers and acquisitions have reshaped all aspects of the library technology industry. In the scholarly publishing arena, HighWire Press has acquired Semantico, a company based in the United Kingdom that also provides technology and services for digital scholarly publishing. Semantico brings to HighWire a set of technologies complementary to its existing publishing and journal management platforms as well as a major expansion of its client base. All the operating facilities, personnel, and products of Semantico will continue as it joins HighWire Press. This acquisition reinforces HighWire Press as the leading provider of services to the scholarly publishing community.
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Breeding, Marshall, Update on Ex Libris Alma
In addition to features on major new initiatives or events in the library technology industry, it is also important to track the ongoing progress of established companies and products. In that vein, Ex Libris has seen considerable momentum with Alma and related products since the major business transition, which we have covered in previous issues of Smart Libraries Newsletter.
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Breeding, Marshall, Smart Libraries Q&A
What suggestions do you have for small libraries with limited staff and budgets that are trying to adopt new tech and migrate from existing platforms?
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Volume 36 Number 12December 2016
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Opportunities for Cooperative Catalog Enrichment?
This issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter features some new services available for libraries to enrich the presentation of materials through their online catalogs or discovery interfaces. In developing this article, I am struck by how much of the information expected to be presented through library interfaces for books and other materials is not part of the core bibliographic record, but must come through commercial sources.
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Breeding, Marshall, ProQuest Expands Strategy for Catalog Enrichment
The display of cover art has become a standard feature of online catalogs and discovery services. These images, along with other information that is not part of standard bibliographic records, are provided through a variety of services available to libraries to enrich their catalog. Libraries expect their catalogs to present attractive displays of collection items, replete with cover art, extensive descriptive information, reviews, ratings, and other evaluative content, as well as recommendations for related materials. Much of this information goes beyond the information in a standard bibliographic record, but is available through enrichment services to which a library can subscribe.
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Breeding, Marshall, Axiell Continues to Expand
Axiell, one of the major global companies providing technology products and services to libraries, archives, and museums, continues to expand. In North America, Axiell is better known for its technology products for archives and museums than for library systems. The company offers a diverse set of technology products, operating divisions for public libraries, for the broader archives, libraries, and museums (ALM) sector, for educational platforms, and for e-books and other digital media. In recent months, the company has made two strategic acquisitions to strengthen its position in libraries and other business areas.
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Breeding, Marshall, Ex Libris Expands its International Operations
Ex Libris, now owned by ProQuest, is well established as the dominant provider of technology solutions for academic and other research libraries. The company's products are used in almost all geographic regions. Ex Libris operates in each region primarily through offices it owns and staffed with its own employees, though in some regions it relies on distributors or other organizations to represent its interests.
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Breeding, Marshall, Ex Libris Unbundles Discovery for Alma
One of the major trends in the academic library technology sector has been the emergence of library services platforms. These products, especially Ex Libris Alma and OCLC WorldShare, have been marketed and implemented primarily bundled with discovery services from the same organizations, Primo and WorldCat Discovery Services. This bundling arrangement has seen some resistance, especially from vendors such as EBSCO Information Services, who seek a more flexible arrangement in which libraries can choose their preferred discovery environment regardless of which resource management system the library selects.
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Volume 36 Number 11November 2016
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Strategies for Creating a Unified Web Presence
Libraries provide a complex set of information resources through their websites, which are often centered on their catalog or discovery services. Their collections are increasingly diverse, spanning physical and digital formats, and they provide a variety of tools for their users to explore and gain access to these collections. It can be quite a challenge to bring together all of the components on a website in a consistent presentational design and with unified content access. In many cases, the discovery service is powered by an entirely separate application from the website itself. This difference in back-end technologies can assert almost jarring differences in the way that patrons interact with the discovery service or catalog relative to the other aspects of the site. Other components, such as those that manage events, directories, or other specialized services, likewise impose their own user interface conventions.
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Breeding, Marshall, Stacks: A New Service for Deploying Mobile-Friendly Library Websites
Addressing the need to create mobile-friendly websites that can be managed without technical expertise and can provide a complete set of features, a new company called Stacks has launched a web content management system designed specifically for libraries. Some features of the system include integrated discovery and access to library services and information. The product, with the same name as the company, is offered through software-as-a-service via a redundant and scalable platform, requiring no local web server or other technical components. Stacks has a close business relationship with EBSCO Information Services as its exclusive distribution and support channel.
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Breeding, Marshall, Simon Fraser University Ends Development of CUFTS
Simon Fraser University Library is well known for its creation of open source tools and knowledge bases for the management of electronic resources.
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Volume 36 Number 10October 2016
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology Making Technology Smart: Content and Connections
Libraries face incredible challenges to fulfill their missions of building and providing access to digital and print collections as well as an ever growing array of services to meet their clientele's information needs. So many libraries lack adequate financial resources to accomplish these goals and must continually make difficult decisions on how to allocate their funds and efforts. Technology forms part of the essential infrastructure upon which libraries rely on to carry out every aspect of their work. In the context of these challenges, the technology systems that support libraries must offer much more than traditional functions. They must also be populated with content components and be intrinsically designed to connect and communicate with a complex array of persons and organizations.
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Breeding, Marshall, Innovative Launches its New Knowledge Base
Innovative Interfaces has launched the Innovative Knowledge Base (release 1.0) to assist academic libraries in the management of electronic resources. The knowledge base includes both technology and content components in support of more efficient management of electronic resources. The technology components are developed by Innovative as part of its open initiative, while the content components are based on data acquired from other services or providers.
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Breeding, Marshall, An Update on FOLIO
Progress continues on the FOLIO project to create a new open source library services platform for academic libraries. Recent milestones include the initial release of the lower-level platform software needed for the development of functional apps and some new organizational structures
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Breeding, Marshall, Update on Ex Libris Alma
Ex Libris continues to see strong interest in its Alma library services platform. It especially has been successful among large universities, multi-campus university systems, and consortia compromised primarily of academic libraries. The product continues to mature in features and is delivered with an integrated knowledge base. Its development commenced in 2009, with libraries in production beginning in 2011. Deployed as a web-native multi-tenant platform, Alma has monthly updates with new features and bug fixes, which have been continually applied over the life of the product.
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Breeding, Marshall, NISO Establishes New Workgroup to Recommend an API Framework for E-Content Integration
The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has approved the formation of a new project to facilitate discovery and access to e-books and other digital content via library interfaces. Libraries increasingly require modern mechanisms to enable them to incorporate digital content from external providers into their own services and interfaces. While progress has been made in the realm of integration of e-book lending services provided from external providers into library catalogs and discovery interfaces, no consistent approach is available that works across all providers. Many of the mechanisms currently available are cumbersome and do not follow modern technical conventions.
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Volume 36 Number 09September 2016
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Distinctive Characteristics of Special Libraries
Special libraries represent yet another category of libraries with an even more distinct set of assumptions. While still within the common mission of acquiring, managing, and providing access to information resources for its stakeholders, special libraries—especially those within corporate environments— generally work within a more strictly defined set of operating principles.
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Breeding, Marshall, TD Net: Discovery and Resource Management for Corporate Libraries
TDNet, also offers these types of products, oriented to corporate, medical, and other special libraries. This article rounds out our coverage of discovery services, providing an overview of a company and its products that may be less familiar to those in academic and public libraries.
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Breeding, Marshall, Atmire Acquires Open Repository
Repository, the platform offered by BioMed Central for institutional repositories of open access content. The Open Repository service is based on the open source DSpace application, implemented primarily to support institutional repositories. Organizations of many different types contract with Open Repository, including universities, non-profits, and other research organizations. Open Repository offers both a premium version with a more robust set of hosting, configuration, and support services and a lite version, providing organizations a lower-cost approach with more basic features and services.
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Volume 36 Number 08August 2016
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Five Years of Library Services Platforms
We are now five years into the deployment of the genre of library services platforms. This breed of software, implemented primarily in academic and other types of research libraries, departs from the model of the integrated library system (ILS) in several critical areas. Although the conceptual and technical development of this new type of library software was in the works for a few years, its deployment in libraries began in 2011. At this five-year benchmark it is of interest to review the current landscape of these products, assess the level of adoption, and note any discernable trends.
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Breeding, Marshall, A Progress Report on Library Services Platforms
Although each of the products offers its distinct approach to functionality and technology infrastructure, there are a set of products that have diverged significantly from the well-established category of ILSs. Many of these characteristics arise out of the current technology paradigm centered on services deployed entirely through the Web, oriented to collaboration and social interactions, and powered by massive data stores.
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Volume 36 Number 07July 2016
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Evolution versus Revolution in Technology for Public Libraries
Each type of library faces a unique set of challenges. Despite a broad area of shared qualities and values, academic, public, school, and other libraries each also have their own specific characteristics. In many respects, each of these types of libraries has diverged even further in recent years. This divergence has implications for the strategic technology products that support their operations.
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Breeding, Marshall, Axiell Launches Quria: New Library Services Platform for Public Libraries
Although not a product that will be marketed in the United States in the near future, Axiell's Quria will be designed to accommodate the requirements of modern public libraries increasingly involved in digital delivery of content and services and will be based on current technologies. Axiell aims for Quria to help libraries cope with the shifts they are making toward digital services.
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Breeding, Marshall, DuraSpace Not to Merge with Lyrasis
The March 2016 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter included coverage of the planned merger of DuraSpace into Lyrasis. The boards of both organizations had voted to pursue combining the organizations and had moved into a public comment phase. The final phase of due diligence and negotiations, however, did not result in a merger. Both organizations will continue to operate independently under their individual boards and organizational structure. Although the merger discussions have terminated, both organizations have strong issues related to open source governance and will continue informal collaboration
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Breeding, Marshall, Executive Changes at The Library Corporation
The Library Corporation has recently made changes in its executive team. Company co-founder Annette Harwood Murphy continues as President and Chief Executive Officer. Given the company's founding in 1974, Murphy ranks as the longest serving executive in the library automation industry. The company has made several promotions from within its ranks to fill other top executive positions.
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Volume 36 Number 06June 2016
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: The Power Play Expands
In this issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter, our attention turns to Follett Corporation, to which many of the same dynamics apply, but its concentration is PreK-12 schools as well as higher education. Like EBSCO and ProQuest, Follett potentially addresses the entire chain of supply and consumption of information resources in the institutions it serves. Unlike EBSCO and ProQuest, Follett channels its efforts at least as much on the broader administration of educational organizations as on their libraries. Student information systems, wholesale distribution of textbooks and course materials, and the management of campus retail stores and online e-commerce portals reach beyond the limits of library budgets and into the deeper pockets of the institution itself. Earlier phases of involvement in products at the broader institutional level can be seen in ProQuest, through Ex Libris' campus business, which offers mobile-oriented content delivery platform for academic campuses.
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Breeding, Marshall, Follett Corporation Acquires Baker & Taylor
Follett Corporation, one of the major companies providing products and services to schools and higher educational institutions, has taken its largest expansion step of with the acquisition of Baker & Taylor, one of the oldest and largest providers of content to libraries. This move not only further diversifies Follett's product and services portfolio, but it also extends its presence internationally. Previously almost all of Follett's business has been in the US With customers in more than 120 countries, Baker & Taylor has considerable international reach. This move means more involvement by Follett with public libraries, expanding beyond its previous focus on schools and academic campuses. According to the press announcement, this acquisition increases Follett's annual revenue from $2.6 billion to $3.6 billion.
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Breeding, Marshall, Innovative Wins Major Academic Library Projects
Innovative Interfaces continues to see success with its Sierra library management platform and has concluded two major contracts for consortia of academic libraries. In April 2016, announcements have been made for the public colleges and universities in Florida and for the academic libraries in Catalonia. These two wins represent a strengthening of Innovative's position on the academic consortia front. In recent years, Ex Libris won most of the very large-scale automation projects for academic libraries. These two contracts interrupt that winning streak, though not necessarily the overall momentum.
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Volume 36 Number 05May 2016
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Transition in Open Source Resource Management for Academic Libraries
EBSCO Information Services has launched an initiative to develop a new open source library services platform for academic libraries. With the backing of EBSCO, one of the largest companies oriented to libraries, this project has the potential to gain traction quickly. The Kuali OLE project, which has seen extensive coverage in this publication, facing a variety of complications, has opted to shift its efforts from the software, which it has been developing in the course of its project, to lending its resources to the EBSCO-sponsored initiative.
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Breeding, Marshall, EBSCO Supports New Open Source Project in Partnership with Kuali OLE
A new initiative hans launched to create an open source library services platform for academic libraries. EBSCO Information Services conceived the project and will provide substantial funding. A community of developers comprising commercial and library organizations will create the software. Kuali OLE, previously working to create its own open source library resource management system, will make a transition to participate in this new initiative rather than complete its own software. Many details of the new project, including the nature of Kuali OLE's involvement, are not yet finalized. The resources currently lining up behind this initiative provide the potential for the rapid development generally consistent with the plans for Kuali OLE. Participants characterize this new project as not as a setback, but as an acceleration of the availability of an open source library services platform for academic libraries.
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Volume 36 Number 04April 2016
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Innovative Accelerates its Technology Evolution
Innovative Interfaces, known for its evolutionary approach of its product development strategy, has begun laying the groundwork for the next phase of its product family, introducing a new multitenant platform that will gradually be phased into parts of its product family. This platform, which it calls the Open Library Stack, provides interoperability among new patron-facing interfaces to Innovative's existing applications. Increasingly, it will be used to deliver the applications themselves. This new platform can be seen as the latest example of Innovative's stepwise moves into new technology architectures, a pattern repeated many times over the company's history. A look at the history of the successive generations of Innovative's products places this into perspective.
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Breeding, Marshall, Innovative Introduces Open Library Stack
Innovative, as one of the longstanding companies in the industry, has faced the need to take its products forward through multiple generations of technology and has consistently followed an evolutionary approach. Sierra, one of its flagship automation products, can be characterized as an evolutionary product with flavors of a services-oriented architecture and remnants of its client-server legacy. In some aspects it functions as an integrated library system, but also is positioned as a library services platform.
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Breeding, Marshall, SirsiDynix Announces BLUEcloud Acquisitions
SirsiDynix has been undertaking a strategy to modernize its product suite since 2013 through a new platform and set of web-based interfaces branded as BLUEcloud. This strategy takes a hybrid approach of deploying new applications and interfaces via a modern multi-tenant platform even as libraries continue to use one of the SirsiDynix ILS products, Symphony or Horizon.
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Volume 36 Number 03March 2016
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Library Technology via Nonprofits
The roster of companies providing technology products and services to libraries and related organizations includes an interesting mix of business models. The for-profit companies, SirsiDynix, Ex Libris, Innovative, The Library Corporation, Auto-Graphics, and many others, dominate the traditional resource management and discovery sectors oriented to libraries, offering products based on proprietary software. Another set of for-profits provide support services for open source products, including Equinox Software, ByWater Solutions, and a few others in the United States and many others internationally.
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Breeding, Marshall, LYRASIS and DuraSpace Pursue Merger
In a move that would result in the consolidation of two major nonprofits providing services to libraries, LYRASIS and DuraSpace are considering a merger of their two organizations. The merger has been approved by the boards of directors of both organizations and has entered a period of public review. Both organizations will continue to operate independently until final approval for the merger takes place.

Both LYRASIS and DuraSpace operate as nonprofit organizations. LYRASIS ranks as the larger, with around 65 employees and annual income of about $75 million. DuraSpace employs about 10 personnel with less than $2 million in income. This proposed merger will expand LYRASIS' portfolio of services oriented to open source technology and will provide the projects shepherded by DuraSpace with a stable and sustainable organizational home. Both LYRASIS and DuraSpace were formed through the mergers of antecedent organizations. LYRASIS brings together a number of organizations that were previously involved as regional networks for OCLC billing and other services. DuraSpace was created to combine Fedora Commons with DSpace Foundation.

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Volume 36 Number 02February 2016
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: The Library Tech Industry Transforms
The ongoing consolidation of the library technology industry has been a recurring theme for the past two decades. Recent months have seen the most significant transition of that history, with the largest company in the library technology industry joining forces with one of the major companies in the broader library content and services arena. We are in a phase of the industry where patterns of business transformations and investments previously established may take new turns.
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Breeding, Marshall, Update on Ex Libris: Now a ProQuest Company
In one of most significant industry events of recent decades, ProQuest, a major diversified library services company, has completed its acquisition of Ex Libris, the largest provider of technology products and services to academic and research libraries. This newly consolidated company combines the leading technology provider for academic libraries with one of the largest companies in the library services industry, together offering a diverse range of content and technology products. The combination of technology products from Ex Libris and content components from ProQuest is only one factor that strengthens its competitive position and reshapes the balance of power in the industry.
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Breeding, Marshall, Third Chapter Partners Launched
Three former executives of the library technology industry have formed a new consultancy called Third Chapter Partners (http://www.thirdchapter.com/) to offer a variety of technology-oriented services for libraries and related organizations. Each partner comes with extensive experience gained from working with libraries from the library vendor arena, each with a somewhat different background and area of focus. Partners include Gene Shimshock, formerly Vice President Global Marketing at Innovative Interfaces, Ted Fons formerly Executive Director for Data Services for OCLC and Director of Customer Services at Innovative Interfaces, and Tom Jacobson who held a variety of roles in his 24 years with Innovative.
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Volume 36 Number 01January 2016
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Reviewing the Past Year, Anticipating the Next
A quick review of the events and developments covered by this newsletter in 2015 highlights an industry in a phase of aggressive consolidation, bringing ever larger forces to bear on creating and supporting technology products and services for libraries. Libraries likewise increasingly consolidate their resources to leverage large-scale technology implementations, increase the impact of their collections, improve efficiency, and reduce their costs of operations. Yet libraries demand technologies that effectively meet unique business needs, foster engagement with their communities, and strengthen strategic positions. Innovation, though not a goal in itself, is expected as a means to break out of previously established patterns embodied in systems that hamper libraries as they face ever increasing demands, budget constraints, and constant change.
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Breeding, Marshall, OCLC Update: WorldShare, GreenGlass, and Governance
OCLC ranks as one of the prominent organizations in the library services arena, with increasing involvement in technology products. The progress of WorldShare Management Services (WMS), WorldCat Local and WorldCat Discovery, its acquired ILS products, as well as its resource sharing platforms and its collection analysis services have been covered in previous issues of Smart Libraries Newsletter. Recent months have brought incremental movement on multiple fronts, including ongoing adoption of WMS, new subscribers to its print collection analysis tools, and new appointments to its governing boards.
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Breeding, Marshall, ProQuest and Ex Libris Update
The acquisition of Ex Libris by ProQuest, the most significant event in the library technology industry in recent years, has not closed as of early December 2015. Both companies continue to operate independently, though wheels are in motion for a consolidation of operations. Expect further coverage in the coming issues of Smart Libraries Newsletter once announcements are made concerning the finalization of the deal and details of new organizational structures or product strategies.
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Breeding, Marshall, Open Source Update
Open source ILS products now constitute a routine part of the library automation industry. As much as 20 percent of the automation systems deployed in small and medium-sized public libraries are based on open source software. Percentages in the academic sector are smaller, but growing. In recent weeks, additional libraries have announced selections for two open source ILS products previously covered in Smart Libraries Newsletter, Koha, and Invenio.
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Volume 35 Number 12December 2015
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Enhanced Self-service and Automated Materials Handling
The companies that provide self-service kiosks, sorters, theft detection, and related products for libraries constitute an important niche within the library technology industry. These products can play a crucial role for libraries, often providing the direct point of contact with patrons through self-service kiosks. For busy public libraries, the additional automation provided by sorters and other types of automated materials handling equipment can provide much needed efficiency and cost savings for processing high volumes of returned materials.
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Breeding, Marshall, Consolidation in the RFID and Self-service: Bibliotheca Acquires 3M Library Systems
Bibliotheca, a company specializing in self-service, sorting, and other productivity products for libraries, has continued its global expansion through the merger of 3M Library Systems into its organization. This move brings together the two largest competitors in this sector. Prior to this merger, Bibliotheca and 3M Library Systems dominated the market, competing head-tohead in many international regions. Now a single, much larger entity operates globally, with competition provided through mid-sized and smaller companies in each market.
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Volume 35 Number 11November 2015
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Resource Management, Discovery, and Content Interwoven
The industry of organizations oriented to libraries has gradually evolved toward an overlapping array of products and services around creating and publishing content as well as technology platforms for the discovery and management of collection materials. Today a growing set of companies provide both technology and content products, sparking a variety of issues for libraries.
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Breeding, Marshall, ProQuest to Acquire Ex Libris
In a move that alters the business dynamics of the library technology sector, ProQuest has announced that it will acquire Ex Libris in a deal expected to close later in 2015. Ex Libris, under the ownership of Golden Gate Capital since November 2012, will become a wholly owned business of ProQuest. This merger significantly extends ProQuest's offerings of technology-based workflow and resource management tools and places a broader portfolio of products under the responsibility of Ex Libris. While this merger represents a major step in the evolution of the industry, it is not anticipated to compromise the availability of current product offerings. Longer-term product strategies will be developed over time in collaboration with the company's customer base.
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Volume 35 Number 10October 2015
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Concentration of Corporate Impact 1-2
Breeding, Marshall, Leadership Transition at Innovative
A change in executive leadership is underway at Innovative Interfaces. Kim Massana resigned as Chief Executive Officer of Innovative on August 26, 2015 with immediate effect. Innovative did not issue a press release, but contacted many customer representatives and others directly. No specific reasons were given regarding Massana's resignation other than it was by mutual agreement with the company's Board of Directors. The board is constituted by representatives of the two private equity firms that own the company, HGGC and JMI Equity.
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Breeding, Marshall, SirsiDynix Wins Contract for Public libraries in Wales
SirsiDynix has been selected to provide its Symphony ILS for all of the public library services in Wales. This project can be counted among the increasing number of national or statewide initiatives to provide shared technology infrastructure for libraries within a jurisdiction. Although Wales is a relatively small country with a population of just over 3 million, automating all of its libraries through a single ILS ranks as an ambitious project.
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Volume 35 Number 09September 2015
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Shared Systems Maximize Cooperation
In the July issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter, we looked at technologies that enabled groups of libraries to collaborate where each has implemented a separate integrated library system. Direct consortial borrowing products such as Auto-Graphics SHAREit, Innovative's INN-Reach, or Relais ILL from Relais International, provide functionality that operates through exchanging data and transactions through each library's existing automation system. Another approach, which is gaining increasing popularity, relies on libraries not deploying independent automation systems, but rather sharing an instance of a single system.
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Breeding, Marshall, Shared Infrastructure Projects Gain Momentum
Recent months have seen a number of announcements of large consortia or library systems that have chosen to implement library services platforms in a shared configuration. Ex Libris Alma has emerged as the leading product in this sector, with Innovative's Sierra, OCLC WorldShare Management Services and ProQuest Intota also represented.
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Breeding, Marshall, People in the News
John. F. Helmer, Executive Director of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, has announced that he will retire in March 2016, Doug Potts and Amber Thompson appointed to new position at Bibliotheca, Lynn Silipigni Connaway elected as President of the Association for Information Science and Technology.
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Volume 35 Number 08August 2015
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Expanding the Models for Library Management
Over decades, it's been interesting to watch the change in conceptual and technical models of infrastructure supporting libraries—both in how automation systems have organized functionality and the technology platforms and architectures in which they have been deployed. In recent years, I have observed considerable divergence in models of technical infrastructure. Today multiple approaches coexist, each oriented to the distinct operational needs present in different types of libraries.
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Breeding, Marshall, TIND Technologies and Invenio: A New Model of Automation for Research Libraries
Invenio, developed under the auspices of CERN is open source software created to address the major areas of involvement for libraries associated with research organizations. The software can be used to support institutional repositories, manage digital assets or multimedia content, provide digital preservation, manage data sets associated with research projects, and to manage library materials. Invenio has been most widely implemented to support institutional and disciplinary repositories but is seeing adoption to support these other activities. As interest in Invenio expanded beyond the community of institutions closely affiliated with CERN, it established TIND Technologies as a new commercial company to promote and provide professional services.
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Breeding, Marshall, Caltech Sets Tech Strategy Based on Invenio
The library of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has recently selected the Invenio platform supported by TIND Technologies as the basis of its library management environment. Caltech ranks as a leading research and education institution dedicated to advancing science and engineering. In addition to its research activities, Caltech serves a relatively small student body, with 2014–15 enrollment reported of 977 undergraduates and 1,204 graduate students. According to University Librarian Kristin Antelman, the Caltech library intends to implement Invenio with hosting and support through TIND Technologies and integrated with EBSCO Discovery Service for article-level discovery. The Caltech library currently uses the Millennium ILS from Innovative, initially implemented in 1989.
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Volume 35 Number 07July 2015
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Technologies for Deep Collaboration
Libraries today face the reality that they must serve their communities with a level of resources far from ideal. In most libraries I encounter, collection budgets and personnel resources are stretched far beyond comfortable bounds. Libraries appreciate any technology with the potential to enable more efficient operations and the best use of their collections and personnel.
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Breeding, Marshall, Auto-Graphics Extends Interoperability for SHAREit
Auto-Graphics specializes in library automation and resource sharing technologies, primarily within the public library sector. Its VERSO integrated library system has been implemented in some 500 small to mid-sized public libraries, mostly in the United States. Auto-Graphics has worked to extend the adoption of VERSO beyond the smaller library niche into midsized, multibranch public libraries. The recent selection of VERSO by the LaPorte Country Public Library in Indiana with seven branches serving a population of 65,000 reflects progress in attracting larger libraries.
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Breeding, Marshall, Connecticut Opts for Open Source Interlibrary Loan
The State of Connecticut has operated a state-wide resource sharing system called reQuest, which has been powered by SHAREit from Auto-Graphics. This service includes a catalog of 5.8 million titles and 23 million items representing more than 400 public, academic, and school libraries in Connecticut.
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Breeding, Marshall, Update on Kuali OLE
The project to develop Kuali OLE as an open source library management system for academic and research libraries continues on track. To date, the project remains independent of KualiCo, a recently established commercial company to develop and support the community source business systems for higher education originally created under the Kuali Foundation. All the major projects, except for Kuali OLE, have announced engagement with KualiCo, including Kuali Student, Kuali Financial System, and Kuali Coeus, and Kuali Ready Continuity Planning. KualiCo performs development, support, and hosting services for these products.
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Breeding, Marshall, Axiell Acquires Elib
Continuing its phase of expansion, Axiell has made a strategic investment in the Elib, a company involved in the distribution of e-books in Sweden. Elib was founded in 2000 by four Swedish publishers: Bonniers, Norstedts, Natur and Kultur, and Piratförlaget. Through this investment Axiell has acquired seventy percent of the company, with the four publishers retaining a minority interest. Axiell has appointed Eva Houltzén, from Axiell Education and Media, as the Managing Director of Elib.
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Breeding, Marshall, People in the News
WT Cox Information has appointed Michael Perrine as its new Vice President of Sales. Axiell hired Maria Wasing as its new Chief Marketing Officer. Kuali OLE has hired Heather Beery as its new project Manager. Follett Corporation has appointed Ray A. Griffith as its new President and Chief Executive Officer following the retirement of Mary Lee Schneider.
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Volume 35 Number 06June 2015
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Vendor Strategies Address Diverse Needs of Libraries
Companies in the library technology industry must continually assess and refine their target audience or market sector. No product or service can meet the expectations of all types of libraries. Vendors must make difficult choices on where to concentrate their efforts. In library technology, one size does not fit all, but rather each system must be designed to align with the strategic needs of their target market. Defining an area of specialization too narrowly can limit opportunities. We can see examples where companies have widened their original target sector to expand their prospects for new customers. In a slightly different vein, it is also interesting to observe the technology products emerging from some of the larger and more diverse companies, especially EBSCO and ProQuest, and the dynamics that can come into play as these organizations become involved in supplying different categories of products. In all of these scenarios, libraries must work hard to identify the technology products best aligned to their strategic needs and the providers most in tune with their expectations.
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Breeding, Marshall, Ex Libris Acquires oMbeil, Introduces Leganto
Ex Libris has made an incremental step in expansion beyond the library technology arena, acquiring oMbeil, a company based in the United Kingdom known for campusM, a mobile and portal platform that enables institutions to provide a variety of services to students via a hosted, software-as-a-service platform optimized for mobile devices. This acquisition does not involve further consolidation in the library technology industry, but reflects the increase dominance of mobile access and the interest of Ex Libris in serving the broader campus environment.
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Breeding, Marshall, ProQuest Acquires Coutts from Ingram Content Group
In a move that strengthens its offerings to libraries for managing e-books and other resources, ProQuest has acquired the assets of Coutts Information Services, including its MyiLibrary digital content platform and Online Acquisitions and Selection Information System (OASIS) from Ingram Content Group. These tools will complement ProQuest's existing e-book initiatives.
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Volume 35 Number 05May 2015
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Assessing Consolidation’s Impact on the Industry Workforce
The library technology industry has been transformed over the decades through relentless rounds of consolidation. Mergers and acquisitions have eliminated some major competitors and left the industry dominated by a smaller number of large organizations. In working with the personnel statistics accumulated through the annual Library Systems Report for American Libraries, I was interested to see whether consolidation has resulted in an overall reduction in the workforce of the companies producing and supporting strategic technology products. For each year since 2002, the report's vendor survey has included statistics on the total number of personnel employed and how they are allocated according to categories such as development, support, sales, and administration.
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Breeding, Marshall, Boopsie for Libraries Grows with Platform-as-a-service
Boopsie for Libraries, a company specializing in mobile-friendly products and services for libraries, has recently launched a new service to assist publishers of content and other product developers to easily integrate with the integrated library systems used by their customers or subscribers. This service enables other businesses to leverage the infrastructure that they have created to support their products for libraries.
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Volume 35 Number 04April 2015
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Engaging Technology to Support Public Libraries
Each type of library embodies distinctive characteristics and therefore a different set of demands for the technology components that support its work. Public, academic, school, and other types of libraries differ substantially in the collections they manage and the services they offer, despite sharing a lot of common ground in their core missions and values.
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Breeding, Marshall, BiblioCommons Forges Path to Innovation
BiblioCommons, a company known for providing its BiblioCore discovery interface for major public libraries, has received a variety of awards engagements in recent months. These projects include engagement by the Council of Chief Librarians to help design and plan a new digital platform for all of the public libraries in England, receipt of a Knight News Challenge grant to develop a mobile app to enhance in-library patron experience, and participation in a major IMLS grant to develop a library-oriented digital badge system. BiblioCommons has also received direct financial investments from libraries or their foundations to support its development capacity.
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Volume 35 Number 03March 2015
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Striving for Neutral and Objective Coverage
In my role as a journalist and analyst for the library technology industry, I aim to provide objective coverage of all the major stakeholders. Maintaining objectivity means taking a non-promotional, or neutral, position relative to the organizations, products, technologies, and even development models.
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Breeding, Marshall, EBSCO Provides Major Grant to Open Source Koha ILS Project
EBSCO Information Services has made a significant grant to the open source Koha ILS project in support of an ambitious set of enhancements and extensions. The grant was awarded to Koha Gruppo Italianio, an organization devoted to the promotion of Koha in Italy. The development work of the enhancements covered in the grant will be carried out through other Koha support firms, including Catalyst, based in Wellington, New Zealand and ByWater Solutions. This grant signals strong support toward open source library software that complements EBSCO's partnerships with companies offering proprietary ILS products.
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Breeding, Marshall, Reading List product category grows
There has been considerable interest internationally for a genre of products that manage lists of materials assigned by instructors for the classes offered in a college or university. Two of these reading list management products compete in the UK, including Talis Aspire Reading Lists and Rebus:List introduced in July 2012 by PTFS Europe. While these products may be populated primarily by content provided by the library, they also must handle materials outside of its collections. Reading lists generally have a closer connection with the learning management systems used by the campus than the resource management system or discovery service of the library.
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Volume 35 Number 02February 2015
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: A new Chapter for SirsiDynix
The big news this month centers on the long anticipated sale of SirsiDynix to new owners. The acquisition of SirsiDynix by ICV Partners brings to close a fairly dramatic chapter in the history of the library technology industry. When Vista Equity Partners acquired SirsiDynix in December of 2006 the company was still working its way through its merger. Both Dynix and Sirsi Corporation were large and complex companies with multiple products under their charge through their own development efforts and via previous acquisitions. Any of a variety of courses of action seemed possible.
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Breeding, Marshall, ICV Partners acquires SirsiDynix
A new era in the corporate history of SirsiDynix, one of the corporate giants of the library technology industry, has begun. After over eight years of ownership, Vista Equity Partners has sold SirsiDynix to ICV Partners, with Vista retaining and company executives acquiring minority stakes in the company. While it is too early to assess how new investment owners will shape the direction of the company going forward, it is clear that SirsiDynix remains a major force in the industry with a very large number of libraries relying on its success. SirsiDynix, along with other Ex Libris, Innovative Interfaces, and Follett Corporation, ranks as a giant in the industry, which also includes dozens, if not hundreds, of mid-sized and small companies. Each of these four companies has earnings in the range of $100 million, develops strategic technology products for libraries, though each follows quite different business strategies and has distinct profiles of customers according to type and geographic region. Globally diverse, SirsiDynix supports customers in over 70 countries. SirsiDynix has a long and interesting history that spans many different companies, products, and personalities. This issue of SLN, examines SirsiDynix, working through the phases of its corporate history, its product strategies, and the potential impact of this business transition.
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Volume 35 Number 01January 2015
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Protecting the Privacy of Library Patrons
Libraries hold the confidentiality of patron information as a fundamental value. Library automation systems are generally configured not to retain records that reveal the specific materials that a patron has borrowed, at least beyond the operational need. In the consumer arena, to the contrary, details regarding behavior have become a major currency of the economy. One of the realities of the Internet lies in the ability for any third party to intercept the transmissions of information as it travels among devices and servers. Wireless networks are an especially easy target. Assume today that any information transmitted as clear text across a local network or the Internet will be intercepted and used, whether for targeted advertising or illegal intrusion into servers and systems. Encryption provides the main line of defense against the unwanted capture of data. The absolute and most basic transaction that demands encryption is the sequence used to authenticate staff and users into a system. Any exposure of username and passwords without strong encryption is an invitation for unwanted access into that system. A further line of defense lies in encrypting sensitive data files, including data stores that hold the personal details such as search and reading behavior or financial transactions
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Breeding, Marshall, Privacy and Security of Automation and Discovery Products
This study is an introductory effort to probe at the general characteristics of some of the major integrated library systems, library services platform, and discovery services related to their security and how well they defend patron privacy. A questionnaire of questions on this topic was developed and sent to Auto-Graphics, Biblionix, BiblioCommons, Ex Libris, Innovative Interfaces, OCLC, SirsiDynix, and to the development communities for Koha and Evergreen.
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Volume 34 Number 12December 2014
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Wrapping up Another Year, Looking to the Next
As another year concludes, it is time for a quick review of what has transpired and what readers can expect in the next year. Smart Libraries Newsletter aims to provide current information and perspective on the library technology industry. Libraries make significant investments in technology products and services that shape the daily work life of almost all personnel and are essential vehicles in delivering the library's services to its community. I'm delighted to have the opportunity to produce this monthly newsletter to chronicle the critical technologies upon which libraries rely.
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Breeding, Marshall, EBSCO Releases Full Text Finder
EBSCO has developed a new tool, called Full Text Finder, to efficiently provide access to journal titles using an interface designed to be more efficient and easily understood than alphabetical lists. Full Text Finder accesses publication titles through a search box with responsive auto-complete and a new landing page organized by disciplines. This new product provides a greatly simplified interface that aims to make it faster and easier to find an item in the library's collection when working from a citation. Full Text Finder operates through a knowledge base of publication records. This capability complements the discovery process, where patrons seek information resources on given topics or concepts. It also provides an efficient tool to assist staff when their work involves locating journal titles within the library's subscriptions. Full Text Finder is based on the knowledge base of publishers' titles maintained by EBSCO, with the ability for libraries to add any titles that they may own not already included.
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Breeding, Marshall, New Developments in the Kuali Commercial Entity
In the October 2014 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter we reported on the transition of the Kuali projects to a more commercial model. Since the publication of that story, there has been some additional activity worth noting. The new commercial entity now has a name, KualiCo, and it can be found on the Web at kuali.co. The company will be based in Salt Lake City, Utah. According to recent information on its website, the company employs around 25.
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Breeding, Marshall, National Public Library System in Denmark Reaches Milestone
KOMBIT, the national agency in Denmark responsible for major projects in the public sector, reported progress on the development of a new automation system for the nationwide deployment for the public and school libraries in in Denmark.
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Breeding, Marshall, OCLC Makes Board Appointments
OCLC has made new appointments to its Board of Trustees, the primary body that provides strategic oversight. Joining the OCLC Board are Kathleen Keane, director of John Hopkins University Press; Brady J. Deaton, former chancellor of the University of Missouri; Ellen Tise, Senior Director of Library and Information Services at Stellenbosch University in South Africa; and John F. Szabo, the City Librarian of Los Angeles Public Library.
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Volume 34 Number 11November 2014
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Library Management at the National Level
The advancement of technology enables ever larger groups of libraries to participate in shared systems that manage their collections and enable access to their communities. Year-by-year hardware components become faster, smaller, with ever more computing power or storage capacities. Modern services-oriented architecture and clustering technologies enable the creation and global deployment of massive platforms able to serve millions of users. At least at the infrastructure level, computer applications that scale almost infinitely can be built. This characteristic of large-scale computing brings important implications into the realm of libraries. What is the right level of cooperation or consolidation relative to how libraries implement their automation systems? Does it benefit libraries to share systems at the largest possible scale, or do individual or modest-scale implementations hold advantages?
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Breeding, Marshall, Ireland Selects Innovative for National Public Library System
In a project that fits with the trend toward large-scale consolidated library automation implementations, the country of Ireland has elected to provide a single library management system to serve all its public libraries. Following a period of gathering and refining the requirements for such a system, a Request for Tenders was issued in November 2013. According to a contract award notice posted September 15, 2014, Innovative Interfaces has been selected as the successful bidder and will deploy a technical platform based on Sierra and Encore. Consistent with other large public sector projects in Ireland, the formal procurement process was carried out by Local Government Management Agency.
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Breeding, Marshall, People in the News
A change of leadership has taken place in its North American division with the appointment of Eric Hines as its new President. Hines will also become part of the executive management team of the Ex Libris Group. Paul Sybrowsky, one of the pioneers in the field of library automation died on September 10, 2014.
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Volume 34 Number 10October 2014
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Community Source at the Crossroads
Though a smaller number of library technology products are available today compared to a decade or two ago, the business and development models span a wider range. In the past, more companies were offering more products, but often with little differentiation. Each of the different approaches in play today seems to offer advantages and disadvantages, which will be validated over time.
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Breeding, Marshall, Kuali OLE Now in Production
Kuali OLE has been the subject of attention in the library arena, anticipating an open source alternative to proprietary products offered by commercial companies. The Kuali OLE project crossed an important milestone as the libraries of two institutions have placed the software into production. The University of Chicago and Lehigh University have gone live on Kuali OLE version 1.5, displacing their incumbent integrated library systems. These installations both have centered on functionality related to managing print materials, with management of electronic resources planned through subsequent versions of Kuali OLE.
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Breeding, Marshall, Kuali Shifts to a Commercial Business Model
Kuali, a group of projects until now governed by a nonprofit foundation, is making a major change, establishing a commercial company to play a dominant role in the development and deployment of its software products. The software will continue to be offered as open source. While many of the details have yet to be determined, the wheels seem to be in motion moving Kuali away from its established community source governance model. Kuali includes a variety of projects, each with their own histories, funding sources, and development trajectories.
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Volume 34 Number 09September 2014
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries Through Technology: Challenges in the Small Library Sector
ibrary technology vendors tend to time their big announcements for release ahead of the ALA's Annual Conference. Typically, the month following is a quiet one. The content of this newsletter tends to focus on the systems and vendors and their product announcements, mostly oriented to large libraries. We'll take this opportunity to focus our attention on the challenges faced by smaller libraries with limited resources. We'll look at strategies that might enable progress.
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Breeding, Marshall, Biblionix: Specializing in Technology for Small Public Libraries
Biblionix has developed its Apollo ILS specifically for small public libraries. The company has seen steady growth in terms of the numbers of libraries subscribing Apollo and in ever broader geographic areas beyond its home turf of Texas. The customer base of Apollo remains a bit more concentrated in the Midwest and Northeast of the United States, with increasing penetration in other states, including Washington, Oregon, Alabama, Florida. While still in the small-library niche, some of the recent sales of Apollo have been to multi-branch libraries or small consortia. Biblionix has not ventured to offer its products outside the United States or to other types of libraries
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Breeding, Marshall, People in the News
OCLC has named Drew Bordas for the newly created role of Vice President of Management and Customer Operations. Softlink Nathan Godfrey, who has served as the Chief Operating Officer of Softlink has been named as Managing Director. Carmen Hernandez joins ByWater Solutions
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Breeding, Marshall, Coming Next: Kuali OLE
The Kuali OLE platform will cross an important benchmark soon with the University of Chicago and Lehigh University in the process of migrating to the software from their incumbent systems as of late July 2014.
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Volume 34 Number 08August 2014
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: New-Generation Products Take Multiple Paths
I watch with interest the how the roster of products for managing and providing access to library collections continues to evolve. Smart Libraries Newsletter has chronicled the emergence of these systems in recent years, and we are finally getting close to the point where all the cards are on the table. A variety of development strategies are in play, ranging from systems built anew from the ground up as well as those extending or evolving from pre-existing systems. The concepts underlying some of the new systems began as early as 2009, with development churning through 2012 or so, after which followed a phase of implementation. Many of the new generation systems are now available as routine offerings, though some remain in the later development and implementation phase.
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Breeding, Marshall, ProQuest Launches the Intota Foundation Release
ProQuest has released the initial version of Intota, its library services platform that has been under development since 2011. Fully integrated with the Summon discovery service, this version of Intota builds on Intota Assessment, released in November 2013. It adds to the package management tools for electronic resources; the new ProQuest global knowledgebase of metadata describing the holdings of electronic, digital, and print resources; and specialized functionality to support new models of resource procurement, such as demand driven acquisition of library materials. ProQuest designates the current package as the “foundation” release of Intota, upon which will be layered additional modules and functionality
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Breeding, Marshall, SirsiDynix Launches BLUEcloud Campus
SirsiDynix has announced the development of BLUEcloud Campus, a component of its BLUEcloud Library Services Platform designed for academic, research, and school libraries. In recent years, SirsiDynix has seen increased sales and retention, largely weighted toward public libraries. The development of the BLUEcloud Campus, aims to strengthen its position among academic and other libraries with major investments in collections of electronic resources. BLUEcloud Campus, like eResource Central and other members of this product suite, currently requires that the library operate one of the SirsiDynix ILS products, Symphony or Horizon.
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Breeding, Marshall, EBSCO Launches Curriculum Builder
EBSCO Information Services has developed a new tool, called the Curriculum Builder, which operates as a plug-in for learning management systems. Using the tool, instructors can easily create reading lists of library-provided content, accessible to students on a course page
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Breeding, Marshall, SeeSearch: New Visual Search Interface
The South Dublin Library service in Ireland has implemented a new discovery interface in conjunction with their OpenGalaxy ILS and its other content resources that provides a more visual search experience. This discovery interface is based on a product called SeeSearch developed by Vizolve Ltd. The new interface was launched in a ceremony presided by the mayor of the South Dublin, Fintan Warfield, on June 25, 2014.
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Volume 34 Number 07July 2014
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Industry Trends and Product Cycles
The library automation industry continues to evolve, and the pace is accelerating. The succession of business transitions and other events shaping the business environment greatly influences the technology products and services available to libraries. Amidst many different threads of activity, the trend is a concentration of resources in the support and development of a fewer products, each of which finds use in more libraries in ever broader global regions. An interesting set of industry dynamics can be seen across a range of business models and in both proprietary and open source developments. The majority of the large companies in the industry operate under the ownership of private equity firms. In the past year or so some of the transitions in this arena included the sale of Innovative Interfaces by its co-founder Jerry Kline to a pair of private equity companies; the subsequent acquisition of Polaris from a group of private investors; and recent the sale of VTLS from by its founder Dr. Vinod Chachra to Innovative. SirsiDynix, a portfolio company of Vista Equity Partners, recently purchased EOS International from its co-founder Scot Chatham. The ownership of Ex Libris changed from Leeds Equity Partners to Golden Gate Capital.
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Breeding, Marshall, Innovative Interfaces acquires VTLS
Innovative Interfaces has acquired Blacksburg, VA-based VTLS as part of its strategic expansion strategy. This move follows the acquisition of Polaris, announced in April 2014. Both acquisitions were conducted in parallel, with each transition closing on a different schedule. The acquisition of VTLS significantly expands Innovative's international reach and brings a number of new technology products under its corporate umbrella. VTLS had been the longest standing company remaining under the ownership and management of its founder in the library technology industry. VTLS has been active since 1974, first as a department of the Newman Library of Virginia Tech University and since 1985, as an independent company.
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Volume 34 Number 06June 2014
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Open Systems via APIs
Libraries today insist that their major technology products not be closed and proprietary. Rather, libraries seek at least some level of transparency into a product's internal programming, allowing them to tap into its capabilities in ways beyond the user interfaces supplied. Procurement decisions increasingly factor in the degree to which a system is open. In this current phase of the industry where automation products have achieved a high level of functional maturity, their capacity for extensibility and interoperability have become important differentiating features.
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Breeding, Marshall, New Sierra REST APIs Released
When Innovative Interfaces announced its new Sierra library services platform in 2011, it described one of its key features as a services-oriented architecture allowing for RESTful APIs that would provide open access to its data and functionality. Innovative now has released the first set of REST APIs for Sierra. The REST API v 1.0 package, released in April 2014 represents the first phase of a broader initiative to provide broader programmatic access to Sierra. The provision of APIs has been part of the roadmap since the inception of Sierra. Although this initial set comes relatively late, according to Brad Jung, Innovative’s VP for Product Management, the company plans a faster delivery of additional APIs and related resources going forward, with additional sets planned for release later in 2014.
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Breeding, Marshall, Ex Libris Launches its Second Generation Developer Network
As part of its efforts to provide resources to enable libraries to fully exploit the technical interoperability of its products, Ex Libris has launched new platform for developers. Ex Libris, whose customers include some of the largest and most complex libraries in the world, has long offered the ability to extend and customize its products through APIs and other mechanisms through what it calls its Open Platform Strategy. In 2008 the company created EL Commons as a central repository to share program code created by its customers, documentation, and other technical resources related to the APIs of its various products.
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Breeding, Marshall, New Hires at EBSCO Strengthen its Discovery Efforts
On the personnel front, EBSCO Information Services has hired three individuals who had previous held senior executive roles in companies involved in library automation. Neil Block will serve as Vice President of Discovery Innovation,Academic Libraries. Gar Sydnor was appointed as Vice President of Discovery Innovation, Public Libraries and K-12 Schools. Tamir Borensztajn, will serve as Vice President of Discovery Strategy.
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Breeding, Marshall, OCLC Names New Chief Information Officer
OCLC named Jeff Jacobs as its new Chief Information Officer.
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Breeding, Marshall, Jim Wilson Joins Innovative
One of the original founders of Dynix Corporation, Jim Wilson joined Innovate Interfaces as its new Director of Strategic Accounts.
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Breeding, Marshall, New Chief Marketing Officer for Lucidea
Lucidea, a new company formed last year through the amalgamation of SydneyPLUS, Inmagic, and Cuadra Associates, has appointed Sal Provenza as its new Chief Marketing Officer.
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Volume 34 Number 05May 2014
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: The Consolidation Continues
Recent months have seen a new wave of consolidation in the library technology industry. SirsiDynix acquired EOS International in December 2013, and Innovative Interfaces has now acquired Polaris Library Systems. Both SirsiDynix and Innovative were already among the largest companies in the industry. Continuing a trend of consolidation that has been underway for more than a decade, these acquisitions ratchet each company upward a notch in size, in the number of library customers that rely upon them, and in potential impact.
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Breeding, Marshall, Innovative Interfaces acquires Polaris Library Systems
In a move that further consolidates the library automation industry, Innovative Interfaces, Inc. has purchased Polaris Library Systems. Innovative is one of the largest companies in the industry, with an international presence and customers from all types of libraries. The acquisition significantly strengthens its presence in the US public library arena because of Polaris’s success in winning the majority of municipal library procurements in recent years.
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Volume 34 Number 04April 2014
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: The Evolution of the Koha Open Source ILS
Libraries today have a variety of choices for automation systems. Smart Libraries Newsletter has provided extensive coverage of integrated library systems, library services platforms, discovery services and other types of automation products. It's interesting and important that both open source and proprietary license models are available in for these products.
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Breeding, Marshall, The History and Background of Koha
Koha was originally created in 1999 through a contract carried out by Katipo Communications for a three-branch library system in New Zealand called the Horowhenua Library Trust (HLT). These libraries needed a new system to replace their current ILS that was deemed not to be compliant with the year 2000 date change, and they were interested in developing a new system rather than purchase another proprietary product. Katipo Communications, which offered a variety of information technology and development services, was selected to help the library with creating its new automation system.
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Breeding, Marshall, New Zealand Trademark Dispute Resolved
HLT and Catalyst IT protested the award of the trademark. A ruling was issued by the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand on December 11, 2013 supporting the challenge of HLT and denying the PTFS application for the trademark in New Zealand.
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Breeding, Marshall, ByWater and Donohue Group To Develop New Advanced Cataloging Module for Koha
A collaborative project between ByWater Solutions, one of the major providers of support services for the open source Koha integrated library system, and Donohue Group Inc. proposes to develop new MARC record editing and management capabilities to support the needs of complex cataloging operations. The Donohue Group will partially fund the development of the new cataloging module, which will be supplemented by funding contributed from ByWater Solutions
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Breeding, Marshall, BibLibre and AFI Form an Open Source Alliance for European Libraries
In a move that strengthens the commercial support of open source software for libraries in Europe, BibLibre, a company that offers support and development for open source software in libraries, has formed a strategic alliance with Agence Française Informatique (AFI), a much larger company involved in open source software for local government. This business transaction is not the typical merger where one organization acquires the other. Rather, AFI and BibLibre will continue to operate independently as their owners make investments in each other through an exchange of stock. The two companies will then pool resources and operate in strategic cooperation as they address the library sector with open source products and services. Both companies will remain separated, shareholders and managers remain in place, all teams and resources will be pooled in the operational framework.
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Breeding, Marshall, Libraries in Turkey Move to Koha
In a major automation project carried out by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, public libraries in Turkey have been automated using Koha. This major project includes a total of 1,112 library branches that operate under the jurisdiction of the Ministry, with a combined collections represented by 8 million bibliographic records.
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Volume 34 Number 03March 2014
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Content Powers Technology
The effectiveness of library technology products currently depends not only on the software, but also on content components that power its functionality. Software alone can seem like an empty shell, awaiting data to unleash its capabilities. For the traditional model of automation, such as seen in integrated library systems, that data is mostly created or assembled by the library itself. In these times, products are increasingly available which tap into global pools of data that deliver to libraries and their users more powerful capabilities without the need to redundantly recreate their own isolated silos of content. Global knowledge bases, bibliographic databases, centralized indexes, and open linked data stores bring the potential for efficiency and depth of functionality in ways that benefit libraries and their communities.
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Breeding, Marshall, ProQuest Unifies its Business, Drops Serials Solutions Brand
In a move that reflects a strategy of a more unified corporation structure with more cooperation among its products and services, ProQuest has officially discontinued the Serials Solutions brand and made other organizational changes in recent months.
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Breeding, Marshall, OCLC Announces WorldCat Discovery Service
OCLC has made another key step in the deployment of end-user search and discovery services through the launch of WorldCat Discovery Service. It will be the forward path for both WorldCat Local and FirstSearch. This new service will ultimately displace multiple products in OCLC's current product lines and is positioned as its strategic platform for enduser services, complementing the WorldShare Platform developed as the basis for its staff-oriented resource management services.
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Volume 34 Number 02February 2014
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: The Maturing Market of Open Source Software for Libraries
In today's challenging times of lean budgets and rising patron expectations, libraries depend on technology more than ever. It's crucial to have the right software for the job, and at the best financial value. Some of the initial success of the open source ILS movement can be attributed to fervor for its philosophical approach and negative reactions regarding vendors of proprietary products. Frustrated by the perceived difficulties of proprietary software, some libraries were willing to accept more modest functionality, with the expectation that the products would gain features over time through collaborative open-source software development.
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Breeding, Marshall, Equinox Launches Sequoia: New ILS Service Based on Evergreen
In a move to further strengthen its ability to deliver stable and reliable automation to libraries, Equinox Software has launched a new hosting program called Sequoia. Equinox positions Sequoia as a comprehensive software-as-a-service ILS offering based on a new hosting platform with full-service support. It is based on a technical environment for its data centers that manages and provisions software applications with the flexibility to meet the needs of its largest or smallest library customers in a way that minimizes the possibility for downtime and delivers optimal performance. Going forward, Equinox intends to focus strategically on delivering automation to libraries based on open source software hosted on its Sequoia service platform and to transition away from providing support for self-hosted installations. The open source Evergreen ILS will continue as its primary offering for larger libraries and consortia, supplemented by Koha for mid-sized or small libraries preferring a stand-alone implementation. Equinox will continue to provide support for its existing self-hosted clients, but plans to focus on Sequoia-based installations as it markets its services to new potential customers. Equinox will encourage its self-hosted sites to migrate to Sequoia.
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Breeding, Marshall, Flow: Proquest’s new Platform for Citation Management and Research Collaboration
Building on the longstanding success of RefWorks, ProQuest launched Flow in April 2013 as its new generation platform for citation management and facilitating collaboration among researchers with analytics on the use patterns of resources. As a tool that sits between content and the researcher, Flow can be seen as a critical product for libraries and for ProQuest in its role as a content provider. Through RefWorks, ProQuest and its parent company CIG have been involved in citation management for more than a decade. Flow is positioned to move beyond basic citation management, providing an environment to foster engagement among researchers and a new layer of end-user interactions across its product lines. ProQuest announced in January 2014 that it is offering of a free version of Flow to qualified researchers.
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Volume 34 Number 01January 2014
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Themes of Consolidation to Prevail in 2014
Consolidation will increase through many spheres: products, companies, and libraries. On the product front, libraryoriented applications are addressing increasingly wide ranges of functionality. The new genre of library services platform aims to manage library collections in many different formats. We are seeing many libraries displace an ILS, link resolver, and electronic resource management system with a library services platform that subsumes the functionality of these multiple incumbent components. Libraries seem interested in not having to operate separate platforms for each of the formats within their collections. Taking the product consolidation one step further, discovery seems to be waning as a disintegrated layer and returning as an integrated component of a larger product suite.
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Breeding, Marshall, National Automation System for Public and School Libraries in Denmark
The public libraries in Denmark have reached a major milestone in the creation of a shared national library management environment (Fælles Bibliotekssystem in Danish). Following a long procurement process, the path has been cleared for the Danish company Dantek A/S to commence development and deployment of a platform to support the automation of the public and school libraries in 88 municipalities in the country. These municipalities represent more than 90 percent of the population of Denmark. Those not voting to participate in the initial project expressed potential interest in the future. KOMBIT A/S, a non-profit organization owned by the municipal governments in Denmark, managed the procurement process. The organization handles many other types of procurements and projects on behalf of local authorities in the country.
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Breeding, Marshall, BIBSYS Selects Alma
BIBSYS, a major library service organization in Norway, has announced that it has awarded a contract to Ex Libris to provide Alma as the basis for its next generation automation environment. BIBSYS provides library automation services to the national library and all of the universities and colleges in the country, totaling more than 105 institutions
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Breeding, Marshall, ProQuest releases Intota Assessment
ProQuest announced the availability of Intota Assessment, a collection analysis service, in November 2013. Intota Assessment is positioned as a comprehensive tool to support collection development decisions through circulation data from the library's local ILS, COUNTER statistics, and from quantitative data from Books in Print, Ulrich's, and other resources. The service spans both print and electronic items, providing a variety of reports and metrics, such as the cost per use, overlap of items within competing collection packages, and subject strengths relative to peer institutions. Intota Assessment is based on a new technology platform and represents the initial component of its upcoming library services platform.
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Breeding, Marshall, Kuali OLE Release 1.0
The Kuali OLE project to create an open source library services platform has met a major milestone with the release of version 1.0 of the software. No libraries have yet put Kuali OLE into production use. This version includes four modules with basic functionality that allows libraries to begin implementation planning and data migration. Subsequent releases will include the additional functionality deemed necessary for libraries to migrate from their legacy integrated library systems.
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Breeding, Marshall, Innovative Interfaces Forms Partnership with Naseej
In a move that amplifies its presence to libraries in the Arab world, Innovative Interfaces has formed an exclusive agreement with Naseej. Formerly known as Arabian Advanced Systems, Naseej ranks as the largest provider of technology products to universities and other cultural institutions in the region.
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Volume 33 Number 12December 2013
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Vendor Consolidation and its Impact on Libraries
Library technology vendors continue to consolidate. Since the mid-2000s, the shape of the library automation industry has changed considerably through a constant stream of mergers and acquisitions. Many smaller companies continue to prosper, serving narrower groups of libraries with specialized products. But a group of large organizations dominate the industry, most involved with libraries as customers in many different parts of the world. This top tier includes nonprofits such as OCLC, as well as Ex Libris Group, SirsiDynix, Innovative Interfaces, Follett Software Company, and Axiell. A middle tier, such as Polaris, VTLS, The Library Corporation, and Auto-Graphics, likewise play an important role, each following different competitive strategies to find their own opportunities to grow to the next level or to even become one the industry giants.

I spend a lot of time and energy tracking companies in the industry. It seems important to gain as much information as possible about organizations with which libraries spend substantial funds. Many of the articles and reports that I produce provide what I hope is useful information on business strategies, product developments, and both short and longer-term roadmaps. I also try to track some operational details, including how many libraries use each of their products, the number of personnel, and their allocation of resources among software development, support, and sales.

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Breeding, Marshall, SirsiDynix Acquires EOS International
SirsiDynix has acquired EOS International from its cofounder and Chief Executive Officer Scot Cheatham effective November 1, 2013. The transaction was conducted entirely from financial resources within SirsiDynix without additional backing from its private equity owner, Vista Equity Partners. The acquisition of EOS International will expand the presence of SirsiDynix in the small library arena, and will strengthen its overall position in terms of revenue, customers served, and product offer ings. SirsiDynix provides a stable and expansive business environment for the ongoing support, development and marketing of EOS International products.
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Breeding, Marshall, Polaris Announces LEAP to Deliver Web-based Automation
From its inception, the Polaris integrated library system from Polaris Library Systems has been based on Microsoft Windows technology, including both server components as well as the staff interfaces. Its PowerPAC provides a Web-based online catalog for library patrons. At the Polaris User Group held in Portland, OR on October 9, 2013, the company announced that it has begun the development of a new product, called LEAP, which provides a Web-based set of interfaces for the staff functions of Polaris. The product fits the trend in the library automation, as well as the broader IT sector, to deliver software functionality through browser-based interfaces rather than rely on client software installed on local computers.
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Volume 33 Number 11November 2013
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: A Global Industry
The library technology industry increasingly functions globally, with many organizations involved in diverse countries and regions. I find it quite interesting to study the international dynamics at play among the organizations that provide technology products and services to libraries. Many of those familiar here in the United States are also active in other countries. Other companies, well known in parts of the world, would not be recognized here. As I cover the library technologies for Smart Libraries Newsletter, I try to provide exposure to some of companies and products that may not yet have a presence in the United States. They offer a different approach that might expand our thinking about a given area of library technology. Even if the particular products may not be currently available, some understanding of the international scene seems beneficial.
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Breeding, Marshall, OCLC Acquires the Dutch ILS Provider HKA
OCLC has acquired Huijsmans en Kuijpers Automatisering BV (HKA), a vendor of library automation systems in the Netherlands. This acquisition further expands OCLC's already extensive involvement with cataloging and discovery services in the Netherlands. It also brings another for-profit ILS company into its organizational structure and brings a new set of products into its portfolio of technologies.

Huijsmans en Kuijpers Automatisering Background.

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Breeding, Marshall, AquaBrowser in the Netherlands
The AquaBrowser Library discovery interface, originally developed by Medialab Solutions, based in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, has been adopted by libraries around the world. AquaBrowser Library provides relevancy-based search results, faceted browsing, a visual cloud of related terms, and a variety of other features that result in a user-friendly interface for searching a library's collection. Although its use in the United States has dwindled, it remains extremely popular in public libraries in the Netherlands.
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Volume 33 Number 10October 2013
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: International Perspectives
I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to travel overseas to see firsthand how libraries worldwide make use of technology, learning about companies and products not well known in the United States. The realm of library technologies encompasses an interesting mix of internationally-oriented companies with products deployed throughout the world and others that focus on specific regions or countries. Interesting and innovative technologies can be seen in either context, making it worthwhile to stay abreast of developments internationally as well as domestically. Even if some of the specific products may not be available to readers in the United States, it is always helpful to be aware of the broadest array of possibilities.
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Breeding, Marshall, Civica Launches Spydus 9
Civica Library and Learning has released the latest major version of its flagship library management system, Spydus 9. This new version of Spydus incorporates a variety of new functional capabilities and technology enhancements. Embracing many of the characteristics of the new generation library services platforms, it includes comprehensive resource management, Webbased interfaces, and open APIs. Civica offers Spydus 9 either for local installation or as a fully-managed hosted service.
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Breeding, Marshall, Axiell and Publit Launch Atingo for E-book lending
A new venture has been established on the e-book lending front, initially focused on publishers and libraries in Sweden, but with possible opportunities for other international regions. Two Scandinavian companies— Publit a Swedish company involved with e-books and print on demand, and Axiell, which develops software for libraries and archives— have jointly launched Atingo, a company offering e-book lending products and services to libraries. Though in an early pilot phase and not currently available in the United States, the service provides an interesting example of a business and technology model implemented abroad.
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Breeding, Marshall, People in the News
Innovative Interfaces has made some changes in its senior management group. Elizabeth Jones has joined EBSCO Information Services as its new Vice President of Medical Product Management and Chief Content Officer.Jonathan Collins has been appointed as its Chief Financial officer of ProQuest.
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Breeding, Marshall, Libraries Implement Content Pro IRX from Innovative Interfaces
Innovative Interfaces announced in May 2012 that it would develop a new institutional repository platform called Content Pro IRX. The product is built as an optional module to its Content Pro digital asset management system, designed to manage the types of materials that academic institutions place into institutional repositories, such as academic articles, conference papers, theses or dissertations, and other institutional documents.
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Volume 33 Number 09September 2013
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Open Source alternatives in library systems procurement
Open source today stands as a routine part of the library automation industry. In the integrated library system arena, Koha and Evergreen have been implemented by hundreds of libraries here in the United States, and especially for Koha, all around the world. OPALS has been implemented by hundreds of school libraries as well as church, synagogue, and other special libraries. Large academic and research libraries have complex operational needs and increasingly require automation systems able to help them manage and provide access to collections dominated by digital content. The new genre of library services platforms has emerged to address these realities. Examples include Ex Libris Alma, Sierra from Innovative Interfaces, OCLC's WorldShare Platform, and Serials Solutions upcoming Intota. In this issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter, we turn our attention to Kuali OLE, a library services platform developed through a grant-funded, community-based endeavor.
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Breeding, Marshall, Kuali OLE: the Open Source Library Services Platform
The open source Kuali OLE project is progressing toward the creation of a library services platform. Kuali OLE has been designed specifically for academic and research libraries through multiple project phases, partially supported through major grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and under the governance of the Kuali Foundation, which also supports other major software applications for higher education and research organizations.
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Volume 33 Number 08August 2013
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Dynamics of Discovery and Catalogs
Since about 2005, Smart Libraries Newsletter has chronicled the development and adoption of what was originally called next-generation catalogs, and later discovery interfaces, and more recently Webscale discovery services. Since then, many changes have developed in this space. In recent years, the emerging trend is for many libraries to drop third party interface solutions in favor of those provided by the same vendor of their core automation environment. Although that pattern of movement in the discovery arena exists, so do counter examples. I'm frequently asked whether a library should stick with the interface offered through its main automation provider or implement a separate discovery service. The answer is complicated, with a variety of factors to consider.
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Breeding, Marshall, Technology to Empower Library Control of E-book Lending
E-book lending continues to dominate as one of the most urgent issues for public libraries. Business, legal, and technical issues all shape which e-book titles public libraries can acquire for their lending collections, the possible terms of a loan, and the interfaces through with patrons gain access to materials borrowed.
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Breeding, Marshall, Tecnologías para fortalecer el control del préstamo de libros electrónicos por las bibliotecas
E-book lending continues to dominate as one of the most urgent issues for public libraries. Business, legal, and technical issues all shape which e-book titles public libraries can acquire for their lending collections, the possible terms of a loan, and the interfaces through with patrons gain access to materials borrowed.
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Breeding, Marshall, EBSCO becomes a Kuali Commercial Affiliate
EBSCO Information Services, consistent with its ongoing strategy of partnerships with developers of library management systems, has become a Kuali Commercial Affiliate with the intent to provide services in support of the Kuali OLE community source library management system.
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Breeding, Marshall, Follett Unifies its School Library Business
Follett Corporation announced its plans to further consolidate its businesses involved in products and services for the K-12 school library arena. Currently, several separate companies, each acting as wholly owned subsidiaries of Follett Corporation, offer a distinct set of products.
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Volume 33 Number 07July 2013
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: The People Who Shape the Industry
One of most appealing aspects of the library automation industry is the interesting people involved. From those who lead the companies to those who work behind the scenes developing new technologies, I've been fortunate to rub elbows with many of the cast of characters who have shaped the library automation landscape. I recall so many conversations where I have verbally sparred with individuals over technology, strategy, or business, learning a great deal in the process.
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Breeding, Marshall, EBSCO Consolidates its Library-oriented Subsidiaries
In a major move that consolidates the two library-oriented subsidiaries of EBSCO Industries, Inc. that have operated separately for almost 30 years, EBSCO Publishing and EBSCO Information Services will combine into a single company. Tim Collins, President of EBSCO Publishing, will lead the consolidated company as its President and Chief Operating Officer. Allen Powell, formerly President of EBSCO Information Services, will continue to lead the company's subscription services business, reporting to Collins. The new company will operate under the name EBSCO Information Services. The reorganization will be effective on July 1, 2013.
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Breeding, Marshall, Northern Ireland opts for SirsiDynix and Bibliotheca for National Library Infrastructure
The country of Northern Ireland operates a country-wide library service called Libraries NI, including around 100 libraries, serving a population of around 1.8 million. Libraries NI was formed in 2009 through the merger of four regional library services.
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Breeding, Marshall, Civica finds new private equity ownership
Civica, a large international information technology services firm that provides products for a wide range of local government services, including library automation, recently changed ownership. Civica has been under ownership of 3i since April 2008 (see “Civica Transitions to Private Equity” Smart Libraries Newsletter, June 2008), bringing the company under ownership of a large private equity firm following a period of public ownership, traded on the London-based AIM (Alternative Investment Market). OMERS Private Equity, with investment capital of over $6 billion acquired Civica from 3i Group Plc. in a transaction valued at about £390 million. The company reports that it does not anticipate major changes in its executive management or in its operations as a result of this transition.
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Breeding, Marshall, SydneyPLUS morphs into Lucidea Corporation
A new company, Lucidea Corporation (http://www.lucidea. com), has been formed through the re-organization of SydneyPLUS and its acquired companies. Lucidea brings together the products and services of SydneyPLUS, Inmagic, Cuadra Associates, Argus.net, LawPort, Lookup Precision, and Incite Software Solutions, all owned by Ron Aspe and previously operated as separate companies. These companies previously operated independently, though in close consultation with each other and taking advantage of shared administrative support. They will now combine into a single company under a unified executive management team, with Ron Aspe as the President and Chief Executive Officer and Phil Green as Chief Operating Officer. Green was previously CEO of Inmagic.
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Breeding, Marshall, People in the News
David “Skip” Prichard has been named as OCLC's new President and Chief Executive Officer. Axel Kaschte has joined OCLC as its Product Strategy Director for EMEA. Innovative Interfaces has hired Steve Nielsen as its new Vice President of Strategic Accounts. Brower Roberts, one of the pioneers of the library automation industry, died on May 24, 2013 at the age of 74.
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Volume 33 Number 06June 2013
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: The Ever Narrowing Range of Choices for Library Automation
In developing the articles for this issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter, I became a little more aware of, and a bit more concerned about, how few products are available to libraries for their critical automation systems. While in the last few years the industry has not seen business consolidations that eliminate competing companies, we are in a phase where ongoing paths of development result in fewer competing products. In some cases, this narrowing comes as the downstream result of company consolidation that transpired many years ago.
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Breeding, Marshall, Salt Lake City Public Library Selects Polaris
As part of a comprehensive set of improvements in its technology infrastructure, the Salt Lake City Public Library in Utah has begun a process that involves replacing its core integrated library system, introducing RFID technologies, and reviewing its technical processing operations. Serving a population of just under 200,000 with a main facility and five branches, the library's collection of over 900,000 sees a vigorous circulation of 6.7 million transactions annually.
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Breeding, Marshall, Developments in E-book Lending Technologies
The support of e-book lending stands as one of the crucial technology issues for public libraries. The initial phase of library e-book lending was mostly based on acquiring titles from one or more e-book providers and then delivering users to platforms provided by those vendors for selection, check-out, and downloading titles to e-reading devices. Libraries naturally want to provide a similar service for e-books as they offer for their print collections. General expectations would include the ability to develop a collection shaped according to the interests and research needs of its community and for library patrons to borrow e-books without cost, for reasonable loan periods, and with protected privacy. Yet, fulfilling ideal expectations for library e-book lending services continues to face a number of obstacles. From a technology perspective, challenges lie in simplifying the way that patrons can select, check-out, and download items. On the business and legal front, only portions of the collective e-book universe are available to libraries to purchase for their lending programs, and in many cases higher costs per title apply and possibly limitations on lending terms. The developments seen in recent months reflect ongoing progress in each of these areas.
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Breeding, Marshall, Developments at Ex Libris
>Ex Libris reports that it more than 150 institutions, primarily academic libraries, have now signed contracts for its new Alma library services platform and the Primo discovery platform. The Leddy Library at the University of Windsor announced its selection of Alma in April 2013. The library will migrate to Alma and Primo from its current Evergreen ILS, an open source product, which finds use primarily in consortia of public libraries. This migration represents one of the very few examples of libraries moving away from Evergreen.
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Volume 33 Number 05May 2013
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Discovery Services Improving
I continue to be impressed with the ongoing improvements in library resource discovery services. These services aim to allow library users to access library resources with the same level of ease that they experience with the general Web through search engines like Google or Bing. But ease of use isn't the only concern. It's imperative that these discovery services deliver search results consistent with library values, which differ considerably from what applies in the commercial Web.
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Breeding, Marshall, Serials Solutions to Launch Summon 2.0
Serials Solutions will launch Summon 2.0, a major update of its Web-scale discovery service, expected to be available in June 2013. Summon 2.0 brings in a number of new major features, as well as optimizing some recently added capabilities. As part of the transition to Summon 2.0, Serials Solutions will make improvements to its underlying technical platform. Serials Solutions launched the genre of Web-scale, index-based search, announced in January 2009, with its first live implementation in July 2009 at Grand Valley State University.
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Breeding, Marshall, Credo Expands Product Line
In recent weeks, Credo has taken steps to expand the company and to strengthen its product line.
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Breeding, Marshall, Follett Releases Destiny 11.0
Follett School and Library Group released Destiny 11.0, the latest version of its automation product designed primarily for the K-12 school library arena. Originally created in 2003, Follett has maintained a pace of delivering major updates to Destiny annually.
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Breeding, Marshall, BIBSYS Consortium Selects Primo
BIBSYS, which provides services to a consortium that includes the National Library of Norway and about 100 research libraries in the country, has selected Primo from Ex Libris as its discovery service. These libraries currently rely on a library automation system developed by BIBSYS. Rather than creating its own discovery interface, the organization opted to investigate commercial products. Following an evaluation process, Primo from Ex Libris was selected.
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Breeding, Marshall, SirsiDynix Announces BLUEcloud Suite
SirsiDynix has extended its product strategy of creating a new suite of products with new interfaces and capabilities that operate with both of its ILS products: Symphony and Horizon. A layer of Web services available for Symphony and Horizon provide the foundation for the development of new applications based on current technologies, such as a services-oriented architecture. Branded as the BLUEcloud suite, components will be offered for staff interfaces, for patron discovery, and for electronic resource management.
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Volume 33 Number 04April 2013
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: The Challenge to Cooperate and Compete
In my view, the library automation industry, though extremely competitive, maintains a flavor of collegiality. I'm not close enough to other competitive sectors to really know, but I suspect many are considerably more ruthlessness. The organizations that create technology products for libraries must take the sensibilities and values of their customers into account if they want to be successful in the long term. While each organization naturally presents its products favorably and isn't reluctant to mention weak points of its competitors, I rarely come across discourse that I view as intentionally untrue or malicious. In today's tech environment, libraries are involved with multiple vendors, which have to interoperate and cooperate with each other.
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Breeding, Marshall, Innovative Interfaces Absorbs SkyRiver and Withdraws Lawsuit Against OCLC
In a major shift in strategy reflecting a more collaborative style of its new ownership and management, Innovative interfaces has withdrawn the lawsuit it filed against OCLC in July 2010. SkyRiver Technologies, the sister company and lead plaintiff of the suit, has been absorbed into Innovative Interfaces, which will integrate the SkyRiver cataloging service into its product offerings.
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Breeding, Marshall, Axiell Group Acquires Adlib Information Systems
In a move that consolidates two companies that produce systems for managing museum, archive, and library collections, Axiell Group has acquired Adlib Information Systems. Axiell offers a variety of library automation systems used in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom as well as Axiell CALM, for the management of archive and museum collections. Adlib's products find use primarily in museums, archives, and special libraries. The acquisition of Adlib, a company with particular strengths in the museum and archive automation sector, significantly expands Axiell's reach, especially into the museum sector and also into many new geographic areas. While it has not yet ventured into the North American library automation market, Axiell, with its growing arsenal of products, warrants attention as a major, global contender with the potential to expand into new geographic regions.
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Volume 33 Number 03March 2013
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: The Roles of Integrated Library Systems and Library Services Platforms
One of the major activities that we have covered in Smart Libraries Newsletter during the past few years involves the emergence of the new genre of library services platforms. The entrants in this genre take a significant departure from the well-established model of the integrated library systems that have prevailed in library automation for the preceding three decades. I suggested the term library services platforms as a way to distinguish these new products, which are designed for comprehensive management of print, electronic, and digital resources; offer a robust set of APIs for interoperability and extensibility; and are Web-based and use cloud computing.
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Breeding, Marshall, VTLS Moves to Open Skies
VTLS launched a new product suite, called VTLS Open Skies, positioned as a library services platform. A major step for VTLS, this new strategy takes the most successful components in the current arsenal of technologies and products and rebuilds them into a comprehensive platform for the management and access to library resources.
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Breeding, Marshall, Innovative Interfaces Ownership Update
Smart Libraries Newsletter has previously reported on the majority acquisition of Innovative Interfaces, Inc. and SkyRiver Technologies by a pair of private equity firms, Huntsman Gay Global Capital and JMI Equity. In the initial transaction, company cofounder Jerry Kline sold the majority of the company, but retained a stake and served as the chairman of a newly constituted Board of Directors. In a subsequent transaction that closed the end of January 2013, Kline divested his remaining shares to the investment firms. Huntsman Gay and JI Equity now own 100 percent of Innovative Interfaces and SkyRiver. No information is publicly available regarding financial details such as the valuation of the company or the portion of shares retained by Kline following the initial transaction. Kline also has resigned from the company's board of directors, having divested his ownership and concluding his strategic and operational involvement.
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Breeding, Marshall, Kuali OLE Receives Additional Round of Funding
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the Kuali OLE project an additional $750,000 to support a third year of development of a new-generation library services platform available as open source software, designed for research libraries. This additional phase will include enhancements including accommodating multisite implementations, support for patron self-service, and interoperability with high-density storage facilities. Indiana University continues as the lead institution for the partnership which also includes Duke University, University of Chicago, University of Maryland, North Carolina State University, University of Florida, Lehigh University, Villanova University, University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania. HTC Global has been engaged as a commercial affiliate, contracted to perform much of the technical work following an agile software development process. It will continue in this role in this additional phase of the project.
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Breeding, Marshall, Polaris Creates Social PAC
Polaris Library Systems has created a version of its online catalog that offers a distinctively social flavor. Through a partnership with ChiliFresh, the Social PAC brings the social networking features of ChiliFresh Connections directly into the Polaris PowerPAC interface. Rather than layering the ChiliFresh content and social features, as was previously possible, the Social PAC uses behind-the-scenes APIs to seamlessly blend them into the product.
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Breeding, Marshall, Serials Solutions Announces Intota Assessment
Serials Solutions announced that it plans to provide Intota Assessment for use in 2013, prior to the entirety of the product. This strategy reinforces one of the key principles underlying the data-oriented design of Intota. To support more informed decision- making in areas such as collection development, Intota Assessment will use operational data and metrics from all aspects of the library's systems in addition to data drawn from the company's knowledgebases and bibliographic products.
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Volume 33 Number 02February 2013
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Advancing from Marketing Hype to Substantive Developments
In the last year or so I have observed an ever growing interest by libraries in cloud computing. More of the conferences where I speak are focused on exploring the topic. Cloud computing is mentioned frequently in technical articles in the field, in blog postings, on twitter, and in product marketing. Libraries are keen to sort out the hype versus the reality of "the cloud."
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Breeding, Marshall, Polaris Library Systems and 3M deliver Integration of E-Books
The need to integrate this service into public library online catalogs becomes critical. Work has been underway at Polaris Library Systems and 3M Library Systems to develop an e-book lending service fully integrated into the Polaris PowerPAC and Mobile PAC online catalog interfaces. This integration would allow library patrons to not only more easily discover, check-out, and download e-books, but to also view and manage both print and online loans through their library account. To facilitate technical processing, MARC records are automatically added to the library's catalog as they are purchased from the 3M Cloud Library without the need for batch loads.
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Breeding, Marshall, SirsiDynix Rolls Out eResource Central with Axis 360 E-Book Integration
SirsiDynix created eResource Central as a new product designed to integrate electronic and print content for both library management and patron access. The initiative to develop eResource central was first announced in January 2012.
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Breeding, Marshall, Boopsie Extends its Mobile Platform to Include Library Event Information
Boopsie, a company that specializes in providing products that deliver library service to patrons with mobile devices, has extended its offerings to include online event information through a partnership with Trumba Corporation. To take advantage of this capability, the library must subscribe to both Boopsie's mobile platform and to Trumba Connect.
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Breeding, Marshall, Innovative Interfaces Opens New Corporate Office in Ireland
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. has expanded its international operations by establishing a new office in Dublin, Ireland.
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Breeding, Marshall, Open Source Update
An update on three open source library automation products: Kuali OLE, Koha, and Evergren.
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Breeding, Marshall, People in the News 4-6
Volume 33 Number 01January 2013
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: The Role of Private Equity in the Library Automation Industry
As libraries make investments in technology, it's important to be aware of the nature of the businesses that provide these products and services. We naturally evaluate software products on the merits of their functionality, alignment with current and anticipated library requirements, the soundness of architecture, and other technical considerations. But the software a library acquires today is only a snapshot in time over a broader lifecycle. Libraries also have a vital interest in the ability of a vendor to provide ongoing support and development of those products. Libraries need to have confidence that the organizations from which they acquire their strategic technical infrastructure will not only remain viable, but will aggressively develop those products in the future.
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Breeding, Marshall, Ex Libris Group Under New Ownership: Leeds Equity Sells Company to Golden Gate Capital
Ex Libris will soon change ownership from one private equity firm to another. The company is to be acquired by Golden Gate Capital (http://goldengatecap.com/), a major private equity firm managing funds representing more than $12 billion in capital. Golden Gate Capital invests in the software and information technology sector in addition to many other industries. According to Matti Shem Tov, Chief Executive Officer of Ex Libris, this transition should not be considered a major event from its library customers' and employees' perspective. The new owners will retain the current management, workforce, and operating locations. Yet, with new ownership comes a new Board of Directors that will oversee the company and set its high-level business plan.
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Breeding, Marshall, New Executive Management Team Emerges at Innovative Interfaces
A new executive management team is taking shape at Innovative Interfaces following its transition to majority ownership by private equity firms Huntsman Gay Global Capital and JMI Equity in May 2012. It is not surprising that the new board of directors would make new appointments charged with executing its business strategies. Since the business transition, several appointments and exits have taken place at the executive level.
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Breeding, Marshall, Polaris Reports Strong Sales for 2012
With one month to go in the annual sales cycle, Polaris released its list of contracts awarded so far in 2012. The 23 contracts represent a total of 675 individual library facilities. The list includes Boston Public, Columbus Metropolitan, New Orleans Public, and the Tampa-Hillsborough County-Public System, continuing its streak of success in the ranks of major municipal libraries. The Illinois Heartland Library System represents an even larger prize, as a consolidated library consortium that will provide automation to around 450 libraries.
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Volume 32 Number 12December 2012
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Providing Support for Reference Services
The current information and technology landscape has had a profound impact on the nature of reference services in libraries. In times when almost any factual question can be handled by a quick search on Google or by “asking Siri,” these types of questions, once a signification portion of questions directed reference librarians, have largely disappeared. This trend has been in effect for quite some time, sparking many libraries to refocus the activities of their reference librarians as well as to turn to various technology and content products to reach out to patrons to ensure that they have access to high-quality information sources.
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Breeding, Marshall, Credo Reference Introduces and Expands Literati Platform
In addition to the discovery services, which have been covered frequently in SLN, other products provide a more structured approach to guiding library users to the library's electronic collections. Credo Reference, for example, offers a suite of products that provide access not only to its own collections of reference resources, but also serves as a discovery interface into a library's broader collections according to specialized topic areas. Credo Reference traditionally has specialized in creating Web-based products centered on providing access to reference information sources. In recent years, the company has steadily evolved its product offerings, addressing an ever-expanded body of content resources and offering new capabilities for search and exploration. In addition to the core Credo Reference collections, the company has developed a new-generation product called Literati, which has recently been enhanced with new communications and collaboration capabilities.
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Breeding, Marshall, ChiliFresh Goes Social and Offers Text-Based Chat Services
ChiliFresh, a company that provides Review Engine that can be integrated into any online catalog or discovery interface, has added a new optional component to its product that layers on a full social network centered on reading and library activities. It has introduced a Facebook app and offers a free Reference Desk Chat utility.
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Breeding, Marshall, Serials Solutions launches Summon Suggestions for enhanced research assistance
Serials Solutions has added a new cluster of features to its Summon discovery service, announced in November 2012, designed to provide additional research assistance to library patrons beyond the presentation of search results. These features, based on the context provided by the user's search query, provide automated tools that can be customized by the library as well as real-time assistance capabilities.
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Volume 32 Number 11November 2012
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Progressive Trends in New Zealand
I continue to see in almost all of my encounters with technology use in libraries an ever-increasing reliance on cooperative efforts to find ways to gain more efficiencies, lower costs, and make a greater impact on patron services than possible alone. This spirit of cooperation seems well rooted in most library organizations.
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Breeding, Marshall, VuFind 2.0 Beta Released
The development team at Villanova University, led by Demian Katz, has been working on a major new release of the software that brings substantial improvements to the product, both in features and in technical architecture. The redevelopment was also needed to remove some components that have since become deprecated.
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Volume 32 Number 10October 2012
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Balancing continuity and change through business transitions
Libraries expect continuity from the organizations that they rely on for strategic technology products. Libraries tend to make use of their automation products for incredibly long periods and expect them to be supported and enhanced throughout a prolonged life cycle. I observe that a typical lifespan of an integrated library system implementation in a library exceeds a decade, with some libraries keeping systems in place for as long as 25 years. It's even more common to see a library transition through a series of automation products provided through the same vendor. While many libraries do change vendors, I observe that the tendency is to be loyal to automation suppliers.
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Breeding, Marshall, New Executive Leadership at Innovative Interfaces
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. has appointed Kim Massana as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective upon the announcement on August 27, 2012. Jerry Kline continues as Chairman and Neil Block as President.
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Breeding, Marshall, New Management at Bibliotheca
Bibliotheca, the consolidated global company specializing in RFID products for libraries, announced a change in executive management of its North American operations. Shai Robkin will step down as President, and Al Coalla, formerly North American Sales Director will step into this position on October 1, 2012. Coalla joined Biblioteca in November 2011 and previously served as Director of Sales at EnvisionWare.
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Breeding, Marshall, BIBSYS and OCLC Withdraw from Partnership
In previous issues of Smart Libraries Newsletter, we reported on the partnership for the BIBSYS consortium, comprising more than 100 research and special libraries in Norway to implement OCLC's WorldShare Management Services (WMS). The BIBSYS project has been presented by OCLC as an example of a large-scale project based on WMS that uses it as a foundation to support applications and services created by libraries and other third parties, as is the vision for the WorldShare Platform. OCLC and BIBSYS have recently announced that the project has been discontinued.
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Breeding, Marshall, OCLC Expands Opportunities for Sharing WorldCat Metadata
OCLC and Europeana have recently reached an agreement that would allow member libraries to contribute data to the Europeana.eu portal and remain within the WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities guidelines. Under this agreement, OCLC member libraries can contribute metadata derived from WorldCat using the Creative Commons Zero public domain license. Europeana and OCLC would then request that subsequent users of that contributed metadata give attribution to OCLC and the contributing institution.
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Volume 32 Number 09September 2012
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Growing Cooperation and Consolidation
We can see a definite trend of consolidation among the organizations that create technology products for libraries. Through a long series of mergers and acquisitions, the industry has gradually transformed from being fractured in a way that pits relatively small companies against each other with overlapping products and limited revenue opportunities to one that is highly consolidated with a smaller number of large companies dominating the scene. This consolidation has resulted in a fewer number of choices for libraries, but the economic realities seem to press toward gaining efficiencies gained through combining organizations. This pattern isn't seen only among library vendors, it's a global phenomenon.
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Breeding, Marshall, Illinois Heartland Library System, Largest Library Consortium in the US, Opts for Polaris for Shared Automation
The Illinois Heartland Library System, recently formed out of the merger of four antecedent consortia, has selected Polaris to provide its shared automation system. With a total 588 members, 450 of which will initially participate in the implementation of Polaris, aptly named SHARE (Sharing Heartland's Available Resources Equally), this consortia stands as the largest consortium in the United States in terms of libraries served.
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Breeding, Marshall, The Orbis Cascade Alliance selects Alma for consolidated automation
The Orbis Cascade Alliance, a consortium of 37 academic libraries in Oregon, Washington, and Oregon are implementing a strategy to share a single automation system. The current arrangement uses individual systems supplemented by resource sharing infrastructure. Alma from Ex Libris was recently selected as the technology environment to be shared among the members.
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Volume 32 Number 08August 2012
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Forming Constructive Partnerships
I have long held that libraries should not be passive consumers of technology products, but rather, active partners in shaping them. Libraries have a great deal at stake in how well these products work. They benefit from individual or collective efforts to influence product development in order to address ever evolving requirements. Not all libraries have spare resources to lend to such efforts, and opportunities for involvement vary widely. Libraries can take many different routes to have the most impact, depending on their circumstances.
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Breeding, Marshall, EBSCO Discovery Service Extends Options through New Partnerships
In recent weeks, EBSCO has announced a number of partnerships that potentially extend the reach of EBSCO Discovery Service. This product has become well established as one of the major indexbased library resource discovery services, along with Summon from Serials Solutions, Primo and Primo Central from Ex Libris, and OCLC's WorldCat Local. These products compete vigorously to offer the broadest coverage of the resources in library collections, the strongest features for search and retrieval, and for the most flexibility and interoperability with other applications within a library's technical infrastructure.
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Breeding, Marshall, Crossing the Threshold: Boston College Places Alma into Production
On July 2, 2012, the Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Library of Boston College became the first to place Alma, the library services platform created by Ex Libris, into production use. The library migrated from an Aleph system in place since 2000. Boston College had been working with Ex Libris since mid-2009 as a development partner, testing each incremental release of the software, and providing constructive feedback. The library is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, with a staff numbering around 120, and a collection of 3.5 million volumes.
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Volume 32 Number 07July 2012
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: The OCLC Non-Event
The topic sparking the most buzz in library tech circles at ALA's Annual Conference was the unfortunate turn of events surrounding OCLC leadership. OCLC had named Jack Blount as its new President and Chief Executive Officer on June 8, 2012 and then rescinded the appointment with a subsequent and surprising announcement. A letter from Larry Alford, chair of the OCLC Board of Trustees, to the organization's membership dated June 20, 2012, gave the first public statement of this dramatic change of course. Jay Jordan will continue at the helm. The expected duration of Jordan's extended tenure as President and CEO of OCLC was not immediately announced as the organization defines a new executive selection process.
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Breeding, Marshall, Bibliotheca enters E-Book arena
Bibliotheca, the globally consolidated company built around RFID technologies, has expanded its business interests to include a new set of products based on e-books. The company has not yet provided detailed information regarding the components of its planned product and service offerings related to the management and lending of e-books, though it has outlined its general strategy.
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Breeding, Marshall, 3M Cloud Library Forges Ahead
3M, Bibliotheca's largest competitor in the self-service and RFID sector, entered the e-book arena in May of 2011 with the announcement of its 3M Cloud Library. This e-book service includes several components: an increasingly large collection of e-book titles hosted in its cloud-based infrastructure; 3M Discovery Terminals that allow patrons to discover, browse, and check out e-books from kiosks within the library; and 3M eReaders that can be loaned to patrons who may not already have their own devices. 3M also provides support for their library e-book lending service to multiple mobile platforms, including Apple IOS devices (iPad, iPhone), those using the Android operating system, the Nook from Barnes and Noble, as well as Macs and PCs.
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Breeding, Marshall, EBSCO Releases EBSCO Discovery Service API
EBSCO Publishing has improved the extensibility and interoperability of its EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) through the release of a new Application Programming Interface, or API, compatible with current technology practices and with popular discovery interfaces such as VuFind. This move brings EDS, which already competed well on the power of its search technology and the breadth of its index, into an even stronger position relative to other discovery services, such as Summon and Primo Central, which have previously released APIs.
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Volume 32 Number 06June 2012
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Open and Linked Data
Despite a proclivity toward openness, libraries have historically been involved with data and content under various levels of restrictions imposed by copyright and proprietary business arrangements. Libraries have also dealt with data primarily through self-contained applications, mostly managed within relational databases. While these modes of operation persist today in the mainstream production systems of interest to libraries, a strong movement is underway toward the principles of the Semantic Web and more open approaches to sharing data. I see libraries now at an interesting juncture between the realm of proprietary, restricted, and isolated data and a new era with possibilities for more openness in sharing data and putting it to work through Semantic Web technologies.
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Breeding, Marshall, OCLC Navigates the Realm of Open Linked Data
OCLC's stance on linked data and open data has become a key topic of interest for libraries. OCLC has been involved with the Semantic Web and linked data as research projects for several years. It has released open data licenses for some of its ancillary products. Where the massive WorldCat database, OCLC's prime strategic asset, fits into plans for open data remains a pressing concern for librarians. Through a series of actions, OCLC has demonstrated a progressively more open approach to the information assets under its stewardship.
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Breeding, Marshall, Talis: Making a Business through the Semantic Web
Talis was a company focused not so much on libraries as on its platform, based on Semantic Web technologies, and on related consulting services. One product that proved to be especially successful is Aspire, a tool for creating resource lists to support faculty and teaching in educational institutions. Talis also spun off a subsidiary called Kasabi that offered services for hosting data sets in a linked data model with APIs to facilitate their integration into other products or services.
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Breeding, Marshall, SirsiDynix Development Strategies
In recent years, SirsiDynix has been executing a development agenda that provides libraries with tools and interfaces to improve access to their collections and services. The company continues to make improvements in the functionality of its strategic integrated library systems, Symphony and Horizon, concentrating especially on the development of patron-facing tools. These interface products address the different methods with which patrons might want to access the library: BookMyne and BookMyne+ for iOS and Android based mobile devices, Enterprise and Portfolio for the Web, and the Social Library for Facebook. SirsiDynix has also launched eResource Central for access and management of e-books, complementing the capabilities of its Symphony and Horizon ILS products in managing a library's print collection.
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Volume 32 Number 05May 2012
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: Unified Discovery and Management of E-book Content and Lending
The lending of e-books continues to be an activity of critical interest in public libraries. As e-books gain ever wider popularity by the general public, libraries have been steadily working out the many problems related to offering e-book services similar to those offered for print materials. As e-book content increases relative to libraries' other collection components and services, libraries increasingly want more integration into their existing strategic patron interfaces and management systems rather than treating e-books as an isolated service.
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Breeding, Marshall, Polaris delivers Full Integration with the 3M Cloud Library
Collaboration between Polaris and 3M has resulted in a full integration of e-book lending within the PowerPAC or MobilePAC patron interface of the Polaris Library Management System. This integration enables patrons of libraries using the Polaris automation systems to search and access e-books using the same interfaces offered for other library materials.
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Breeding, Marshall, BiblioCommons Launches E-Book Lending Integration
BiblioCommons announced in January 2012 a major initiative to integrate e-book lending into its socially-oriented library discovery platform.