Library Technology Guides, including the libraries.org directory of libraries has been developed and maintained primarily through the personal efforts of its creator, Marshall Breeding. The service aims to be accurate and current, but is provided with no specific guarantees or warranties. Site visitors are encouraged to report any incorrect, incomplete, or missing information.
The site provides data freely to all visitors. Individuals or organizations that use the site for commercial benefit are expected to help support to the site through the Corporate Membership program. Libraries that use the site in making procurement decisions for major technology products or services are encouraged to make to provide voluntary financial contribution.
Library Technology Guides aims to provide as much data as possible freely and without restriction. The resource finds extensive use by libraries as they investigate technology options, by vendors or investors, by students pursuing professional degrees in library or information science, and by individuals with a personal interest in the topics covered.
The site also includes some resources not presented openly, primarily due to copyright restrictions. In some cases full text of articles that remain under embargo or where the copyright status does not allow public distribution is held for indexing but not displayed.
Library Technology Guides represents many thousands of hours of effort since 1997 in gathering data about libraries, the technology they use, and the organizations that produce products and services. The ongoing viability of Library Technology Guides depends on a sustainable business model. Those organizations that benefit from the information made available are asked to consider providing financial support. The business model of the site is based on providing information freely with the expectation that some will voluntarily contribute and not on a subscription model that restricts information to those able to pay.
The operation of Library Technology Guides incurs ongoing direct expenses as well as significant indirect costs. Direct expenses include the monthly fees for two dedicated hosted servers, annual domain registration, digital certificate fees, and other costs associated with its technical infrastructure. In its earlier phase, the Vanderbilt University Libraries provided server space for the resource, but this arrangement ended in 2009. Indirect expenses come in the form of time and effort contributed daily by Marshall Breeding in supplying its content and developing its technical infrastructure. This time competes with his other activities as an independent consultant.
Registration on the Library Technology Guides is free and collects only minimal personal or organizational details. Some features of the site are limited to those that register and sign in, such as the advanced search for the libraries.org database and the ability to update library listings. These restrictions are meant separate features of interest to the general public from those intended for specialized research. Contributions and updates to the listings in libraries helps to keep the resource up to date, but it is essential to be able to monitor changes to ensure accuracy and avoid misuse.
Organizations or individuals that make commercial use of Library Technology Guides are expected to make voluntary financial contributions. Examples of commercial use include using the resource for competitive intelligence, investment research on the industry or individual companies, identifying potential contacts, or any marketing activities.
A Corporate Membership program is available for organizations that make commercial use of Library Technology Guides. This program should be considered as a data service and not an advertising platform. Participation in the Corporate Membership program does not provide any increased exposure to the organization or its products on the site. Some additional tools for accessing the data in libraries.org may be provided to members of this program. Corporate Sponsors also receive no special treatment in their coverage by Marshall Breeding in reports or articles produced for other publications. A strict firewall is maintained between any financial sponsorship and the content held in the site in order to assure objectivity and neutrality.
The fees associated with Corporate Membership are scaled according to the size of the organization, the level of activity, and the type of use involved. Companies will be listed on the site independently of whether they become Commercial Members. Limited incidental commercial use of the site in advance of becoming a corporate sponsor is allowed. Since the program is voluntary, no technical means are enforced to restrict access to data to those commercial organizations that access the site that are not corporate members.
Marshall Breeding for details.
Libraries can count on the resources available on this site to help inform their decisions regarding investments in strategic technology products. The site provides detailed information about each of the major providers of technology products and services so that libraries can assess the relative positions of the roster of organizations under consideration. Libraries.org provides extensive data regarding the adoption of technology products. Queries and reports produce counts and lists libraries that have chosen to adopt any given product. A number of tools are available to identify peer organizations that can be consulted as reference sites independently of those that may be recommended by a vendor.
If your library finds this resource to be beneficial to your procurement process, consider making a financial donation to support Library Technology Guides. In many cases the use of the resources on Library Technology Guides displaces or reduces the costs that the library would have otherwise incurred in engaging a consultant.
Libraries not able to make monetary contributions may choose instead to allocate personnel resources to tasks that extend or improve the data on the site. Please contact Marshall Breeding for guidance on specific assignments.
Many individuals and instructors in technology-oriented courses in programs in Library and Information Science or related fields make use of the resources of Library Technology Guides. Use of the site for educational purposes is not only allowed, but encouraged.
Instructors or students interested in supporting the site are encouraged to volunteer for activities such as editing library listings. More extensive projects can be arranged as part of an internship or other educational project. Projects providing mutual benefit to students for unique learning opportunities in specific areas of library technology that also improve the resources on the site can be defined.
Personal details of individuals that register on Library Technology Guides will not be shared or sold to any third party organization. E-mail addresses that have been made available on the library’s Web site or other public media may be used to contact individual regarding questions about the details of their library. Requests to unsubscribe from news distributions will be promptly honored.
The activity of visitors on the site is logged and known only to site administrators. Visitors can expect that their use of the site will be treated confidentially and not shared in any way with any third party not directly affiliated with Library Technology Guides.
Data about libraries and companies are gathered and compiled from a variety of publicly available sources, including and especially the web sites of those organizations. Data are also contributed by the by individuals affiliated with those organizations and by the general public. Press releases are considered public information and are routinely posted on Library Technology Guides.