Friday, June 13, 2008

Next generation library automation (NASIG 2008)

Vision Session I: Next generation library automation – Marshall Breeding

Author of Library Technology Guides:

Includes a db of libraries including the technology they’re using as well as a bibliography of his own work and others’ work (writing) about library technology.

1. Tumoil/upheavals
- industry cosolodation: mergers and acquisitions (companies becoming larger and fewer) which he feels has resulted in a narrowing of choices of products for libraries
- abrupt termination of major library library automation products
- increased control by external financial investors (equity coming from venture capitalists)
- dmise of the traditional opac
- frustration with ils products and vendors
- open source alternatives becoming mainstream
trends (data) taken from a survey of libraries (his) with roughly 7k responses

product technology trends
- innovation below library expectations; “we need the tools in order to deliver out content and services in the best possible way…in order to stay relevant to our users”
- conventional ILS is becoming less capable of doing this
- which has resulted in a proliferation of products related to e-content delivery

web 2.0 / collaborative computing
- ad hoc implementation
- demand requires the ability of users to be collaborative
- 2.0 technologies aren’t being integrated, disjointed;
- Proliferation of silos with no integration orinteroperability with larger library web presents

2. OpenSource
- alternative to traditionally liscensed software
- software doesn’t hold data hostage: does the system have an api so that even if the vendor didn’t provide access to a particular bit of info can you write a script to obtain it from the system?
- open content
- open acces patforms for scholarly content
- IRs
- bibliographic services
- oepnurl / erm knowledge bases
This is a good thing in his opinion.

3. Open source software: an emerging trend in global ils arena
“this is a spike…there’s clearly an explosive interest” drivne by disillusionment with current vendors
- beginning to emerge as a practical option
- total cost of ownership still roughly equal to proprietary commercial model
- two years ago it was a risky enterprise requiring courage on the part of a library (e.g. Georgia state library)
- TNSTAFL: open source software is NOT cost free: time, support, upgrades
- Libraries are looking for another alternative to the traditional ils
He predicts that traditional licensed products will coexist with open source…it makes the industry more healthy (as would a larger number of vendor systems); it’s good to have both because their coestience will drive improvements in both types of products
- Opensource (ils) options
o Koha
o Evergreen
o Opals
o Interesting to me that all three have commercial support, financial I assume.
- Building a case (in the business sense, e.g. justifying a purchase decision to administration) for open sources ils: compare total cost of ownership, evaluate features and functionality, evaluate technology platform and conceptual models, ask are they truly next-generation systems or open sources versions of legacy models?
- “Making a business case for open source ils” Computers in libraries, March 2008,
- Observations on opensource ils:
o Lack serials and acquisitions modules
o Initial wave opensource ils commitments happened in public libraries
o Again, are they really a new model of automation or an open source version of what we already have?

3. implications
4. opportunities emerge out of the upheaval
5. rethinking the ils: a non-integrated library automation system is not sustainable;

List of current open source products:

Comprehensive resource management

His job is to present us with his vision, our job is to ask (and answer) how is this going to affect my life as a member of the serials community? What would the ideal serials module be like? How would you do it again if you had a chance? Provide input based on the answers to these questions to both the ils vendors and the open source developers…it’s incumbent upon us to participate in the development.

How is this related to globalization of information?
- interoperability increasing & needing to increase (TWIF talks about interoperability being a “flattener”)
- delivery options needed to keep up with user demands for information delivery – how do they WANT to find, obtain, and use information? how are libraries interpreting and responding to these demands?

Breeding presented his expert, informed opinion on the future of the library ils/automation. Some of the trends he sees

1 comment:

Nadine Touzet said...

Hi, I have been approached (but no final decision has been made yet) to translate for librarians coming to France in a couple of weeks, so I was looking for information and came to your blog by chance.

The information in this post is very interesting and I will come back for more.

Best regards,

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