Trends in Library Automation

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Trends in Library Automation

Marshall Breeding

Director for Innovative Technologies and Research

Vanderbilt University

http://staffweb.library.vanderbilt.edu/breeding

February 24, 2006

Alaska Library Association

Annual Conference

Industry Trends

The business is becoming more brutal…

Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

Fragmentation vs Consolidation


Library industry fragmented


Industry entering phase of consolidation


Library industry still fragmented


Many companies competing for a limited market with overlapping
products with marginal differentiation



Sirsi + Dynix + DocuTek + DRA + NOTIS + MultiLIS + INLEX =
SirsiDynix + ?


Library clients captured through acquisition


Greater disparity between the smallest and the largest companies

Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

Who owns the Industry?


Some of the most important decisions that affect the options
available to libraries are made in the corporate board room.


Increased control by financial interests of venture capital


SirsiDynix
-
> Seaport Capital + Hicks Muse


Ex Libris
-
> Walden Israel + Tamar Technology


Geac
-
> Golden Gate


Polaris
-
> Croydon Company


Privately owned by Founders


Innovative Interfaces


The Library Corporation


Keystone Systems


Division of Larger corporation


Endeavor


Open Text

Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

Growth Strategies


Assembly & Acquisition:


SirsiDynix


BiblioMondo


Some companies continue to prosper and grow organically
through steady sales of products to new libraries


Innovative


The Library Corporation


Keystone

Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

Libraries demand choice.


Room for niche players


Domination by a large monopoly unlikely to be accepted by library
community

Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

A New Role for OCLC?


Library
-
owned cooperative on a buying binge of automation
companies:


Openly Informatics


Fretwell
-
Downing Informatics


Sisis Informationssysteme


PICA


Acquired a broad range of technology components


Open WorldCat will grow into a much broader set of services

Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

Key Issue


It’s essential for libraries to partner with a company that will be
one of the survivors of the industry.


Very disruptive to a library’s automation strategy if its vendor is
acquired.


Given the relative parity of library automation systems, choosing
the right automation partner is more important than splitting hairs
over functionality.


Understanding of library issues


Vision and forward
-
looking development

Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

The Future?


A fewer number of larger companies


Some weaker companies may allow themselves to become acquired


Consolidated companies will consolidate product offerings


ILS Sales will decline


Fewer opportunities for sales in US and Canada


Focus on Non
-
ILS offerings


Define a new ILS


More International marketing


More cross
-
industry ownership


Courseware + ILS?


ERP/CRM + ILS?


Technology Trends

Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

The ILS is not dead


Rumors of its demise are greatly exaggerated


A well
-
functioning automation system is essential to the operation
of the library


Libraries have never needed automation more than today


The ILS does need to be redefined


Give primacy to electronic content


Maintain solid support for print materials


Designed to integrate with external systems


Evolve into Service Oriented Business Application


Compartmentalize and contain resources invested in traditional
ILS functionality to catch up with deficits in supporting electronic
content

Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

Comprehensive Automation


The goal of the Integrated Library Systems involves the
automation of all aspects of the library’s internal operations and to
provide key services to library users.


As the scope of libraries evolve, so must the scope and
capabilities of the ILS

Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

Resource Sharing


Limited budgets demand sharing collections


Opportunities to make ILL more like circulation


Fast delivery of physical items from non
-
local collections: remote
storage, consortium partners, ILL

Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

Large
-
scale automation


Trend toward automation through consortia


The days of single
-
library ILS implementations are waning


An increasing portion of ILS sales involve independent libraries
joining a consortium to gain access to a shared automation
environment


Small and mid
-
sized consortia are merging into larger ones


ASP / Vendor
-
hosted automation


Take advantage of industrial strength hosting facilities


Realization that small libraries do not have the resources to deal with
security, disaster planning, and other technical aspects of
maintaining and ILS.


Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

The ILS Crisis


The ILS, which had been steadily evolving for over 2 decades
reached a crisis in about 2000. While libraries had evolved into
new roles involving increasing electronic content, the ILS
remained fixated on print and traditional materials.

Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

Response to the Crisis


A bevy of add
-
ons:


OpenURL Link Resolvers


Metasearch environments


Electronic Resource Management modules


New front ends and portals


Replacement OPAC interfaces


AquaBrowser Library


Endeca Guided Search


Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

Blindsided despite Obvious Trends


Libraries have been acquiring and creating electronic content
since the emergence of the Web


One of the most fundamental changes in the nature of libraries,
yet the automation systems fell behind in features needed to
manage and deliver electronic content.

Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

A fundamental failure


The emergence of these non
-
integrated add
-
on applications
stand as an indictment that the ILS failed to evolve in step with
changes in the library environment.


Libraries failed to demand adequate tools in time of need.
Satisfied with ad
-
hoc solutions.


Vendors failed to incrementally evolve their core products to
accommodate electronic content.


The ILS would be much different today if it gained these functions
as native capabilities.

Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

Threats and challenges
--

general


Library users expect more than they currently receive.


Google and other modern Web destinations set high user
expectations.


Library offerings seem clumsy, complex, and ineffectual.

Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

Threats and challenges


academic


Libraries struggle to find their place in the
academic enterprise


Organizationally: Role in academic support and
student life


Virtually: Challenge to be both conspicuous and
transparent in the academic web presence


Challenges:


be a great destination among the Web
services the university offers its faculty and
students


To deliver library services through non
-
library
interfaces: campus portal, courseware, etc.

Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

Threats and challenges


public


Increased pressure to:


Reduce costs


Share resources


Increase service quality


Integrate with municipal or county IT
infrastructure and support structures


Integrate with e
-
government systems


Deliver access to more electronic content

Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

Threats and challenges


schools


Automate at the district level rather than
individual school libraries


Decrease IT support burden


Support assessment and reporting
requirements


Integrate library automation with other
school administration systems


School Interoperability Framework

Feb 24, 2006

Trends in Library Automation

Path to Recovery?


More systematic approach toward hybrid print/electronic
collections


Adoption of technologies that support e
-
content


OpenURL
-
based linking widely deployed


Metasearch stands as the current kludge for unifying the OPAC and
ever
-
growing collections of electronic content


Develop new search and information discovery models


Redefine the library catalog


Not just the physical holdings


Library portal options still limited and immature


New library interfaces with more comprehensive scope


Library Web services that integrate into strategic higher
-
level
interfaces and portals


Questions and Discussion