Will the Next Generation of Library Systems be Customer Generated?

Eric Schnell Wonders Will the Next Generation of Library Systems be Customer Generated?

It's no wonder that library systems of tomorrow are really just library systems of yesterday. It seems to me that as a profession we are stuck in a bad relationship with our systems and vendors. We just can't figure out a way to get out of it. Are we happy that III will not give us APIs? Are we so insecure with our relationship with them that we are content to take what they give us? Do we feel we are that powerless?

LexisNexis Moves Into the Public Library Market

Paula J. Hane at Info Today Newsbreaks Notes In what has to be viewed as a surprisingly low-key launch for a product in a brand new market, LexisNexis ( ) rather quietly announced its new Library Express service. This is the company’s first product for public libraries. No advance notice on the news was given to the library press or industry analysts, and there’s been almost no mention of it in the blogosphere. It will be officially available as of today, June 30, and is being shown at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference this week in Anaheim, Calif. It is very similar in features and functions to the company’s Academic library product though it offers slightly less content.

Thomson Reuters to sell Dialog to ProQuest

ProQuest, a Cambridge Information Group company, has signed an agreement under which ProQuest would acquire the Thomson Reuters Dialog® business. The transaction is expected to close pending a successful completion of the formal consultation period and other customary closing conditions. Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

The acquisition of Dialog would allow ProQuest to deepen its penetration in the corporate library and professional research markets with a valued brand, authoritative content and precision search tools.

Publishers consider dropping old standby: the paper catalog

A publishing institution, faithfully mailed at least twice a year to thousands of stores and libraries for about as long as the industry has existed, may be on its way out: The paper catalog.

HarperCollins announced Monday that it was planning to make their listings of upcoming releases available only online, calling the current system both economically and environmentally indefensible.

"I think we are overdue. We produce thousands and thousands of catalogs, many of which go right into the wastebaskets," HarperCollins President Jane Friedman, who said the switch would likely begin by summer 2009, told The Associated Press. "It's such a waste of paper and so inefficient."

Library Store Enters Third Year, With Thin Books and Fat Ones Too

<a href="">Columbus GA library store</a>, always there for all kinds of shoppers. "Interior designers choose the books because of the way they look," explained volunteer Alice Budge. "They get them to fill shelves in homes and businesses." The store has raised more than $80,000 for library programs and services for children and adults. Some of those services are volunteer recruitment and training as well as sponsoring visits by authors.

On Innovation in the ILS Marketplace

The Disruptive Library Technology Jester takes a look at Last month's ILS Discovery Interface Task Force1 of the DLF meeting of library system vendors (including one commercial support organization for open source ILS software) to talk about the state of computer-to-computer interfaces in-to and out-of the ILS. The meeting comes as the work of the task force is winding down. An outcome of the meeting, the “Berkeley Accord2,” was posted last week to Peter Brantley’s blog. The accord has three basic parts: automated interfaces for offloading records from the ILS, a mechanism for determining the availability of an item, and a scheme for creating persistent links to records.

Borders Moving Further Away from the Long Tail, Good News For Libraries?

Joe Wikert's Publishing 2020 Blog Notes Borders is announcing plans to feature more titles face-out on the shelves, resulting in fewer titles in each store.

Perhaps it's time to look at all the available real estate in the store and come up with some innovative ways to maintain broad selection while still moving to this face-out model. After all, it's better for a customer to discover a book is in the store (but not on the shelf) via a kiosk or clerk than to walk away without making a purchase, right?

Two questions come to mind?
So if book stores start carrying fewer titles do we have an advantage at libraries?
Could/Should libraries go face-out?

Newsweek outs Netflix-using public library

In the March 10 issue of Newsweek -- available <b><a href="">here</a></b> -- an article cites Netflix's disapproval of the Sanbornton (NH) Public Library's use of the Netflix service to expand its offerings of DVDs. The library's original press release is available <b><a href="">here</a></b>. How Newsweek picked up on it is a bit of mystery.

Library of Congress taps Silverlight to enhance access

A few folks sent in a link to GCN where they say The Library of Congress has signed an agreement with Microsoft to make the library’s collection of historical artifacts more immediately available, both to online visitors and the 2 million people each year who come to the library’s Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington. Microsoft will provide an initial grant of technology, services and funding worth more than $3 million to enhance the online accessibility and interactivity of about 800 of the Library of Congress’ prominent holdings.

Yet more acquisitions by Proquest and others

Resourceshelf just reported more acquisitions/mergers in the library realm involving Proquest, Webfeat, and Serial Solutions. I agree that we need a scorecard to keep up with all of these transactions.

A google horror story: what happens when you are disappeared

What happens when you are disappeared?:

When companies host all of your data and have the ability to delete you and it at-will, all sorts of nightmarish science fiction futures are possible. This is the other side of the "identity theft" nightmare where the companies thieve and destroy individuals' identities. What are these companies' responsibilities? Who is overseeing them? What kind of regulation is necessary?

MassCat Consortium Chooses Koha ZOOM

More Good News for the folks at Libelime, MassCat--a resource sharing network for over 100 libraries in Massachusetts--has selected the Koha ZOOM for their next integrated library system (ILS) and union catalog.
MassCat has selected the hosted Koha ZOOM solution, wherein the installation will be hosted at one of LibLime's carrier-class data centers. LibLime will be providing MassCat with software installation, data migration, on-site training, and ongoing support services.

Libraries: Kick DRM Out!

<a href=""></a> has announced an action against libraries that support DRM on their collections. Boston locals can join them this Saturday from 1pm to 3pm at the Boston Public Library's main branch...

Vista service pack 1 is coming

According to Wired online, Vista Service pack 1 will be officially "ruled" (or should be rolled) out in mid-March to those that choose to download updates themselves from the website and mid April to those with automatic updates. Is your library ready?

Proquest buys RefWorks

Courtesy of The Distant Librarian, ProQuest has bought RefWorks. While the press release says no external changes from a customer perspective, I can't help but wonder if there will be changes for those that manage the database.

Campaign to save WindowsXP

A campaign has been launched to save WindowsXP as Microsoft plans on stop selling new copies in June of this year.

EzProxy and OCLC

ResourceShelf posted that EZproxy, used to access services--such as databases, remotely, has been acquired by OCLC. Interestingly OCLC states that they will link EZproxy up to to, in the words of the press release:

"Additionally, OCLC is planning to connect local instances of EZproxy to, creating new value for licensees and their users. By surfacing EZproxy in, end users outside of the library will have better access to library collections and services through WorldCat."

I wonder if this will require any extra work on those that use EZproxy.

9 Better, Cheaper Ways To Search Amazon

A nice post from The Consumerist: The Amazon home page has somewhere around 16 different sales pitches, and more unnecessary graphics than a MySpace page. Here are 9 money-saving ways to shop the site without waiting for another customized ad to render.

Springer partners with OCLC for MARC 21 records

Springer Science+Business Media ( has partnered with OCLC to provide MARC 21 Records for the Springer eBook Collection.

Library Software Manifesto

Roy Tenant's Library Software Manifesto is offered in an attempt to rationalize the relationship between libraries and library systems vendors, which is presently unhealthy. First done at a talk at the 2007 CODI Conference (Customers of Dynix, Inc.). his topic was a "library software manifesto" in which he would outline the rights and responsibilities of libraries and library software vendors.


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