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.

"Dialog is a highly respected source of information and a trusted brand for libraries, so it is an exceptionally good fit in the ProQuest family," said ProQuest CEO Marty Kahn. "The companies' content and market strengths complement each other and just as important is the match with our values -- we share a deep understanding of the library community and commitment to serving it with high-quality information tools."

Dialog would continue to be an important distribution channel for Thomson Reuters content after the transaction. Derwent World Patents Index (DWPI), Investext, TrademarkScan, SciSearch® and BIOSIS are among the many business-critical databases that will remain available through the Dialog services.

"Both ProQuest and Thomson Reuters understand the valuable role of Dialog in the information industry," said Mr. Kahn. "During this interim period, we feel absolutely confident that Thomson Reuters will continue to provide customers with the high level of support and service they have come to expect."

Founded 40 years ago by Roger Summit, Dialog was the world's first online information retrieval system to be used globally with commercially important databases. Dialog online-based information services help organizations across the globe to seek competitive advantages in such fields as business, science, engineering, finance and law. The Dialog portfolio of products and services, including Dialog® and DataStar®, offers organizations the ability to precisely retrieve data from more than 1.4 billion unique records of key information, accessible via the Internet.

With direct operations in 27 countries, Dialog products and services are a combination of highly accurate online research tools offering access to unique and relevant databases designed to meet the specific needs of its wide range of users. Information professionals and end-users within business, professional and government organizations in more than 100 countries value Dialog services to meet their searching needs.

ProQuest plans for the Dialog business include refreshing its platforms, evolving them to meet the needs of today's information professional, as well as exploring new products and renovating existing products. For more information about the ProQuest family of information brands and products, visit

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.


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