From ILS to Library Services Platforms

January 27, 2012

Some big news, and big shifts, in the library software industry . . .

Serials Solutions has announced their planned Integrated Library System (ILS) replacement, Intota:
http://www.librarytechnology.org/ltg-displaytext.pl?RC=16501

Big news if they are getting into the library system market; really the post-ILS Market.  Marshall Breeding, of LibraryTechnology.org, and knower of all things ILS, has branded new systems of this type “Library Services Platforms.”  There will likely be lots of more information on these next-gen systems in the following months since they are up-and-coming.

So, lots of news on new Library System Platforms at ALA Midwinter, for Alma (from Ex Libris), Intota (Serials Solutions), Sierra (Innovative Interfaces, Inc.), and WorldShare (OCLC).  The future of library systems; ILS replacements!  The all new inclusive systems that rework library work-flows and combine management of all library materials, print and digital.  These platforms promise to provide an integrated system environment to include Acquisitions, Cataloging, Circulation, Electronic Resource Management (ERM), Serials, Reporting, Link Resolver, Discover Platform (the next-gen catalogs), and any other software that may be part of delivering library services.  Alma and WorldShare are in general release, with others to follow.  These new systems should take hold as open platforms that can take delivery of library Web services into the future.

Alma:
http://www.exlibrisgroup.com/category/AlmaOverview

Intota:
http://www.serialssolutions.com/management/intota/
  
Sierra:
http://sierra.iii.com/

WorldShare:
http://www.oclc.org/us/en/worldshare-platform/default.htm
WS Announcement from December 2011: http://www.oclc.org/news/releases/2011/201170.htm

Related article at:
http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/01/future-of-libraries/ala-midwinter-2012-from-consumer-electronics-through-post-ils-top-tech-trends-run-the-gamut


E-Readers and E-Books

August 6, 2010

Paul Gallagher, Developer Librarian at Wayne State University, presented “Kindle, Nook and the iPad: What Everyone Should Know about E-Readers and E-Books” at the third of four DALNET Educational Forums on July 30, 2010.   To view the presentation, click here.

Previous presentation information can be found here.  Registration for the fourth DALNET Education Forum on October 29th is available here.  The topic will be “Greening your Library” and the presenter will be Douglas Raber of the Ferndale Public Library.

Feel free to post any comments/discussion about E-Books and E-Readers below.


Friday Fun: Pompeii on Google Street View

February 12, 2010

Now you can explore the streets of Pompeii through Google Street View!


Director guest blogs at LISNews

August 10, 2009

DALNET Director Steven Bowers guest-blogged at lisnews.org this month as a part of their Summer Series.  His blogs were titled Some Considerations When Proposing a Digital Project and The Impact of the Digital World on Cataloging Systems.

“LISNews is a collaborative weblog [aka blog] devoted to current events and news in the world of Library and Information Science. A dedicated team of international bloggers scour the World Wide Web to find stories they find interesting. You’ll find links to news stories and Web sites, along with original writing, interviews and reviews. LISNews is updated frequently, usually 7 days a week. We are a non-commercial site, supported by our users.” 
                     — from http://www.lisnews.org/about_lisnews/


Site of Interest: Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database

October 3, 2008

From the website: “The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database has information on almost 35,000 slaving voyages that forcibly embarked over 10 million Africans for transport to the Americas between the 16th and 19th centuries.  It offers researchers, students and the general public a chance to rediscover the reality of one of the largest forced movements of people in world history.”

Researchers can search the Voyages database, examine estimates of the slave trade, explore the African names database.  There are maps, images, lesson plans and web resources.  Sponsors of the project are Emory University, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University.


Friday Fun: Virtual Bookshelves

August 15, 2008

Click to read the NPR “All Things Considered” story: “Websites let bibliophiles share books virtually

or click to listen to the story:    

 The article mentions such “virtual bookshelf” sites as LibraryThing, Shelfari, Goodreads, aNobii and BookJetty.


Faceted Searching Solutions

July 31, 2008

The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) offered a forum series at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim.  One was sponsored by the ALCTS Catalog Form and Function Interest Group entitled “Old Records, New Records, New Interfaces.”  Three librarians, Charley Pennell, Mary Charles Lasater, and Cheryl Gowing, presented their experiences from their online catalog redesign projects.  Links to the powerpoint presentations are below:

Charley Pennell, Principal Cataloger for Metadata, North Carolina State University LibrariesEndeca Presentation

Mary Charles Lasater, Authorities Librarian, Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt UniversityPrimo Presentation

Cheryl Gowing, Director, Information Management & Systems, University of MiamiEncore Presentation

[Also, here is a link to SirsiDynix's faceted searching solution: Enterprise.]


Metalogue

July 16, 2008

Karen Calhoun, Vice President, WorldCat and Metadata Services for OCLC is hosting a new blog called Metalogue.  It is “a forum for sharing thoughts on all things related to knowledge organization by and for libraries.”  Also posting to the blog will be “friends and colleagues from all over the globe, who contribute perspectives and experiences about the current and future state of cataloguing and metadata.”

Take a look at some other OCLC blogs:


Google Book Search and WorldCat

May 20, 2008

From the press release:  “Under terms of the agreement, OCLC member libraries participating in the Google Book Search™ program, which makes the full text of more than one million books searchable, may share their WorldCat-derived MARC records with Google to better facilitate discovery of library collections through Google.

Google will link from Google Book Search to WorldCat.org, which will drive traffic to library OPACs and other library services. Google will share data and links to digitized books with OCLC, which will make it possible for OCLC to represent the digitized collections of OCLC member libraries in WorldCat.”

http://www.oclc.org/news/releases/200811.htm

 


MLA’s Academic Libraries Day Report

May 15, 2008

The 2008 Michigan Library Association’s Academic Libraries Day was held on Friday, May 9 at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, MI. The theme was “Virtual Libraries/Virtual Learners: A Matter of Perspective”.  There were approximately 80 attendees.  Debbie Morrow from Grand Valley State University Libraries, ARLD Chair, did a wonderful job organizing this event.

Roy Tennant, presently the Senior Program Officer for OCLC Programs and Research, was the keynote speaker. Prior to his current position at OCLC, Tennant worked in academic libraries his entire adult life with a majority of it being at the University of California-Berkeley.

He stressed that it is important to know about our users and where to find them. According to OCLC’s 2006 report titled College Students’ Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources: A Report to the OCLC Membership very few begin their search at the library’s web site. A majority begin their search using a search engine such as Google. Also this report states that the library brand identity is books. Tennant stated that this should concern us.

Tennant brought up the term “satisfice” coined by Herbert Simon. “Satisficing” means deciding what constitutes a satisfactory outcome and then looking for ways to achieve it. For any given task the user is willing to go through some pain to get results, but users have different tolerances, and our library users may have a low threshold for pain. Many view our library catalogs and systems as painful. He gave an example of the University of California-Berkley online catalog. He stated that it is a home grown system that UC Berkeley made for UC Berkeley librarians, not for students or faculty. And its search terminology did look painful! He added that librarians need to remember that not everyone likes the search as most of us do; users like the find, not the search.

The integrated library system is still needed but a new kind of finding tool on the user-end for searching must occur, Tennant said. He referred to next generation library search engines such as Primo from Ex Libris and Encore from Innovative Interfaces, Inc. (III). Open source systems Tennant mentioned were VUFind from Villanova University and Koha from LibLime.

WorldCat Local from OCLC offers a customized view of WorldCat.org which is the OCLC database open to the public. Presently WorldCat has over 1.25 billion holdings. WorldCat Local puts local items first which differs from the ranking of WorldCat.org. The ranking in WorldCat.org is based on the number of libraries that own the item—the more that own the item the higher the ranking. All of these systems use faceted browsing.

He asserted that searching will happen anywhere such as from cell phones and it will be more disaggregated. The library needs to be where the user is; we need to build a search around them, not around us. And the user is on virtual spaces such as Facebook, Flickr, Meebo, etc.

Our goal needs to be to get users to what they need as quickly and painlessly as possible.  Tennant states that open url resolvers are a good start, but we need to do more. The Getting Users to Full-Text (GUF) Project at the University of Rochester is like a “link resolver on steroids” according to Tennant. This is a move in a positive direction for our users, he believes.

One of the best points Tennant made was showing the audience a picture of very intricate plumbing. Most of us do not care about plumbing unless it doesn’t work and then we call a plumber. He equated it with our catalogs. Our users do not need to see the guts, they just want the catalog to work.

He acknowledged the following barriers: lack of resources, lots of bad data, lack of appropriate vendor solutions, institutional inertia, and staff skill, with the latter being solved by retooling our staff. He viewed our opportunities as follows: working collaboratively, reallocating resources, creating agile institutions, using the library as a user would, and being in physical as well as virtual spaces.

After Tennant’s keynote, there were morning and afternoon breakout sessions. The titles follow:

  • Research Help Now: Virtual Reference Service with a Multi-Library Arrangement
  • Embedded: Librarians in the Online Trenches
  • E-Books: Issues, Perspectives and the Future
  • Navigating the Stream with a Paddle: Video Streaming Applications and Management

I attended two of them and found both very informative. Dr. Richard Cochran, Dean of the Library at Ferris State University, was excellent at facilitating the discussion and wrap-up of the day. The last presentation was from Russ Knopp of Traverse Management Resources. He spoke about the MLA restructuring, transitional leadership, and communities of practice.

This was the first Academic Libraries Day I have attended, and I found it enlightening. The Park Library at Central Michigan University is spectacular!

(Report by Cathy Wolford)


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