Investing in the Industry
The big news this month concerns Innovative
Interfaces, Inc. receiving a major investment
from a pair of private equity firms.
Until now, this company had often touted
its independence from the influence of outside
investors as one of its positive qualities.
Innovative will need to demonstrate that its
new ownership arrangement actually does
mean “business as...
While the largest companies tend to garner
the most headlines, it’s important to
remember that the library automation
industry consists of a very diverse group
of organizations. Players in this industry
range from tiny firms of with a handful of
employees to the larger international companies
with hundreds of personnel that do
business around the world. I’m glad to see
this kind of diversity...
As we enter a new year, I’d like to pause and consider some of the trends and events that I anticipate playing out in 2012. The predictions I made for 2011 largely held (see Smart Libraries Newsletter, February 2011). Given the momentum of developments and the issues currently in play, 2012 may turn out to be a very interesting year in the realm of library technologies.
Library automation is far from a one-sizefits- all proposition. The different types of libraries—public, academic, school, and special—each make use of technology in distinct ways. Each sector brings its own technology requirements and automation needs. Several different groups of companies are engaged in creating specialized products and services for their respective niches. Companies like...
In the current phase of library technology, it is common for discovery systems to be implemented in a manner loosely coupled with core automation systems. We’ve evolved away from a time where the online catalog module of the integrated library system could stand as the primary search tool, at least for those with large and varied collections. An increasing number of libraries have...
As mobile access continues to rise, library software developers see a potential new market emerging. Libraries increasingly show interest in exploring these new products. At this time, almost any vendor involved in producing library automation products has announced or delivered at least an initial offering that supports mobile users. Most are taking tentative steps, testing the waters...
Today’s libraries face an incredible challenge: to deliver powerful Web sites that engage users with their collections and services. Because of their experience with modern websites, library users expect sophisticated functionality offered through an easy to use interface. As the web grows ever more social, networks like Facebook and LinkedIn have not only become increasingly popular, but...
The integrated library system has fallen onto hard times, especially when it comes to academic libraries. Over the last decade or so, libraries in colleges, universities, and other research organizations have been at the forefront a broad trend where electronic content has grown more and more dominant. Unfortunately, library automation systems have been slow to respond to this obvious and...
The two major stories featured in this issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter deal with two very different niches of library technology--e-books and RFID. In one story, we’ll learn about 3M Library Systems, a business that has until very recently been rooted in products and services that help libraries deal with their physical items, and is now taking a major leap into the e-book realm. In the...
The open source ILS arena exhibits a pattern of internalization. We’re seeing a rapid geographic distribution of Koha, originally developed in New Zealand, to libraries throughout the world. I find it interesting to see that Koha spans both the developed world and the developing nations. Here in North America, it has been deployed in hundreds of public and academic libraries and by...