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 Follett Software Company, Book Systems, and COMPanion offer products adopted primarily by K-12 schools and districts, with an emphasis on age-appropriate materials, support for the small libraries typically associated with each school, managing textbooks and media assets, and an increasing emphasis on efficiencies that can be gained at the district level. Automation products for public libraries must deliver the ability to manage collections of printed books and other physical items in flexible ways that accommodate the constant flow of new popular materials into the libraries, the flow of materials from one branch to another, and the demands of library patrons for limited copies. Right now, academic libraries are dealing with increasing numbers of subscriptions to scholarly content in electronic formats, involvement with the creation of digital collections, and a diminishing emphasis on print materials.
Also in this Issue
- Continued Consolidation in the Special Library and Knowledge Management Solutions Arena
- Library Industry News in Brief
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