ALA TechSource Logo
 
curve Home spacer Publications spacer Subscribe spacer Blog spacer About  
    

Smart Libraries Newsletter

March 2012

  The Library Automation News Cycle Typically, news in the library automation industry tends to be clustered around major conferences, and larger conferences tend to attract bigger news. The American Library Association Annual Conference (held each summer) and the Midwinter Meeting (held early...

December 2011

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...

November 2011

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...

October 2011

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...

September 2011

  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...

August 2011

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...

July 2011

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...

June 2011

  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...

May 2011

The main feature in this month’s issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter is on Innovative Interfaces’ announcement of its new library automation platform. I continue to be impressed by how the library automation industry seems to be gearing up for a new phase, one where a new guard of systems is lining up to eventually replace at least some of the veteran systems in the ranks. We’ve been through...

April 2011

  In order to be prepared to write this newsletter and other projects, I’m constantly monitoring many different sources of information for library technology news. My main focus lately has been library automation products and discovery systems, but I keep an eye out for any technology story that might have an impact on libraries. I find it quite a challenge to synthesize all of this incoming...

March 2011

One major trend in the library automation industry that I have been following in recent years is the evolution of discovery systems toward a model that provides access to a more comprehensive representation of library collections. A variety of products and projects have emerged with the ambitious goal of addressing the content represented in a library’s subscriptions to electronic resources in...