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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...

October 2013

  International Perspectives I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to travel overseas to see firsthand how libraries worldwide make use of technology, learning about companies and products not well known in the United States. The realm of library technologies encompasses an interesting mix of internationally-oriented companies with products deployed throughout the world and others that focus...

August 2013

  Dynamics of Discovery and Catalogs Since about 2005, Smart Libraries Newsletter has chronicled the development and adoption of what was originally called next-generation catalogs, and later discovery interfaces, and more recently Webscale discovery services. Since then, many changes have developed in this space. In recent years, the emerging trend is for many libraries to drop third party...

July 2013

  The People Who Shape the Industry One of most appealing aspects of the library automation industry is the interesting people involved. From those who lead the companies to those who work behind the scenes developing new technologies, I’ve been fortunate to rub elbows with many of the cast of characters who have shaped the library automation landscape. I recall so many conversations where...

June 2013

  The Ever Narrowing Range of Choices for Library Automation In developing the articles for this issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter, I became a little more aware of, and a bit more concerned about, how few products are available to libraries for their critical automation systems. While in the last few years the industry has not seen business consolidations that eliminate competing companies...

May 2013

  Discovery Services Improving I continue to be impressed with the ongoing improvements in library resource discovery services. These services aim to allow library users to access library resources with the same level of ease that they experience with the general Web through search engines like Google or Bing. But ease of use isn’t the only concern. It’s imperative that these discovery...

April 2013

  The Challenge to Cooperate and Compete In my view, the library automation industry, though extremely competitive, maintains a flavor of collegiality. I’m not close enough to other competitive sectors to really know, but I suspect many are considerably more ruthlessness. The organizations that create technology products for libraries must take the sensibilities and values of their...

March 2013

  The Roles of Integrated Library Systems and Library Services Platforms One of the major activities that we have covered in Smart Libraries Newsletter during the past few years involves the emergence of the new genre of library services platforms. The entrants in this genre take a significant departure from the well-established model of the integrated library systems that have prevailed in...

February 2013

  Advancing from Marketing Hype to Substantive Developments In the last year or so I have observed an ever growing interest by libraries in cloud computing. More of the conferences where I speak are focused on exploring the topic. Cloud computing is mentioned frequently in technical articles in the field, in blog postings, on twitter, and in product marketing. Libraries are keen to sort out...

January 2013

  The Role of Private Equity in the Library Automation Industry As libraries make investments in technology, it’s important to be aware of the nature of the businesses that provide these products and services. We naturally evaluate software products on the merits of their functionality, alignment with current and anticipated library requirements, the soundness of architecture, and other...

December 2012

  Providing Support for Reference Services The current information and technology landscape has had a profound impact on the nature of reference services in libraries. In times when almost any factual question can be handled by a quick search on Google or by “asking Siri,” these types of questions, once a signification portion of questions directed reference librarians, have largely...