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...
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,
Progressive Trends in New Zealand
I continue to see in almost all of my
encounters with technology use in libraries
an ever-increasing reliance on cooperative
efforts to find ways to gain more
efficiencies, lower costs, and make a
greater impact on patron services than
possible alone. This spirit of cooperation
seems well rooted in most library organizations.
Balancing Continuity and Change through Business Transitions
Libraries expect continuity from the organizations
that they rely on for strategic
technology products. Libraries tend to
make use of their automation products for
incredibly long periods and expect them
to be supported and enhanced throughout
a prolonged life cycle. I observe that a
typical lifespan of an integrated library...
Growing Cooperation and Consolidation
We can see a definite trend of consolidation
among the organizations that create
technology products for libraries.
Through a long series of mergers and
acquisitions, the industry has gradually
transformed from being fractured in a
way that pits relatively small companies
against each other with overlapping products
and limited revenue opportunities
Forming Constructive Partnerships
I have long held that libraries should not
be passive consumers of technology products,
but rather, active partners in shaping
them. Libraries have a great deal at stake in
how well these products work. They benefit
from individual or collective efforts to
influence product development in order to
address ever evolving requirements. Not all
The OCLC Non-Event
The topic sparking the most buzz in
library tech circles at ALA’s Annual Conference
was the unfortunate turn of
events surrounding OCLC leadership.
OCLC had named Jack Blount as its
new President and Chief Executive Officer
on June 8, 2012 and then rescinded
the appointment with a subsequent and
surprising announcement. A letter from
Larry Alford, chair of the OCLC Board...
Open and Linked Data
Despite a proclivity toward openness,
libraries have historically been involved
with data and content under various levels
of restrictions imposed by copyright
and proprietary business arrangements.
Libraries have also dealt with data primarily
through self-contained applications,
mostly managed within relational
databases. While these modes of operation
Unified Discovery and Management of E-book Content and Lending
The lending of e-books continues to be an
activity of critical interest in public libraries.
As e-books gain ever wider popularity
by the general public, libraries have
been steadily working out the many problems
related to offering e-book services
similar to those offered for print materials.
As e-book content increases...
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...