Marshall Breeding at Ticer: Library automation for the next generation

One of the disruptions in the Integrated Library System (ILS) market in the USA is that many libraries are shifting towards open source (OS) ILS. Most of these decisions taken in favor of the adoption of OS systems are religious decisions. Thus without a proper evaluation of the pros and cons of OS. At the end of the day costs of OS and closed systems are probably equal.


Breeding noted that the investment into Open Source ILS was last year about 10% of the market and will be about 25% of investment this year in North America. The installed base of OS ILS is about 2 to 3%


As examples of OS ILS het mentions

Koha – commercial support from LibLime

Evergreen – Commercial support from Equinox

OPALS – commercial support from Media Flex

NewGenLib – Open Source ILS for the developing world.


Next he goes on to explain the different shades of green that can make a system Open Source. In many cases an open API layer allows libraries to configure and manipulate the system to their liking. Breeding pleads for the development of universal API that can applied towards different ILS. Het talks about the Berkeley Accords.


Rethinking the ILS

Traditional ILS model is not suitable for hybrid libraries where print and digital come together. The classical ILS focuses on Cataloging + Circulation + OPAC + Serials + Acquisitions, whereas nowadays integration includes link resolvers, full text, federated search and Electronic resource management. However the foundations of ILS were carved in stone in the 1965 and still stand their time. We should be pushing the standards constantly. The influence that Google has had on our users is that they expect to do full text searches. Libraries are still worrying about Metadata, users want the data.  


The next generation ILS should be based on a Services Oriented Architecture wich consists of many small granular modules that complete the tasks.


Towards the end het makes mention of the Open Library Environment (OLE) project sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation where they are rethinking the next generation of library systems.

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