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Library Automation Challenges for the Next Generation


Library Automation Challenges for the Next Generation Marshall Breeding Director for Innovative Technologies and Research Vanderbilt University – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Library Automation Challenges for the Next Generation

Library Automation Challenges for the Next
Marshall BreedingDirector for Innovative
Technologies and Research Vanderbilt
University http//
breeding http//
Tuesday 26 August 2008 Tias building, room TZ 9)
  • As libraries shift toward collections of ever
    higher proportions of digital content, automation
    systems must likewise take a new form. This
    lecture will review the current state of library
    automation systems and the business climate among
    the companies that provide them.
  • Recent rounds of industry consolidation resulted
    in an uncomfortable narrowing of products from
    the traditional automation vendors. A harsh
    business climate contributed to the rise of the
    open source movement which has introduced a new
    dynamic in the marketplace. Open source library
    automation has now entered the mainstream, with
    support options available from a new breed of
    companies. Traditional automation vendors face
    new competition. Libraries themselves have also
    become involved through initiatives to produce
    open source products, contributing new
    alternatives to the mix.
  • A new generation of library interfaces has begun
    to emerge that promise to put a modern face on
    the librarys collections and services on the
    Web. Libraries also demand better tools for
    managing electronic resources behind-the-scenes,
    fueling demand for electronic management systems.
    In broader terms, the molds of the library
    automation systems in place today were cast
    decades ago.
  • The presentation will explore the characteristics
    that a generation of library automation systems
    built anew for todays libraries moving forward
    would embrace.

Part I. Broad Industry and Product Trends
  • Industry Consolidation
  • Abrupt transitions for major library automation
  • Increased industry control by external financial
  • Demise of the traditional OPAC
  • Frustration with ILS products and vendors
  • Open Source alternatives hit the mainstream

Breeding, Marshall Perceptions 2007 an
international survey of library automation.
pl January 2008.
LJ Automation System Marketplace
  • Annual Industry report published in Library
  • 2008 Opportunity out of turmoil
  • 2007 An industry redefined
  • 2006 Reshuffling the deck
  • 2005 Gradual evolution
  • 2004 Migration down, innovation up
  • 2003 The competition heats up
  • 2002 Capturing the migrating customer

ILS Industry in Transition
  • Consolidation through mergers and acquisitions
    have resulted in a fewer number of players
    larger companies
  • Uncomfortable level of product narrowing
  • Increased ownership by external interests
  • Yet Some companies and products continue on
    solid ground

Breeding, Marshall Automation system marketplace
2008 Opportunity Out of Turmoil Library
Journal. April 1, 2008.
Library Automation MA History
Product and Technology Trends
  • Innovation below expectations
  • Conventional ILS less tenable
  • Proliferation of products related to e-content
  • New genre of discovery-layer interfaces

Web 2.0 / Collaborative Computing
  • Currently implemented ad hoc
  • Many libraries putting up blogs, wikis, and
    fostering engagement in social networking sites
  • Proliferation of silos with no integration or
    interoperability with larger library Web presence
  • Next Gen Build social and collaborative features
    into core automation components

Part II. A Mandate for Openness
Opportunities for Openness
  • Open Source
  • Alternative to traditionally licensed software
  • Open Systems
  • Software that doesnt hold data hostage
  • Open Content
  • Open access platforms for scholarly content
  • Institutional Repositories
  • Bibliographic Services (OpenLibrary)
  • Open content communities for tags, cover art,
    reviews (LibraryThing)
  • OpenURL / ERMS Knowledgebases? (JAKE)

Open Source Alternatives
  • Explosive interest in Open Source driven by
    disillusionment with current vendors and
    near-evangelical promotion of this software
    licensing model
  • Beginning to emerge as a practical option
  • TOC (Total Cost of Ownership) still roughly equal
    to proprietary commercial model
  • Still a risky strategy for libraries
    traditional licensing also risky

A result of industry turmoil
  • Disruptions and business decisions to narrow
    options have fueled the open source movement
  • Benefit to libraries in having additional options
  • Traditionally licensed and open source ILS
    alternatives will coexist in the ILS arena

Open Source ILS enters the mainstream
  • Earlier era of pioneering efforts to ILS shifting
    into one where open source alternatives fall in
    the mainstream
  • Off-the-shelf, commercially supported product
  • Still a minority player, but gaining ground

Open Source ILS options
  • Koha
  • Commercial support from LibLime
  • Evergreen
  • Commercial support from Equinox Software
  • Commercial support from Media Flex
  • NewGenLib
  • Open Source ILS for the developing world

Business case for Open Source ILS
  • Comparative total cost of ownership
  • Evaluate features and functionality
  • Evaluate technology platform and conceptual
  • Are they next-generation systems or open source
    version of legacy models?

Making a Business Case for Open Source ILS.
Marshall Breeding, Computers in Libraries March
2008 http//
Software Development Models
  • How do companies approach software development
  • Ongoing maintenance work on existing products
    (enhancement requests, bug fixes)
  • RD toward future products (capital investment)
  • Sponsored Development contracted custom
    development paid for by individual sites, code
    shared with current and future implementers.

Observations on Open Source ILS
  • Current Open Source ILS products similar in
    modular organization and functionality to
    existing systems. Evolving to achieve the same
    level of features and capacity present in
    established commercial systems.
  • Initial wave of Open Source ILS commitments
    happened in the public library arena. Recent
    activity among academic libraries
  • WALDO Consortium (Voyager gt Koha)
  • University of Prince Edward Island (Unicorn gt
  • Do the current open source ILS products provide a
    new model of automation, or an open source
    version of what we already have?
  • JISC SCONUL study did not show strong interest
    in open source ILS in the UK.

Impact of Open Source ILS
  • Library automation industry cannot be complacent
  • Some libraries moving from traditionally licensed
    products to open source products with commercial
    support plans
  • Disruption of ILS industry
  • new pressures on incumbent vendors to deliver
    more innovation and to satisfy concerns for
  • New competition / More options

More Open Systems
  • Pressure for traditionally licensed products to
    become more open
  • APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) let
    libraries access and manipulate their data
    outside of delivered software
  • A comprehensive set of APIs potentially give
    libraries more flexibility and control in
    accessing data and services and in extending
    functionality than having access to the source
  • Customer access to APIs does not involve as much
    risk to breaking core system functions, avoids
    issues of version management and code forking
    associated with open source models.

A Continuum of Openness
Closed Systems
End User Interfaces
No programmable Access to the system. Captive
to the user Interfaces supplied by the developer
Programmer access
Functional modules
Data Stores
Staff Interfaces
Standard RDBM Systems
Database administrators can access data stores
involved with the system Read-only? Read/write?
Developer shares database schema
End User Interfaces
Programmer access
Functional modules
Data Stores
Staff Interfaces
Open Source Model
End User Interfaces
Programmer access
All aspects of the system available to inspection
and modification.
Functional modules
Data Stores
Staff Interfaces
Open API Model
End User Interfaces
Programmer access
Core application closed. Third party developers
code against the published APIs or RDBMS tables.
Functional modules
Published APIs
Data Stores
Staff Interfaces
Open Source / Open API Model
End User Interfaces
Programmer access
Core application closed. Third party developers
code against the published APIs or RDBMS tables.
Functional modules
Published APIs
Data Stores
Staff Interfaces
Depth of Openness
  • Evaluate level of access to a products data
    stores and functional elements
  • Open source vs Traditional licenses
  • Some traditional vendors have well established
    API implementations
  • SirsiDynix Unicorn (API available to authorized
    customer sites that take training program)
  • Ex Libris consistent deployment of APIs in major
    products, recent strategic initiative Open
    Platform Program
  • Innovative Interfaces Patron API

Universal open APIs?
  • Some progress on API to support discovery layer
    interfaces, but no comprehensive framework yet.
  • Many industry protocols work like APIs
  • Z39.50, SRU/W, NCIP, OAI-PMH, OpenURL, etd
  • It would be ideal if there were an open set of
    APIs that were implemented by all automation
    system products.
  • Third party components and add-ons would then
    work across all products.
  • DLF ILS-Discovery Interface protocol. Targets
    interoperability between ILS and new genre of
  • AKA Berkeley Accords

Opportunity out of the Upheavals
  • More options
  • Commercial Open Source
  • More vendors
  • New open source support companies provide new
  • More library involvement
  • Libraries re-energized to make significant
    contributions to the body of library automation
  • Traditionally licensed and open source automation
    systems will co-exist. We have an interest in
    the success of both alternatives.

Part III. Moving toward new generation of library
Rethinking the ILS
  • Fundamental assumption Print Digital Hybrid
  • Traditional ILS model not adequate for hybrid
  • Libraries currently moving toward surrounding
    core ILS with additional modules to handle
    electronic content
  • New discovery layer interfaces replacing or
    supplementing ILS OPACS
  • Working toward a new model of library automation
  • Monolithic legacy architectures replaced by
    fabric of SOA applications
  • Comprehensive Resource Management

It's Time to Break the Mold of the Original ILS
Computers in Libraries Nov/Dec 2007
ILS a legacy concept?
  • ILS Integrated Library System
  • (Cataloging Circulation OPAC Serials
  • Focused on print and physical inventory
  • Electronic content at the Journal Title or
    collection level
  • Emerged in the 1960s 1970s
  • Functionality has evolved and expanded, but basic
    concepts and modules remain intact
  • Note Some companies work toward evolving the ILS
    to competently handle both print and digital
    content (e.g. Innovative Interfaces)

ILS ever diminishing role
  • Many libraries putting much less emphasis on ILS
  • Just an inventory system for physical materials
  • Investments in electronic content increasing
  • Management of e-content handled outside of the
  • Yet libraries need comprehensive business
    automation more than ever. Mandate for more
    efficient operations. Do more with less.

Dis-integration of Library Automation
  • ILS -- Print and Physical inventory
  • OpenURL Link resolver
  • Federated Search
  • Electronic Resource Management Module
  • Discovery layer interface

Is non-integrated automation sustainable?
  • Major burden on library personnel
  • Serial procurement / installation / configuration
    / maintenance cycles take many years to result in
    a comprehensive environment
  • Inefficient data models
  • Disjointed interfaces for library users
  • Very long cycle to gain comprehensive automation

New genre of discovery layer interfaces
  • Traditional ILS OPAC inadequate for todays
    Web-savvy library users
  • Scope too narrow
  • Complex, non-intuitive interface
  • Yet Necessary for some types of research
  • Working toward a single point of entry for all
    the content and services offered by the library

Common Next-Gen Interface features
  • Decoupled interface
  • Advanced search engines
  • Relevancy ranked results
  • Faceted Navigation
  • Graphically enriched displays
  • Real-time interaction with ILS
  • Advanced user services and information delivery

Current Products
  • Aquabrowser (Medialab, Bowker / Serials
  • Primo (Ex Libris)
  • Encore (Innovative Interfaces)
  • WorldCat Local (OCLC)
  • BiblioCommons
  • Visualizer (VTLS)
  • eXtensive Catalog (University of Rochester)
  • VUFind (open source / Villanova University)
  • Scriblio (open source)
  • http//

Deep search
  • Entering post-metadata search era
  • Increasing opportunities to search the full
  • Google Library Print, Google Publisher, Open
    Content Alliance, Microsoft Live Book Search,
  • High-quality metadata will improve search
  • Commercial search providers already offer search
    inside the book
  • No comprehensive full text search for books quite
  • Beginning to appear in library search
  • U of Mich (http//
    /2008/05/search_full-tex.html )
  • Deep search highly improved by high-quality
  • See Systems Librarian, May 2008 Beyond the
    current generation of next-generation interfaces
    deeper search

Architecture and Standards
  • Need to have an standard approach for connecting
    new generation interfaces with ILS and other
  • Proprietary and ad hoc methods currently prevail
  • Digital Library Federation
  • ILS-Discovery Interface Group
  • http//
  • Initial foray into a broader set of protocols
    that open up other aspects of the ILS

Moving toward a new Generation of Library
  • Are Legacy ILS concepts sustainable?
  • New automation environment based on current
    library realities and modern technology platforms
  • Equal footing for digital and print
  • Service oriented architecture

Breaking down the modules
  • Traditional ILS
  • Cataloging
  • Circulation
  • Online Catalog
  • Acquisitions
  • Serials control
  • Reporting
  • Modern approach SOA

Service Oriented Architecture
Legacy ILS e-content modules
End User Interfaces
Federated Search
OpenURL Linking
Electronic Resource Mgmt System
Functional modules
Data Stores
Staff Interfaces
SOA model for business automation
  • Underlying data repositories
  • Local or Global
  • Reusable business services
  • Composite business applications

SOA for library workflow processes
Composite Applications
Reusable Business Services
Granular tasks
Data Stores
Comprehensive Resource Management
  • Broad conceptual approach that proposes a library
    automation environment that spans all types of
    content that comprise library collections.
  • Traditional ILS vendors Under development but no
    public announcements
  • Open Source projects in early phases
  • Projection 2-3 years until we begin see library
    automation systems that follow this approach. 5-7
    years for wider adoption.

Open Library Environment (OLE) project
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • Research in Information Technology program
  • Solicited proposal / Lead institution
  • Duke University selected to lead project
  • Core Participants Kansas University, Lehigh
    University, National Library of Australia,
    Library and Archives Canada, University of
    Pennsylvania, Marshall Breeding
  • Advisory Participants University of Chicago,
    Wittier College, University of Maryland, ORBIS
    Cascade Alliance, Rutgers University
  • Status Proposal complete, pending formal
    approval from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Preparing for next generation library automation
  • Reassess workflows
  • Separate streams for print and digital?
  • Integrated processing of print and digital?
  • Opportunities to take advantage of SOA-based
    composite business applications
  • Assemble a more ideal set of tools for managing
    serials and periodicals

Practical implications
  • Determine the level of openness your library
  • Off-the-shelf, traditionally licensed systems
    preferred in many libraries
  • Identify issues
  • Vendor vulnerability
  • Flexibility to reprogram
  • Special reporting needs
  • Cost of operation
  • Software-as-a-service
  • Research and Development toward next-generation
    automation systems

Questions and Discussion