Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Library Services Platforms: A Maturing Genre of Products

Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Library Services Platforms: A Maturing Genre of Products

Article excerpt

Chapter 1--Introduction and Concepts     What Is a Library Services Platform?    Historic Perspective: Consolidation of Functionality    Definition and Characteristics    Functional Characteristics    Technical Characteristics    A Maturing Set of Products    Library Services Platform or Integrated Library System    Support for Library Consortia    Notes  Chapter 2--Selection and Procurement Strategies  Chapter 3--Relationship with Discovery     Ex Libris: Alma + Primo    Innovative: Sierra + Encore    OCLC: WorldShare Management Services and WorldCat    Discovery Service    ProQuest: Intota + Summon    Kuali OLE: No Discovery Component    EBSCO Discovery Service: Integrated with All Resource    Management Systems    Discovery Strategy Issues    Note  Chapter 4--Major Products     Ex Libris Alma    Kuali OLE    OCLC WorldShare Management Services    ProQuest Intota    Sierra from Innovative Interfaces    Note  Chapter 5--Bibliography 

Chapter 1

Introduction and Concepts

This issue of Library Technology Reports covers a variety of issues related to the genre of library services platforms. These products represent the latest wave of automation systems for libraries that depart in many ways from those of the previous era and that also carry forward the essential functionality upon which libraries rely for their daily operations. The ensuing discussion and descriptions of library services platforms will reveal capabilities that have been present for decades as well as many characteristics that set them apart as a distinct product category.

This report aims to provide a general understanding of this new category of products and to provide libraries with additional data and perspective as they consider the options available in developing their technology strategies. Library services platforms have not replaced previously established categories wholesale and for all types of libraries. Integrated library systems continue to flourish as seen by ongoing use of existing installations and in new sales. Each type and size of library comes with its own concerns and requirements that it expects to be addressed by its technology products. While library services platforms may be appropriate for a growing set of libraries, any data that demonstrates the types of libraries using any given product can be helpful as libraries ponder their options.

This report does not attempt to make recommendations for the products it covers, but to treat each product in a neutral manner. Libraries making decisions about products should consult with a variety of sources as they work through their procurement process. The report provides general descriptions and presents empirical data related to the numbers and types of libraries that have implemented each product. Sources of data include previously published statistics, figures provided by the vendors of the products, the library directory, and the 2014 "Library Automation Perceptions Survey." While general descriptions of the products are given, the report does not attempt to list or characterize the detailed functionality of the products covered. An understanding of the specific features of each product and its suitability to any given library can be gained only through a more in-depth process than could be captured in a report such as this one. Checklists of functionality can be misleading relative to the actual performance of any given system in its daily operation in a library. Consider the information in this report introductory and preliminary to a more thorough process that would need to be conducted as a library investigates the field of available products.

The scope of the report includes the major products with a significant presence in North America that embody most of the characteristics of a library services platform, as described in the following section. …

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