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Trends in Library Automation: Meeting the challenges of a new generation of library users Marshall Breeding Director for Innovative Technologies and Research.

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Presentation on theme: "Trends in Library Automation: Meeting the challenges of a new generation of library users Marshall Breeding Director for Innovative Technologies and Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 Trends in Library Automation: Meeting the challenges of a new generation of library users Marshall Breeding Director for Innovative Technologies and Research Vanderbilt University November 29, 2006 OCLC Office of Research Distinguished Seminar Series

2 Abstract Till now, the library automation business and technology trends have evolved at a leisurely pace. Today libraries face incredible challenges as non- library entities encroach into traditional library territory. Library users are more Web savvy than ever and have high expectations for information providers. We are in a time of urgent need to make rapid advances in library automation.

3 Working toward a New Phase of Innovation Business trends Technology and Product trends

4 Business Trends A look at the companies involved in library automation and related technologies

5 Business Landscape Becoming less fragmented as companies consolidate Still, a large number of companies compete in a very limited economy with undifferentiated and overlapping products Many companies expend energies producing decreasingly differentiated systems. Level of innovation falls below expectations Companies struggle to keep up with ILS enhancements and R&D for new innovations. Pressure to reduce costs, increase revenue

6 Library Automation M&A History

7 Library automation consolidation More libraries banding together to share automation environment Reduce overhead for maintaining systems that have decreasing strategic importance Need to focus technical talent on activities that have more of an impact on the mission of the library Pooled resources for technical processing Single library ILS implementations becoming less defensible

8 Who owns the Industry? Some of the most important decisions that affect the options available to libraries are made in the corporate board room. Increased control by financial interests of private equity and venture capital firms

9 Business Cycle Founder start-up Venture capital support -> board level representation Private equity ownership -> strategic control IPO == mature company

10 Investor owned companies SirsiDynix -> Seaport Capital + Hicks Muse Ex Libris -> Francisco Partners (recently bought out VCs) Endeavor -> Francisco Partners (recently bought out Elsevier) Infor (was Extensity, was Geac) -> Golden Gate Polaris -> Croydon Company formerly part of Gaylord Bros (acquired by Demco)

11 Founder / Family owned companies VTLS – tech spin-off from Virginia Tech, wholly owned by Vinod Chachra Innovative Interfaces 100% ownership by Jerry Kline following 2001 buy-out of partner Steve Silberstien The Library Corporation Owned by Annette Murphy family

12 Public companies: Auto-Graphics De-listed from SEC reporting requirements Was OTC:AUGR now Pink Sheets:AUGR OpenText Spin-off form Battelle Information Dimensions Acquired by OCLC, run as for-profit business unit Sold to Gores Technology Group Acquired by OpenText Move involved in enterprise information management than ILS

13 Diverse Business Activities Many ways to expand business in ways that leverage library automation expertise: Non-ILS software Retrospective conversion services RFID or AMH Network Consulting Services Content products Imaging services

14 Libraries Demand choice. Consolidation working toward monopoly? Many companies currently prosper in the library automation industry Room for niche players Domination by a large monopoly unlikely to be accepted by library community Monopoly would be subverted by Open Source or other cooperative movement

15 Partnership strategies ILS companies partner with other companies for technologies. Development resource are not abundant, even in the companies with massive capital support No library automation company can take on all aspects of development Tough decisions on what to build vs buy

16 Partnerships Increasing number of partnerships with specialist companies: Serials Solutions TDNet MuseGlobal WebFeat Openly Informatics Medialab Solutions

17 Partnerships What is different now is that ILS companies have outsourced strategic products to outside firms Endeavor: Dropped ENCompass and LinkFinderPlus for TDNet SirsiDynix: Dropped local development of ERM and other partnerships for linking and federated search for partnership with Serials Solution SirsiDynix: outsourced relationship with StarSoft Development Labs in Russia for development of Horizon 8.0 Outsourcing strategic development raises concern for long-term prospects of the companies. Short-term advantage.

18 Companies more self-reliant Innovative Ex Libris

19 Move from Commercial ILS to Open Source Beginning to emerge as a practical option Koha, supported by LibLime Evergreen, developed for Georgia PINES Still a risky strategy for libraries

20 OCLC in the ILS arena? Library community taking notice Library-owned cooperative on a buying binge of automation companies: Openly Informatics Fretwell-Downing Informatics Sisis Informationssysteme PICA DiMeMa (CONTENTdm) Acquired a broad range of technology components ILS companies concerned about competing with a non-profit with enormous resources and the ability to shift costs.

21 Key Business Perspective Given the relative parity of library automation systems, choosing the right automation partner is more important than splitting hairs over functionality. Understanding of library issues Vision and forward-looking development Its important to choose a company that will survive

22 Product and Technology Trends

23 Current state of the Integrated Library System The core ILS focused mostly on print resources and traditional library workflow processes. Add-ons available for dealing with electronic content: Link resolvers Metasearch environments Electronic Resource Management A loosely integrated environment Labor-intensive implementation and maintenance Most are must have products for academic libraries with significant collections of e-content

24 Library OPAC Evolved from card catalogs and continues to be bound by the constraints of that legacy. Complex and rich in features Interfaces often do not compare favorably with alternatives available on the Web Print materials becoming a smaller component of the librarys overall collections.

25 State of the Library OPAC?

26 The ILS is not dead Rumors of its demise are greatly exaggerated A well-functioning automation system is essential to the operation of the library Libraries have never needed automation more than today

27 Comprehensive Automation The goal of the Integrated Library Systems involves the automation of all aspects of the librarys internal operations and to provide key services to library users.

28 Traditional Library Search Model Provide a full featured OPAC Give the user a screen full of search options Assume that researchers will begin with library resources Reliance on Bibliographic Instruction

29 Troubling statistic Where do you typically begin your search for information on a particular topic? College Students Response: 89%Search engines (Google 62%) 2%Library Web Site (total respondents -> 1%) 2%Online Database 1% 1% Online News 1% Online bookstores 0% Instant Messaging / Online Chat OCLC. Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (2005) p

30 New Library Search Model Dont count on users beginning their research with library catalogs or Web site Consider the librarys Web site as a destination Make it a compelling and attractive destination that uses will want to explore more. Web users have a low tolerance for ineffective and clunky interfaces

31 Library Discovery Model A Library Web Site / Catalog Web Library as search Destination

32 Library Discovery Model B Do not give up on library search technologies! Libraries must also build their own discovery, search, and access services Effective, elegant, powerful Once users discover your library, give them outstanding services: Catalog search, federated search, context- sensitive linking, etc.

33 Library Discovery Model C Expose library content and services through non- library interfaces Campus portals, courseware systems, e-learning environments County and municipal portals and e-government Other external content aggregators: RSS, etc Web services is the essential enabling technology for the delivery of library content and services to external applications. Library community lags years behind other IT industries in adoption of SOA and Web services.

34 Working toward next generation library interfaces Redefinition of the library catalog More comprehensive information discovery environments Better information delivery tools More powerful search capabilities More elegant presentation

35 Comprehensive Search Service More like OAI Wide-ranging set of local and remote information sources Local print component will decrease over time Problems of scale diminished Problems of cooperation persist

36 Web 2.0 a good start A more social and collaborative approach Web Tools and technology that foster collaboration Blogs, wiki, blogs, tagging, social bookmarking, user rating, user reviews Web 2.0 technologies at the Peak of Inflated Expectations phase of the hype cycle.

37 Web 2.0 supporting technologies Web services XML APIs AJAX (asynchronous JavaScript and XML) Microformats OpenSearch vs SRU/SRW

38 Replacement Search Interfaces: Endeca Guided Search AquaBrowser Library Are library users satisfied with native ILS interfaces?

39 Replacement OPACs Endeca Guided Navigation AquaBrowser Library Common thread: Decoupled interface Mass export of catalog data Alternative search engine Alternative interface

40 Expanded discovery and delivery tools Ex Libris Primo (in development) Encore from Innovative Interfaces (in development) Common threads: Decoupled interface Comprehensive indexes that span multiple and diverse information resources Alternative interface

41 Library-developed solutions eXtensible Catalog University of Rochester – River Campus Libraries Financial support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

42 Redefinition of library catalogs and interfaces Traditional notions of the library catalog are being questioned Its no longer enough to provide a catalog limited to print resources Digital resources cannot be an afterthought Forcing users to use different interfaces depending on type of content becoming less tenable Libraries working toward consolidated search environments that give equal footing to digital and print resources

43 Interface expectations Millennial gen library users are well acclimated to the Web and like it. Used to relevancy ranking The good stuff should be listed first Users tend not to delve deep into a result list Good relevancy requires a sophisticated approach, including objective matching criteria supplemented by popularity and relatedness factors.

44 Interface expectations (cont…) Very rapid response. Users have a low tolerance for slow systems Rich visual information: book jacket images, rating scores, etc. Let users drill down through the result set incrementally narrowing the field Faceted Browsing Drill-down vs up-front Boolean or Advanced Search gives the users clues about the number of hits in each sub topic. Navigational Bread crumbs Ratings and rankings

45 Appropriate organizational structures LCSH vs FAST FRBR Full MARC vs Dublin Core or MODS Discipline-specific thesauri or ontologies tags

46 Global vs Local How do library collections relate to the global realm Will mass digitization replace local library collections? The global arena excels at discovery The local arena focuses on content delivery All the global content discovery tools point to locally managed content.

47 Connecting Local Content with Global Discovery Inbound / Outbound Move or expose metadata as needed Provide mechanisms to link or deliver resources to users OAI-PMH SRU/SRW Z39.50 Microformats XML SiteMap Protocol Web Services UDDI, WDSL, SOAP, OpenUR and other deep-linking protocols

48 Multi-layered information discovery Global : Google Institutional / Regional : Primo Granular: Individual catalogs and repositories Broad -> Precise Offer both the ability to find a few good things and to find exactly the right things (and all of them) Appropriate avenues for both the undergraduate learner and the serious scholar.

49 Content beyond the Catalog Local Digital Collections Library as Publisher No longer just the role of a University Press Many e-journals published by libraries ETDs Institutional Repositories Non-MARC metadata: Dublin Core, MODS, METS, MPEG21 Transportable Metadata: OAI-PMH

50 Problems with current slate of automation components Very loosely coupled Diverse interfaces Not seamless to library users Multiple points of management for library staff Long and complex cycles of implementation and integration

51 Path to improvement Next generation systems: competing visions and models for what will best serve libraries in the next decade. More systematic approach toward hybrid print/electronic collections More tightly coupled systems Appropriate use of Open Source software Greater adoption of Web Services More collaboration in development: Vendor-to-vendor Library / Vendor Shared vision of the library information environment

52 Google vs libraries? Perceived as a future competitor to libraries Some areas that overlap with libraries Google bases its business on discovery tools Most of its revenues come from adds Libraries specialize in delivery Libraries can leverage global discovery tools to enhance local delivery of content and services

53 Threats and challenges Library users expect more than they currently receive. Google and other modern Web destinations set high user expectations Urgent need to develop library interfaces that will be compelling to a new generation of Web savvy users Failure to innovate will result in a diminished role for libraries as the next phase of digital information evolves.

54 Questions and Discussion

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