Twenty library and information science programs, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Washington, Rutgers University, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), and the University of Pittsburgh, have begun using free hosted instances of the Koha open-source integrated library system (ILS) as an instructional resource via the Koha Klassmates program launched by ByWater Solutions last fall.
On April 13, the American Library Association (ALA) and Google announced the “Libraries Ready to Code” project, which will investigate the current status of computer programming activities in U.S. public and K–12 libraries with the goal of ultimately broadening the reach and scope of these coding programs. The project will include an environmental scan, practitioner interviews, focus groups, and site visits, and particular attention will be focused on opportunities that libraries are providing to minorities, girls, and other groups that are currently underrepresented in computer science and related fields, according to an announcement. The results of the project will be used to further engagement by ALA, and to inform a computer science policy agenda as part of the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy’s (OITP) Youth and Technology program.
In a move that creates the world’s largest single distributor of curated content for librarians and educators with $3.6 billion in combined annual sales, Follett Corporation on April 18 announced the acquisition of Baker & Taylor from private equity firm Castle Harlan Partners. Baker & Taylor will continue to operate as before, retaining its existing management team and Charlotte, NC headquarters. George F. Coe, Baker & Taylor’s President and CEO, will continue to lead the division with the new title Follett Group President, Baker & Taylor and Follett School Solutions, reporting to Follett President and CEO Ray A. Griffith.
The 11th annual 2016 Electronic Resources and Libraries (ER&L) conference featured dozens of sessions and workshops on topics including emerging technologies, e-resource management, collection development and assessment, user experience, and organizational strategies. This summary includes just a few of the sessions that LJ had the opportunity to attend.
The development and launch of Koha by New Zealand’s Horowhenua Library Trust and Katipo Communications 16 years ago and the creation of Evergreen by the Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) in 2006 were greeted with a lot of enthusiasm by the library field. Whether generated in-house, or purchased from a commercial vendor, integrated library systems (ILS) have always been costly, and, in theory, the prospect of libraries collaboratively working on open source systems held a lot of promise. In some ways, these solutions are still living down the early hype.
Company profiles of Auto-Graphics, Inc., Axiell Group, BiblioCommons, Biblionix, ByWater Solutions, EBSCO Information Services, Equinox Software, Follett Software Company, Infor Library & Information Solutions, Innovative Interfaces, Inc., LibLime, a division of PTFS, The Library Corporation (TLC), Mandarin Library Automation, Inc., OCLC, ProQuest, and SirsiDynix.
According to a recent LJ survey, a majority of librarians are happy with their current integrated library system (ILS) or library services platform (LSP), with 72% of those using a commercial system saying they are satisfied (44%) or very satisfied (28%). Some 28% describe themselves as somewhat (23%) or completely (5%) dissatisfied. Similarly, 81% of open source ILS users say they are satisfied (43%) or very satisfied (38%).
On-demand streaming media, digital comics, and ebook platform hoopla debuted its new 4.0 interface today at the Public Library Association’s (PLA) 2016 conference in Denver. Reflecting feedback from libraries and patrons, the new interface includes an advanced search feature enabling discovery of titles from across the platform’s various formats, and a Kids’ Mode feature that instantly weeds out all teen and adult-targeted content to customize the hoopla experience for children.
The transition from print to electronic record keeping has made it easier and less expensive to store data and search for information, yet this trend has had troubling implications for individual privacy and the security of personal data, explained Mariko Hirose, staff attorney for the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) during the “Privacy Toolkit for Librarians” seminar held on March 22 at Long Island’s Farmingdale Public Library (FPL). Co-sponsored by the Greater New York Metropolitan Area chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Long Island Library Resources Council, the half-day event included presentations by Hirose and Library Freedom Project director and 2015 LJ Mover & Shaker Alison Macrina, covering topics including electronic surveillance, records subpoenas, and ways in which libraries can protect their patrons.