This first edition of Library Systems Landscape, the successor to LJ’s annual Automation Marketplace feature, will examine how library systems are currently evolving, specifically focusing on recent advances in ebook integration, the emergence of next-generation library services platforms (LSP), new tools that are expanding the boundaries of what library websites and catalogs can do, and the maturation of open source options as competitors to commercial products.
Led by Koha and Evergreen, open source ILS solutions continued to demonstrate steady growth in 2013. These systems appeal to libraries for a variety of reasons. Unlike commercial ILS products, open source code can be accessed and altered by anyone with the expertise, enabling libraries to conduct or outsource priority development work on their own schedule, rather than wait for their requests to wend their way through a vendor’s queue.
Gale today launched Analytics On Demand, a new geographic information system (GIS) that combines local demographic data with information from a library’s ILS to generate real-time reports on circulation trends and patron lifestyles. Powered by business analytics provider Alteryx, with regularly updated demographic and consumer lifestyle segmentation data from Experian Mosaic, the foundation of the new service is built on the same tools as Gale’s DemographicsNow: Business and People.
Innovative Interfaces Inc. (III) today announced that it has acquired Polaris Library Systems, bringing together two of the leading providers of library automation technology. The combined companies will be led by III CEO Kim Massana, with former Polaris President and CEO William Schickling joining Innovative as VP, Public Library Products. Several other Polaris executives will also join Innovative’s management team, including VP of Sales Scott McCausland and VP of Customer Operations Jodi Bellinger. Polaris’s headquarters in Syracuse, NY will be retained as a center for operations.
Innovative Interfaces Inc. (III), developer of the Millennium ILS and next-generation Sierra Services Platform among other discovery and automation solutions, this month announced a partnership with Bibliotheca, the global RFID, EM/RFID hybrid and barcode-based library solutions supplier. Both companies describe the partnership as a strategic alliance that will enhance the integration of their respective software and hardware products.
ProQuest subsidiary Serials Solutions launched Intota Assessment, a collection analytics service designed to give libraries a holistic view of their serial and monograph holdings in both print and electronic formats, facilitating a comprehensive, data-driven approach to collection management. Intota Assessment is the first launch of the Intota cloud-library services platform (LSP).
Decision Center, the collection management solution developed by Innovative Interfaces Inc (iii), released new features that will help users manage floating collections across multiple branches and, separately, anticipate demand for new titles. Decision Center, which replaced iii Reporter when it went into general release in June, is designed to work with iii’s Millennium ILS or its Sierra Services Platform.
OverDrive’s most recent agreement touts plans for “deep API integration” with Innovative Interfaces Inc. (III) products, including Sierra and the Encore Discovery Services Platform, including new API updates that “will include the ability to check out and place a hold on ebooks from a library’s online catalog,” according to a company announcement. The integration will also enable a “seamless experience,” within OverDrive’s Content Reserve collection portal, offering the option of viewing a library’s physical and digital holdings side-by-side
Polaris Library Systems and Baker & Taylor (B&T) have announced that they are working together to integrate B&T’s Axis 360 digital media platform into the Polaris integrated library system (ILS). The integration will allow patrons to browse, place holds, and check out ebooks digital materials sourced from Axis 360 without navigating away from a library’s catalog.
In this time of transition of the library automation industry, stakes are high for the vendors that are creating innovative—or even transformative—products and competing to bring these products first to the market. Establishing momentum early is essential in the library arena, which is attentive to the successes of a vendor’s peers and risk averse.