Beyond the ILS: A New Generation of Library Services Platforms

Beyond the ILS: A New Generation of Library Services Platforms

Marshall Breeding (Library Technology Guides, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3938-6.ch002
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Abstract

This chapter focuses on the changes in integrated library systems (ILS) over the past thirty years as the focus shifts from collecting physical items to electronic and digital materials. The relationship between the ILS and new specialized applications, including link resolvers, knowledge bases of e-content, electronic resource management systems, digital asset management systems, discovery services, and institutional repository platforms is discussed and placed in context. In addition to looking at workflows with these new systems, a general discussion of how academic libraries are likely to engage with these new systems, the time frames in which we can expect availability and widespread adoption, and any cautions or concerns to have in mind when selecting or implementing these systems.
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Introduction

For the last thirty years or more, academic libraries have relied on integrated library systems to help them manage and provide access to their collections and services. The ILS was designed at a time when academic library collections consisted primarily of physical items and they provided automated support for a very broad range of the tasks related to the management and access of these materials. The transition to ever increasing proportions of electronic and digital materials pressed the ILS beyond the limits of what it was designed to manage.

In order to deal with these new formats, the current phase of library automation leaves the ILS in place, but surrounded by other specialized applications, including link resolvers, knowledge bases of e-content, electronic resource management systems, digital asset management systems, discovery services, and institutional repository platforms. This approach, while filling in needed functionality, results in duplication of effort and inefficiencies for library personnel in the way that they work and makes use of library resources difficult for patrons as they attempt to navigate through a complex matrix of interfaces and services.

This chapter will address the technologies emerging now that address the current and future needs of academic libraries. The chapter will describe and give perspective on some of the projects and products emerging in this context. An early section will describe some of the general concepts embraced by each, including unified workflows across all collection formats, highly shared data models, open API’s and engagement with community developers, as well as general technology trends such as multi-tenant software-as-a-service. Sections will be devoted to some of the major products: Ex Libris Alma, OCLC WorldShare Platform, Serials Solutions Web-scale Management Solution, Innovative interfaces’ Sierra, and Kuali OLE

The chapter will conclude with some analysis, perspective, and projections on how academic libraries are likely to engage with these new systems, the time frames in which we can expect availability and widespread adoption, and any cautions or concerns to have in mind when selecting or implementing these systems.

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