Marshall Breeding – VALA2010 Day 2 Morning Plenary

Marshall Breeding – Vanderbilt University Libraries – Blending evolution with revolution: a new cycle of library automation spins on

Library Technology Guides (website) is where Marshall puts all the information he gathers as he does his research. It shows whats going on in the field of library automation.  Check out the chart on the Australian LMS scence at  Interesting to look at the current standings of LMS’s, but more interesting to look at the dynamics of change – who is taking the library field into the future.

Perceptions 2009 – third annual survey, gatherered November to January, over 2000 responses with 109 from Australia and New Zealand. Asks library staff about what system they use and what they really think about it. Its not just gossip, its an informal survey showing what people really think of the products they use.  Available online.

Observations from this study: smaller library and nice products generally receive better perception scores, companies supporting proprietary products generally higher satisfaction that those involved  with open source, except for libraries already using open source – these products were perceived as poor performing.

Library Journal Automation Marketplace – published annually in April 1 issue, based on vendor provided data, focused primarily on US market. Gives a broad view of the industry.

Context: Libraries in transition – shift from print to electronic, increasing emphasis on subscribed content (especially articles and databases), strong emphasis on digitising local collections, demands for enterprise integration an interoperability. Electronic resources and projects are taking increasing amounts of library budgets.

Marshall reflected that Abbey in the VALA video from yesterday, had summed up what he wanted to get across at VALA.

New generation of library users, millenials wwho are tech savvy.

Technologies are in transition: XML is the focus, Web services and service-oriented architecture. W e are beyond Web 2.0, its now part of what we do. Moving from local to cloud computing – Saas, private and public cloud. Full spectrum of devices: full scale – netbook, tablet, mobile with the focus on mobile at present. Need to be more device indpendent.

Dynamics of the Library Automation Scene:
Evolutionary path: gradual enhancement of long-standing LMSs, wrap legacy code in APIs and Web  services.  Library market prefers evolved systems, hard to build systems from scratch.
Revolutionary path: Ex Libris URM, Kuali OPE and WorldCat Management System which are clean slate automation frameworks or cloud based.

Rethinking library automation: LMSs don’t work too well for hybrid libraries.

OLE Project is collaborative project, with NLA involved – one to watch. OCLC Management system will take what they already have (eg. WorldCat Local) and just add back end operations to make it a full LMS.

Open Source LMS are growing fastest – not just in US, big companies in Australia and New Zealand.

Opening up Library Systems through Web Services and SOA: Hype or reality? Library Technology Report. Showed that proprietary systems had more APIs for customers to use. Even best APIs are still quirky and not comprehensive – still a way to go. Need to have the widest range of APIs available, so that we can use the data the way we want to. Open APIs allows you to tweak, without using the deep source code of your LMS.

Marshall spoke about discovery layers – check my notes from the L-Plate series so that I don’t have to take these notes for the second time. 🙂  Discovery products list and information available from

Outlook for next five years: most libraries still using evolved systems, increasing ranks of next generation LMS, library resource discovery matures,, mobile, transition from local to cloud computing.