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The Future of Integrated Library Systems: . Moving toward new models and open systems. Marshall Breeding Director for Innovative Technologies and Research Vanderbilt University

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the future of integrated library systems

The Future of Integrated Library Systems:

Moving toward new models and open systems

Marshall BreedingDirector for Innovative Technologies and Research

Vanderbilt University

Massachusetts Library Association


The Future of the ILS

Tuesday, May 6 9:30 – 10:30am

  • Libraries demand choice. No matter which ILS (Integrated Library System) a library uses, the future is changing rapidly and libraries are facing difficult choices. This presentation will provide a review of the business and industry trends affecting ILSs as well as forecast what emerging technologies in the next generation ILS will bring to libraries.
technology landscape
Technology Landscape
  • Most ILS products from commercial vendors mature
    • None less than a decade old
    • Approaching end of life cycle?
  • Evolved systems
  • No success in launching new systems in the commercial sphere
    • Horizon 8.0
    • Taos
current vintage
Current Vintage
  • ALEPH 500 1996
  • Voyager 1995
  • Unicorn 1982
  • Polaris 1997
  • Virtua 1995
  • Koha 1999
  • Library.Solution 1997
  • Evergreen 2004
  • Talis 1992
business landscape
Business Landscape
  • Library Journal Automated System Marketplace:
    • Opportunities Emerge in the midst of Turmoil (2008)
    • An Industry redefined (2007)
    • Reshuffling the Deck (2006)
  • An increasingly consolidated industry
  • Moving out of a previous phase of fragmentation where many companies expend energies producing decreasingly differentiated systems in a limited marketplace
  • Private Equity playing a stronger role then ever before; VCs exit
  • Narrowing of product options
  • Increasing dissatisfaction with purely commercial, closed source options
  • Open Source opportunities rise to challenge the grip of traditional commercial model
industry health 2008
Industry Health 2008
  • Overall industry showing some growth; individual companies more profitable then ever.
  • Mixed company growth according to personnel counts:
    • Ex Libris +6%
    • Innovative + 5%
    • Library Corporation -10%
    • SirsiDynix -28%
  • ILS sales represent smaller portion of revenue
  • Many smaller libraries purchasing automation systems
  • Very few large library ILS procurements
other business observations
Other Business Observations
  • Creative tension abounds
  • Level of innovation falls below expectations, despite deep resources and large development teams.
  • Companies struggle to keep up with ILS enhancements and R&D for new innovations.
  • Pressure from investors/owners to reduce costs, increase revenue
  • Pressure from library customers for more innovative products
  • Some companies investing in technology; expanding markets
ils migration trends
ILS Migration Trends
  • Few voluntary lateral migrations
  • Forced Migrations
    • Vendor abandonment
    • Need to move from legacy systems
    • Exit from bad marriages with vendors
    • Exit from bad marriages with consortia
role of the ils in library automation strategies
Role of the ILS in Library Automation Strategies
  • It’s never been harder for libraries to justify investments in ILS
  • Need for products focused on electronic content and user experience
    • Next-gen interfaces
    • Federated search
    • Linking
    • Electronic Resource Management
a new direction in library automation
A new direction in library automation
  • A successful pitch for new automation software is one that enables significant transformation toward a new vision of the library.
  • Can’t keep doing the same thing in the same way
  • Back-end systems make only a moderate impact on customer service delivery
an age of less integrated systems
An age of less integrated systems
  • Increasingly dis-integrated environment
  • Core ILS supplemented by:
    • OpenURL Link Resolvers
    • Metasearch / Federated Search
    • Electronic Resource Management
    • Next Generation Library Interfaces
    • RFID / AMH
no longer an ils centric industry
No longer an ILS-centric industry
  • Portion of revenues derived from core ILS products diminishing relative to other library tech products
  • Many companies and organizations that don’t offer an ILS are involved in library automation:
    • Cambridge Information Group
      • ProQuest
        • Serials Solutions
        • WebFeat
      • Bowker
        • Syndetic Solutions
        • AquaBrowser
  • MuseGlobal
oclc in the automation industry
OCLC in the Automation Industry
  • Initial foray into next-gen interface arena: WorldCat Local
  • Technology acquisitions:
    • OCLC Pica purchased Sisis on July 1, 2005 for $4,504,700
    • OCLC Pica purchased FDI on Nov 2, 2005 for $8,913,100
    • OCLC purchased Openly Informatics for $1,950,000
    • OCLC purchased DiMeMa on Aug 14, 2006 for $3,916,200
    • EZproxy acquired in Jan 2008
  • Library automation services at the network level
    • Not an ILS?
    • An “ILS killer”?
open source alternatives
Open Source Alternatives
  • Explosive interest in Open Source driven by disillusionment with current vendors
  • Beginning to emerge as a practical option
  • TOC (Total Cost of Ownership) still roughly equal to proprietary commercial model
  • Open Source still a risky Alternative
  • Commercial/Proprietary options also a risk
    • “The SirsiDynix announcement changed the landscape of the ILS marketplace; the traditional ILS market is no longer a haven for the risk adverse.” (
open source initiatives
Open Source Initiatives
  • Multiple projects to develop Open Source ILS
    • Koha Zoom
    • Evergreen
    • OPALS-NA (K-12 Schools)
    • Delft Libraries
  • Multiple projects to develop Open Source Next-gen Catalogs
    • VU Find (Villanova University)
    • C4 prototype (University of Rochester River Campus Libraries)
andrew w mellon foundation
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • Soliciting a proposal for the design of an Open Source ILS for higher education
  • Led by Duke University
    • Early stages. Proposal in development
  • First and Second stage funding for eXtensible Catalog
market share perspective
Market share / Perspective
  • Open Source ILS implementations still a very small percentage of the total picture
  • Initial set of successful implementations will likely serve as a catalyst to pave the way for others
  • Successful implementations in wider range of libraries:
    • State-wide consortium (Evergreen)
    • Multi-site public library systems (Koha)
    • School district consortia (OPALS-NA)
open source companies
Open Source Companies
  • Index Data
    • Founded 1994; No ILS; A variety of other open source products to support libraries: search engines, federated search, Z39.50 toolkit, etc
  • LibLime
    • Founded 2005. Provides development and support services for Koha ILS. Acquired original developers of Koha in Feb 2007.
      • Marc Roberson – VP Library Partners
      • John Rose – VP Strategic markets
      • Debra Denault -- Operations Manager
  • Equinox.
    • Founded Feb 2007; staff formerly associated with GPLS Pines development team
  • Care Affiliates
    • Founded June 2007; headed by industry veteran Carl Grant.
impact of open source
Impact of Open Source
  • Formidable competition to commercial closed-source products
    • Alternative to the traditional software licensing models
  • Pressure to increase innovation
  • Pressure to decrease costs
  • Pressure to make commercial systems more open
  • Disrupts the status quo
open source ils benchmarks
Open source ILS Benchmarks
  • Most decisions to adopt Open Source ILS based on philosophical preferences
  • Open Source ILS will enter the main stream once its products begin to win through objective procurement processes
    • Hold open source ILS to the same standards as the commercial products
    • Hold the open source ILS companies to the same standards:
      • Adequate customer support ratios, financial stability, service level agreements, etc.
  • Well-documented total cost of ownership statements that can be compared to other vendor price quotes
  • Do the Open Source ILS products offer a new vision?
working toward a new generation of library interfaces
Working toward a new generation of library interfaces
  • Redefinition of the “library catalog”
  • Traditional notions of the library catalog are being questioned
  • Better information delivery tools
  • More powerful search capabilities
  • More elegant presentation
redefinition of library catalogs
Redefinition of library catalogs
  • More comprehensive information discovery environments
  • It’s no longer enough to provide a catalog limited to the traditional library inventory
  • 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
comprehensive search service
Comprehensive Search Service
  • More like OAI
    • Open Archives Initiative
    • Consolidated search services based on metadata and data gathered in advance
  • Problems of scale diminished
  • Problems of cooperation persist
  • Eg: Royal Library of Denmark
web 2 0 flavorings
Web 2.0 Flavorings
  • A more social and collaborative approach
  • Web Tools and technology that foster collaboration
  • Tagging, social bookmarking, user rating, user reviews, community interaction
the holy grail of new gen library interfaces
The holy grail of New Gen Library Interfaces
  • A single point of entry into all the content and services offered by the library
  • Print + Electronic
  • Local + Remote
  • Locally created Content
interface expectations
Interface expectations
  • Millennial generation library users are well acclimated to the Web
  • 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.
  • “Did you mean?” and other features to avoid “No results found”
  • More like this / related content
interface expectations cont
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
    • Ability to explore collections without a priori knowledge
  • Navigational Bread crumbs
deep search
Deep search
  • Increasing opportunities to search the full contents
    • Google Library Print, Google Publisher, Open Content Alliance, Microsoft Live Book Search, etc.
    • High-quality metadata will improve search precision
  • Commercial search providers already offer “search inside the book”
  • No comprehensive full text search for books quite yet
  • Not currently available through library search environments
beyond discovery
Beyond Discovery
  • Fulfillment oriented
  • Search -> select -> view
  • Delivery/Fulfillment much harder than discovery
  • Back-end complexity should be as seamless as possible to the user
library specific features
Library-specific Features
  • Appropriate relevance factors
    • Objective keyword ranking + Library weightings
    • Circulation frequency, OCLC holdings, scholarly content
  • Results grouping (FRBR)
  • Collection focused (vs sales-driven)
enterprise integration
Enterprise Integration
  • Ability to deliver content and services through non-library applications
  • Campus portal solutions
  • Courseware
  • Social networking environments
  • Search portals / Feed aggregators
smart and sophisticated
Smart and Sophisticated
  • Much more difficult than old gen OPACS
  • Not a dumbed-down approach
  • Wed library specific requirements and expectations with e-commerce technologies
architecture and standards
Architecture and Standards
  • Need to have an standard approach for connecting new generation interfaces with ILS and other repositories
  • Proprietary and ad hoc methods currently prevail
  • Digital Library Federation
    • ILS-Discovery Interface Group
new gen library interfaces

New-Gen Library Interfaces

Current Commercial and Open Source Products

endeca guided navigation
Endeca Guided Navigation
  • North Carolina State University

  • McMaster University

  • Phoenix Public Library

  • Florida Center for Library Automation

aquabrowser library
AquaBrowser Library
  • Queens Borough Public Library
  • Oklahoma State University
  • University of Chicago
ex libris primo
Ex Libris Primo
  • Discovery and Delivery platform for academic libraries
  • Vanderbilt University

  • University of Minnesota

  • University of Iowa

encore from innovative interfaces
Encore from Innovative Interfaces
  • Designed for academic, public and special libraries
  • Nashville Public Library

  • Scottsdale Public Library

  • Yale University Lillian Goldman Law Library

oclc worldcat local
OCLC Worldcat Local
  • OCLC Worldcat customized for local library catalog
    • Relies on hooks into ILS for local services
    • Tied to library holdings set in WorldCat
  • University of Washington Libraries

  • University of California Melvyl Catalog
  • Recently announced their next generation discovery environment named Enterprise
    • Relies on Globalbrain technology from Brainware
  • Many legacy interfaces
    • Enterprise Portal Solution
    • Rooms / SchoolRooms
    • iLink / iBistro (legacy)
  • Product based on FAST announced in March 2006 – withdrawn
vufind villanova university
VUFind – Villanova University

Based on Apache Solr search toolkit

library developed solutions
Library-developed solutions
  • eXtensible Catalog
  • University of Rochester – River Campus Libraries
  • Financial support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
working toward a new ils vision
Working toward a new ILS Vision
  • How libraries work has changed dramatically over the last 20 years.
  • ILS built largely on workflows cast more than 25 years ago
  • Based on assumptions that have long since changed
  • Digital resources represent at least half of most academic libraries collection budgets
  • The automation needs of libraries today is broader than that provided by the legacy ILS
libraries ready for a new course
Libraries ready for a new course
  • Level of dissatisfaction with the current slate of ILS products is very high.
  • Large monolithic systems are unwieldy—very complex to install, administer and maintain.
  • Continue to be large gaps in functionality
    • Interlibrary loan
    • Collection development
    • Preservation: print / digital
    • Book binding
    • Remote storage operations
less proprietary more open
Less Proprietary / More Open
  • Libraries demand more openness
  • Open source movement greatest challenge to current slate of commercial ILS products
  • Demand for open access to data
    • API’s essential
    • Beyond proprietary APIs
    • Ideal: Industry-standard set of API’s implemented by all systems
    • Current DLF initiative to define API for an ILS for decoupled catalogs
open but commercial
Open but Commercial?
  • As library values evolve toward open solutions, commercial companies will see increasing advantages in adopting more open strategies
  • Open Data
    • Well documented database schemas
    • APIs for access to all system functionality
  • More customizability; better integration
  • Open Source Software?
  • Key differentiation lies in service and support
comprehensive automation
Comprehensive automation
  • Need the ability to automation all aspects of library work
  • Suite of interoperable modules
  • Single point of management for each category of information
  • Not necessarily through a single monolithic system
more lightweight approach
More lightweight approach
  • More elegant and efficient
  • Easier to install and administer
  • Automation systems that can be operated with fewer number of technical staff
redefining the borders
Redefining the borders
  • Many artificial distinctions prevail in the legacy ILS model
  • Online catalog / library portal / institutional portal
  • Circulation / ILL / Direct consortial borrowing / remote storage
  • Collection Development / Acquisitions / budget administration
  • Library acquisitions / Institutional ERP
  • Cataloging / Metadata document ingestion for digital collections
  • Digital / Print workflows
separation of front end from back end
Separation of front-end from back-end
  • ILS OPAC not necessarily best library interface
  • Many efforts already underway to offer alternatives
  • Too many of the resources that belong in the interface are out of the ILS scope
  • Technology cycles faster for front-end than for back-end processes.
service oriented architecture
Service-oriented Architecture
  • Work toward a service-oriented business application
  • Suite of light-weight applications
  • Flexibility to evolve in step with changes in library services and practices
enterprise interoperability
Enterprise interoperability
  • Interoperate with non-library applications
  • Course management
  • Accounting, finance, ERM applications
  • External authentication services
  • Other portal implementations
massively consolidated implementations
Massively consolidated implementations
  • State/Province-wide ILS implementations
  • Increased reliance on consortia
  • Increased Software as a Service / ASP options hosted by vendors
  • Radical simplification of library policies affecting services offered to patrons
fitting into the global enterprise
Fitting into the Global Enterprise
  • Leverage capabilities of search engines:
    • Google, Google Scholar, Microsoft Live, Ask, etc
  • OCLC WorldCat
  • Sort out the relationships between the global enterprise and local systems
  • Leverage the content in enterprise discovery systems to drive users toward library resources
revise assumptions regarding metadata
Revise assumptions regarding Metadata
  • Reliance on MARC widely questioned
  • XML widely deployed
  • The next-gen ILS must natively support many flavors of metadata: MARC, Dublin Core, Onix, METS, etc
  • Library of Congress Subject Headings vs FAST
  • Approaching a post-metadata where discovery systems operate on actual digital objects themselves, not metadata about them
    • High-quality metadata will always improve discovery
  • Incorporate content from mass digitization efforts
  • Increasing proportions of rich media content: audio, video
competing in an crowded field of information providers
Competing in an crowded field of information providers
  • Commercial Web destinations increasingly overlap with services offered by libraries
  • Expectations of users set by their experiences with commercial destinations
  • Web-based library services need to be on the same level
  • Pressure to revamp library interfaces, discovery, and delivery tools
new models of software development
New models of Software Development
  • Role of commercial partners
    • Break out of marketing / consumer model
    • Substantial dialog that shapes the direction of product development
  • Increased partnerships
  • Accelerated development cycles
  • Cost-effective / realistic cost expectations
evolution vs revolution
Evolution vs Revolution
  • What we have today is a result of 35 years of evolution
  • Is it possible to break free of the constraints of these evolved systems toward a new generation that will offer a fresh approach?
  • Are libraries now willing to let go of the of ILS legacy of times past and move forward with library automation cast in a new mould.
a unique opportunity
A unique opportunity
  • Web 2.0 has invigorated libraries toward more open and collaborative strategies
  • Service Oriented Architecture provides a platform for assembling library systems more in tune with the needs of today’s libraries
  • Intense interest by both libraries and vendors to catch up and move forward in delivering library interfaces that work better for today’s Web-savvy users