Library Automation Challenges for the Next Generation

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					           Library Automation Challenges
           for the Next Generation

                            Marshall Breeding
                            Director for Innovative Technologies and Research
                            Vanderbilt University
Tuesday 26 August 2008
Tias building, room TZ 9)
   As libraries shift toward collections of ever higher proportions of digital content,
    automation systems must likewise take a new form. This lecture will review the current
    state of library automation systems and the business climate among the companies that
    provide them.
   Recent rounds of industry consolidation resulted in an uncomfortable narrowing of
    products from the traditional automation vendors. A harsh business climate contributed
    to the rise of the open source movement which has introduced a new dynamic in the
    marketplace. Open source library automation has now entered the mainstream, with
    support options available from a new breed of companies. Traditional automation
    vendors face new competition. Libraries themselves have also become involved through
    initiatives to produce open source products, contributing new alternatives to the mix.
   A new generation of library interfaces has begun to emerge that promise to put a
    modern face on the library’s collections and services on the Web. Libraries also demand
    better tools for managing electronic resources behind-the-scenes, fueling demand for
    electronic management systems. In broader terms, the molds of the library automation
    systems in place today were cast decades ago.
   The presentation will explore the characteristics that a generation of library automation
    systems built anew for today’s libraries moving forward would embrace.
Part I.
Broad Industry and
Product Trends
                    Industry Consolidation
                    Abrupt transitions for major library
                     automation products
                    Increased industry control by external
                     financial investors
                    Demise of the traditional OPAC
                    Frustration with ILS products and vendors
                    Open Source alternatives hit the

Breeding, Marshall: Perceptions 2007 an international survey of library automation. January 2008.
LJ Automation System
   Annual Industry report published in Library
   2008:   Opportunity out of turmoil
   2007:   An industry redefined
   2006:   Reshuffling the deck
   2005:   Gradual evolution
   2004:   Migration down, innovation up
   2003:   The competition heats up
   2002:   Capturing the migrating customer
             ILS Industry in Transition

                 Consolidation through mergers and
                  acquisitions have resulted in a fewer
                  number of players; larger companies
                 Uncomfortable level of product
                 Increased ownership by external
                 Yet: Some companies and products
Breeding, Marshall “Automation system marketplace 2008: Opportunity Out of Turmoil”

                  continue on solid ground
Library Journal. April 1, 2008.
Library Automation M&A
Product and Technology
   Innovation below expectations
   Conventional ILS less tenable
   Proliferation of products related to e-
    content management
   New genre of discovery-layer
Web 2.0 / Collaborative
   Currently implemented ad hoc
   Many libraries putting up blogs, wikis, and
    fostering engagement in social networking
   Proliferation of silos with no integration or
    interoperability with larger library Web
   Next Gen: Build social and collaborative
    features into core automation components
Part II. A Mandate for
Opportunities for
   Open Source
    – Alternative to traditionally licensed software
   Open Systems
    – Software that doesn’t hold data hostage
   Open Content
    –   Open access platforms for scholarly content
    –   Institutional Repositories
    –   Bibliographic Services (OpenLibrary)
    –   Open content communities for tags, cover art,
        reviews (LibraryThing)
Open Source Alternatives

   Explosive interest in Open Source
    driven by disillusionment with current
    vendors and near-evangelical
    promotion of this software licensing
   Beginning to emerge as a practical
   TOC (Total Cost of Ownership) still
    roughly equal to proprietary
A result of industry
   Disruptions and business decisions to
    narrow options have fueled the open
    source movement
   Benefit to libraries in having additional
   Traditionally licensed and open source
    ILS alternatives will coexist in the ILS
Open Source ILS enters the
   Earlier era of pioneering efforts to ILS
    shifting into one where open source
    alternatives fall in the mainstream
   Off-the-shelf, commercially supported
    product available
   Still a minority player, but gaining
Open Source ILS options

   Koha
    – Commercial support from LibLime
   Evergreen
    – Commercial support from Equinox
    – Commercial support from Media Flex
   NewGenLib
    – Open Source ILS for the developing world
        Business case for Open
        Source ILS
           Comparative total cost of ownership
           Evaluate features and functionality
           Evaluate technology platform and
            conceptual models
           Are they next-generation systems or
            open source version of legacy models?

“Making a Business Case for Open Source ILS.” Marshall Breeding,
Computers in Libraries March 2008
Software Development
   How do companies approach software
    – Ongoing maintenance work on existing
      products (enhancement requests, bug
    – R&D toward future products (capital
    – Sponsored Development: contracted
      custom development paid for by
      individual sites, code shared with current
Observations on Open
Source ILS
   Current Open Source ILS products similar in modular
    organization and functionality to existing systems. Evolving to
    achieve the same level of features and capacity present in
    established commercial systems.
   Initial wave of Open Source ILS commitments happened in
    the public library arena. Recent activity among academic
     – WALDO Consortium (Voyager > Koha)
     – University of Prince Edward Island (Unicorn > Evergreen)
   Do the current open source ILS products provide a new model
    of automation, or an open source version of what we already
   JISC – SCONUL study did not show strong interest in open
    source ILS in the UK.
Impact of Open Source
   Library automation industry cannot be
   Some libraries moving from
    traditionally licensed products to open
    source products with commercial
    support plans
   Disruption of ILS industry
    – new pressures on incumbent vendors to
      deliver more innovation and to satisfy
More Open Systems

   Pressure for traditionally licensed
    products to become more open
   APIs (Application Programming
    Interfaces) let libraries access and
    manipulate their data outside of
    delivered software
   A comprehensive set of APIs
    potentially give libraries more flexibility
    and control in accessing data and
A Continuum of
            Closed Systems

  End User

                                                            Programmer   No
                                                              access:    programmable
                                                                         Access to the
  Functional          Cataloging Circulation Acquisitions                system.
                                                                         Captive to the
Data Stores:
                                                                         supplied by the

  Staff Interfaces:
            Standard RDBM Systems

  End User                                                               Database
  Interfaces:                                                            administrators
                                                                         can access data
                                                                         stores involved
                                                                         with the system:

  Functional          Cataloging Circulation Acquisitions                Read-only?
  modules:                                                               Read/write?

Data Stores:                                                             Developer
                                                                         shares database

  Staff Interfaces:
            Open Source Model

  End User


                                                                         All aspects of
  Functional          Cataloging Circulation Acquisitions                the system
  modules:                                                               available to
                                                                         inspection and
Data Stores:                                                             modification.

  Staff Interfaces:
            Open API Model

  End User

                                                              access:    Core
  Functional          Cataloging Circulation Acquisitions                closed.
                                                                         Third party
                             Published APIs                              developers
Data Stores:
                                                                         code against
                                                                         the published
                                                                         APIs or
                                                                         RDBMS tables.
  Staff Interfaces:
            Open Source / Open API
  End User

                                                              access:    Core
  Functional          Cataloging Circulation Acquisitions                closed.
                                                                         Third party
                             Published APIs                              developers
Data Stores:
                                                                         code against
                                                                         the published
                                                                         APIs or
                                                                         RDBMS tables.
  Staff Interfaces:
Depth of Openness

   Evaluate level of access to a products data
    stores and functional elements:
    – Open source vs Traditional licenses
   Some traditional vendors have well
    established API implementations
    – SirsiDynix Unicorn (API available to authorized
      customer sites that take training program)
    – Ex Libris: consistent deployment of APIs in major
      products, recent strategic initiative: “Open
      Platform Program”
    – Innovative Interfaces: Patron API
Universal open APIs?
   Some progress on API to support discovery layer interfaces,
    but no comprehensive framework yet.
   Many industry protocols work like APIs:
     – Z39.50, SRU/W, NCIP, OAI-PMH, OpenURL, etd
   It would be ideal if there were an open set of APIs that were
    implemented by all automation system products.
     – Third party components and add-ons would then work across all
   DLF ILS-Discovery Interface protocol. Targets interoperability
    between ILS and new genre of interfaces
            AKA: Berkeley Accords
Opportunity out of the
   More options
    – Commercial + Open Source
   More vendors
    – New open source support companies provide
      new competition
   More library involvement
    – Libraries re-energized to make significant
      contributions to the body of library automation
   Traditionally licensed and open source
    automation systems will co-exist. We have
    an interest in the success of both
Part III. Moving toward
new generation of
library automation
             Rethinking the ILS
                Fundamental assumption: Print + Digital = Hybrid
                Traditional ILS model not adequate for hybrid
                Libraries currently moving toward surrounding core
                 ILS with additional modules to handle electronic
                New discovery layer interfaces replacing or
                 supplementing ILS OPACS
                Working toward a new model of library automation
                   – Monolithic legacy architectures replaced by fabric of SOA
                   – Comprehensive Resource Management
“It's Time to Break the Mold of the Original ILS” Computers in Libraries Nov/Dec 2007
ILS: a legacy concept?
   ILS = Integrated Library System
    (Cataloging + Circulation + OPAC + Serials +
   Focused on print and physical inventory
   Electronic content at the Journal Title or
    collection level
   Emerged in the 1960’s – 1970’s
   Functionality has evolved and expanded,
    but basic concepts and modules remain
   Note: Some companies work toward evolving the
    ILS to competently handle both print and digital
    content (e.g. Innovative Interfaces)
ILS: ever diminishing role

   Many libraries putting much less emphasis
    on ILS
   Just an inventory system for physical
   Investments in electronic content increasing
   Management of e-content handled outside
    of the ILS
   Yet: libraries need comprehensive business
    automation more than ever. Mandate for
    more efficient operations. Do more with
Dis-integration of Library
Automation Functionality
   ILS -- Print and Physical inventory
   OpenURL Link resolver
   Federated Search
   Electronic Resource Management
   Discovery layer interface
Is non-integrated
automation sustainable?
   Major burden on library personnel
   Serial procurement / installation /
    configuration / maintenance cycles take
    many years to result in a comprehensive
   Inefficient data models
   Disjointed interfaces for library users
   Very long cycle to gain comprehensive
New genre of discovery
layer interfaces
   Traditional ILS OPAC inadequate for
    today’s Web-savvy library users
   Scope too narrow
   Complex, non-intuitive interface
   Yet: Necessary for some types of
   Working toward a single point of entry
    for all the content and services offered
    by the library
Common Next-Gen
Interface features
   Decoupled interface
   Advanced search engines
   Relevancy ranked results
   Faceted Navigation
   Graphically enriched displays
   Real-time interaction with ILS
   Advanced user services and
    information delivery features
Current Products
   Aquabrowser (Medialab, Bowker / Serials Solutions)
   Primo (Ex Libris)
   Encore (Innovative Interfaces)
   WorldCat Local (OCLC)
   BiblioCommons
   Visualizer (VTLS)
   eXtensive Catalog (University of Rochester)
   VUFind (open source / Villanova University)
   Scriblio (open source)
      Deep search
   Entering post-metadata search era
   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
   Beginning to appear in library search environments
     – U of Mich ( )
   Deep search highly improved by high-quality metadata

See: Systems Librarian, May 2008 “Beyond the current generation of next-generation
   interfaces: deeper search”
Architecture and
   Need to have an standard approach for
    connecting new generation interfaces with
    ILS and other repositories
   Proprietary and ad hoc methods currently
   Digital Library Federation
    – ILS-Discovery Interface Group

   Initial foray into a broader set of protocols
    that open up other aspects of the ILS
Moving toward a new
Generation of Library
   Are Legacy ILS concepts sustainable?
   New automation environment based
    on current library realities and modern
    technology platforms
   Equal footing for digital and print
   Service oriented architecture
Breaking down the
   Traditional ILS
    – Cataloging
    – Circulation
    – Online Catalog
    – Acquisitions
    – Serials control
    – Reporting
   Modern approach: SOA
           Service Oriented
           Legacy ILS + e-content
  End User

                                 Circulation   Acquisitions

  Functional                                                             Electronic
  modules:      Federated                                     OpenURL    Resource
                 Search                                        Linking     Mgmt
                                 Cataloging     Serials                   System

Data Stores:

                  Staff Interfaces:
SOA model for business
   Underlying data repositories
    – Local or Global
   Reusable business services
   Composite business applications
           SOA for library workflow


         Granular               Business
         tasks:                 Services

Data Stores:
Comprehensive Resource
   Broad conceptual approach that proposes a
    library automation environment that spans
    all types of content that comprise library
   Traditional ILS vendors: Under development
    but no public announcements
   Open Source projects in early phases
   Projection: 2-3 years until we begin see
    library automation systems that follow this
    approach. 5-7 years for wider adoption.
        Open Library
        Environment (OLE)
           Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
             – Research in Information Technology program
             – Solicited proposal / Lead institution
           Duke University selected to lead project
           Core Participants: Kansas University, Lehigh University,
            National Library of Australia, Library and Archives Canada,
            University of Pennsylvania, Marshall Breeding
           Advisory Participants: University of Chicago, Wittier College,
            University of Maryland, ORBIS Cascade Alliance, Rutgers
           Status: Proposal complete, pending formal approval from the
            Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Preparing for next
generation library
   Reassess workflows
   Separate streams for print and digital?
   Integrated processing of print and
   Opportunities to take advantage of
    SOA-based composite business
   Assemble a more ideal set of tools for
    managing serials and periodicals
Practical implications
   Determine the level of openness your library
   Off-the-shelf, traditionally licensed systems
    preferred in many libraries
   Identify issues:
    – Vendor vulnerability
    – Flexibility to reprogram
    – Special reporting needs
   Cost of operation
   Software-as-a-service
   Research and Development toward next-
    generation automation systems
Questions and

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