Author Archive: Marshall Breeding

Photo illustration: © Dariusz Jarzabek/Adobe Stock (library); © nongkran_ch/Adobe Stock (circles)

2020 Library Systems Report

May 1, 2020

Technology for public library automation has been mired in stagnation. It takes a substantial level of development to both maintain existing products and build next-generation technologies for the emerging realities of a given library sector. Will Ex Libris opt to invent a new platform for public libraries, as it did for academics? How it responds may … Continue reading 2020 Library Systems Report


COVID-19 vendor resources

Vendor Responses to COVID-19

April 15, 2020

Library vendors, like the libraries they serve, have shifted their operations to a primarily work-from-home model. Almost all support services and software development continue in this way. Most were well prepared to make the change, because many of their employees are accustomed to working remotely. No major service interruptions or lapses in support have taken … Continue reading Vendor Responses to COVID-19


BiblioCommons logo

BiblioCommons Acquired by Constellation Software

February 14, 2020

The transaction marks a departure from its status as a founder-owned company. Though BiblioCommons will continue to operate independently, it now falls under the ownership of a large multinational technology firm managing a diverse portfolio of technology and software companies. But unlike general private equity firms, Constellation has never sold the companies it acquires. Long-term … Continue reading BiblioCommons Acquired by Constellation Software



Ex Libris and Innovative Interfaces logos

ProQuest to Acquire Innovative Interfaces

December 9, 2019

Since December 2015, Ex Libris has been owned by ProQuest. In addition to its role as a major content provider to libraries, ProQuest is now responsible for a growing portfolio of library technology products, including major systems for resource management, content discovery, materials acquisition, reading list integration, and research services. While ProQuest faces major competition … Continue reading ProQuest to Acquire Innovative Interfaces


Dispatches, by Marshall Breeding

Personalization vs. Privacy

November 1, 2019

Commercial websites aim to capture as much personal data as possible. This data powers a global advertising ecosystem designed to strengthen retail sales through finely targeted ad placement. To manage websites and internet technologies in ways that reflect their values, libraries invariably must make difficult choices and compromises. While they may not be able to … Continue reading Personalization vs. Privacy



Library Systems Report (Illustration by (c)vladgrin/Adobe Stock and Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries)

Library Systems Report 2019

May 1, 2019

Outdated automation systems can reinforce work patterns that no longer reflect priorities as core library activities change. Bursts of innovation can create new products better aligned with current library realities. The products that emerge out of these creative booms then become mainstays that support the next phase of library operations. The academic library sector can … Continue reading Library Systems Report 2019


Dispatches, by Marshall Breeding

Discovery Services

January 2, 2019

An academic library can assemble several combinations of products, depending on the ways in which it organizes its website and discovery environment and the types of resource management systems it has in place. One critical debate has recently emerged: Should discovery services be bundled or acquired à la carte? Perspectives differ regarding the benefits of … Continue reading Discovery Services


Exhibit Hall opening, #alaac18

Tech in the Exhibit Hall

July 18, 2018

The conference brought together more than 750 companies and organizations in the world’s largest exhibition of library-oriented technology. This roundup describes a few of the products that caught my eye. It’s not a comprehensive report; there were just too many interesting items on hand to write about them all. Seeking synergies ProQuest is a good … Continue reading Tech in the Exhibit Hall


Library Systems Report

Library Systems Report 2018

May 1, 2018

Academic libraries are looking beyond efficiencies in collection management or improvements in library-provided discovery services. Instead, they are addressing broader education needs by inserting relevant resources into platforms that support the curriculum and enhance their institutions’ research activities. Public libraries seek technologies that improve engagement with their communities. These libraries value reliable and feature-rich automation … Continue reading Library Systems Report 2018


Dispatches, by Marshall Breeding

Open Source Software

November 1, 2017

Integrated library systems (ILS), as well as the new genre of library services platforms, are offered to libraries primarily as proprietary products controlled by a single vendor. Libraries that use these products remain dependent on that vendor for ongoing software development, solutions to systemic problems, and service enhancements. While proprietary software remains the dominant approach, … Continue reading Open Source Software