Author Archive: Marshall Breeding

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


Google promoted its “Libraries Ready to Code” joint initiative with ALA.

Tech Power

July 19, 2017

I probably spend more time in the exhibit hall than most conference attendees—you may have seen me browsing the aisles or rushing to my next appointment. The meetings I have with company executives and product experts inform much of my research and writing for months to come as a chronicler of the library technology industry. … Continue reading Tech Power


Library Systems Report 2017

Library Systems Report 2017

May 1, 2017

More statistics on sales performance, installations, and personnel for 2016 are available here. Consolidation deep and wide Library technology continues to consolidate horizontally and vertically. Horizontal consolidation—the merging of companies with similar business activities—shaped some of the larger players in the industry, such as Follett, and Infor Library and Information Solutions, Innovative Interfaces, Lucidea, OCLC, … Continue reading Library Systems Report 2017


Products related to makerspaces, like these from TeacherGeek, had a strong presence this year.

Hot Venue, High Tech

July 20, 2016

Though turnout was a bit lighter than usual (16,597 total attendance), many exhibitors mentioned that traffic was brisk. Vendors appreciated the opportunity to engage with current and potential library customers. Consistent with the consolidation of the industry, there were fewer booths, and many vendors showed off an ever-expanding portfolio of gadgets and devices. Technology products … Continue reading Hot Venue, High Tech


Dispatches, by Marshall Breeding

Protecting Patron Privacy

May 31, 2016

Secure communication on the web provides two important benefits: identifying the website authoritatively enabling encrypted communications between the user’s browser and the server that provides the resource Encryption algorithms transform the data into a seemingly garbled form that, if intercepted, cannot be deciphered. The use of a secure communication protocol (HTTPS) provides the best approach … Continue reading Protecting Patron Privacy


Library Systems Report

Library Systems Report 2016

May 2, 2016

Libraries have much at stake in products that align well with their strategies, resonate with their patrons, and facilitate the work of their staff. Previously established products are evolving to gain long-overdue modernization. In an era of web-based and cloud computing, library technology has held fast to aspects of the previous age of client–server computing. … Continue reading Library Systems Report 2016




SirsiDynix booth at ALA 2015 Annual Conference and Exhibition

A Look at Tech

July 23, 2015

One current trend in library technology aims to improve the engagement of patrons with libraries or to provide tools to help users work more effectively. In many respects, the technologies on display reinforced the theme of the “Library Systems Report 2015,” operationalizing the innovations brewing in recent years, including the increased adoption of Semantic Web technologies … Continue reading A Look at Tech


2015 Library Systems Report

Library Systems Report

May 1, 2015

Tied to the economy of libraries, the vendors that make up the library technology industry support a stable but highly constrained economic sector, with global opportunities. Library budgets may never recover to pre-recession levels, fueling interest in technology to improve their efficiency and the impact of collection resources. Products able to deliver efficiency, innovation, and … Continue reading Library Systems Report


Library Systems Report

Library Systems Report 2014

April 15, 2014

This phase of the industry offers many choices, including both proprietary and open source license options, some based on cloud technologies and others that continue to rely on local hardware. Though a new generation of library services platforms has entered a phase of early adoption, the integrated library system remains viable, especially when extended to … Continue reading Library Systems Report 2014


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Enabling Access, Engagement, and Efficiency

July 30, 2013

Technology, as always, was on display at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Consistent with the strong attendance figures, activity in the exhibit hall seemed especially brisk this year. As the largest exhibition of library-oriented technology and content products worldwide, ALA Annual offers librarians a unique opportunity to review the latest offerings from nearly every … Continue reading Enabling Access, Engagement, and Efficiency