New But Not Surprising

Posted On Nov 9 2007 by

I always wish that I would put more of my predictions in writing. At least the ones that I ended up being right about. Actually, even being wildly wrong can be fun. Anyway, here’s one I predicted, but the formal announcement is missing some of the details that folks might not be aware of. SirsiDynix, the seemingly last library vendor on the market without a detailed plan for a “next generation catalog,” has made an OEM agreement with Brainware for a next-generation faceted search solution. The press release is online (pdf). The release is slated for Summer 2008 . . . …


ICE is Nice

Posted On Aug 29 2007 by

I am willing to admit that I remain skeptical about the “one big pile” approach to next generation catalogs that is sweeping the library automation world. While I don’t agree that advanced relevance ranking techniques are ineffective on bibliographic records (go look, there is no literature that I can find on this topic…there’s tons on full-text, but nothing on surrogate record relevance), I wonder what happens when the catalog becomes more than it used to be. If a relevance algorithm is based on whether or not a library holds a title, what happens when an article is thrown in the …


Still Here

Posted On Aug 21 2007 by

No, I did not drop off the face of the planet, and I recognize that 13 days without a post is the blogospheric equivalent of digital disappearance. Vacation, followed by vacation recovery, was the cause of my absence. Summer is coming to an end. Classes at NCSU start today. My kids go back to elementary school next week. We made it through another summer. In the meantime, there have been some library automation happenings of note. I think we made it through the entire summer season without the loss, merger, or acquisition of a single ILS entity! Some attrition at …


Putting the World in WorldCat

Posted On Jul 3 2007 by

Seems like a guy can barely put a print column to bed before there’s another change in the library automation landscape. Back (and exhausted) from ALA, I gleefully submitted my column copy for the August issue of the magazine (during the day even, and not the few minutes before midnight on the day of my deadline as usual) when what should appear but another press release from OCLC. With this much e-mail, Bob Murphy should be on my buddy list! OCLC has just purchased the remaining shares of OCLC PICA, the European arm of the library cooperative. OCLC PICA was …


What Next? Part 3: Challenge

Posted On Jun 6 2007 by

This is the third and final instalment of “What’s Next” for the library automation marketplace. Time to review: Major consolidation of the library automation market, the emergence of viable open source software solutions and new business models for supporting them, and a somewhat rancorous and impatient customer base that fears that profit and efficiency have out-gunned innovation and service. This is the making for a dangerous cocktail. What’s a vendor to do? What’s a library to do? The Prod IMHO, I suspect that most libraries are going to sit tight. As have been mentioned many times, the pain and expense …