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 ILS giant SirsiDynix continues, but the firm did appoint a new COO. Matthew Hawkins will be responsible for the company’s Client Care, Implementation, and Consulting & Education organizations. He will be based in Provo, Utah.
A long, hot summer still has room for some acquisitions. The Berkeley Electronic Press (BePress) announced that it would be purchasing Digital Commons, a turnkey Institutional Repository (IR) solution, from ProQuest. This is not a huge surprise given the rise in IR awareness and the fact that BePress created the software in the first place.
Don’t go thinking that ProQuest is going anywhere. On one of its many other fronts, AquaBrowser (owned by Bowker, which is owned by ProQuest) announced today that it would be setting up dedicated sales and support in North America, namely New York City. And who better to lead that group than the person who led AquaBrowser sales for The Library Corporation? Jimmy Thomas, former Director of Strategic Products with TLC, will become the AquaBrowser Library Product Director, North America. Of course, this does reposition TLC’s exclusive distributorship deal with Medialab, the former owner of the AquaBrowser software. Quoting from the release:
“The Library Corporation will remain an external AquaBrowser distribution partner of Medialab in the U.S. and Canada. New AquaBrowser customers now have the choice to purchase AquaBrowser either directly through the new dedicated AquaBrowser team in the U.S., or through the proven services from The Library Corporation.”
It seems moderately odd that AquaBrowser would juxtapose its “new-ness” against TLC’s “proven-ness.” But who am I to judge? AquaBrowser has even more to be happy about with the incorporation of LibraryThing data in its interface.
Making stranger bedfellows is a deal between Care Affiliates and WebFeat for the latter to provide its library of database connectors for Index Data’s Masterkey federated search solution. This could very well be a model for open source and proprietary software collaboration, in that open source metasearch solutions have a “last mile” problem in connecting to databases for which there is no standard connection protocol. Whether the connectors themselves will now be available as open source remains to be seen.
[This post originally appeared as part of American Libraries’ Hectic Pace Blog and is archived here.]