Library Systems Landscape 2015:
SirsiDynix Adds to Community Funded Services Suite
Ex Libris Launches Developer Network
Open Source Picks Up the Pace
Kuali Goes Commercial
Ontario, CA; 800-776-6939
Auto-Graphics offers a suite of modular automation and resource sharing products including the VERSO integrated library system (ILS), SHAREit interlibrary loan (ILL) and consortial borrowing solution, SEARCHit federated search tool, and MARCit cataloging resource.
In summer 2014, Auto-Graphics released VERSO 4. This latest version of the company’s web-based ILS enables library staff to use tablets and mobile devices for tasks including checkout and inventory management. Purchase Alert Ratio and Library Turnover rate reports can now be generated by VERSO 4’s enhanced reporting system. A new UX (user experience) design module makes it easy for staff to customize the appearance of a library’s website and OPAC, while responsive design techniques have been employed to make it easier for patrons to use the website and OPAC on mobile devices of any size. Separately, a new “ClusteRed results” feature presents all formats in which a resource is available in a single search results display.
Lund, Sweden; (011) +46 46 270 04 00
Ottawa, Ont. (for Selago Design); 312-239-0597
Axiell Group is the leading supplier of IT systems and services to European libraries and since the company’s March 2013 acquisition of Netherlands-based Adlib Information Systems offers a range of tailored library management systems under the Adlib Library, Adlib Museum, and Adlib Archive brands. These basic systems are primarily focused on cataloging, but optional expansion modules including Adlib Acquisitions, Adlib Loans (for circulating books and other resources), and Adlib Serials as well as the Adlib Internet Server customizable OPAC, Adlib Mobile Suite staff client, and Adlib Mobile Connect patron app enable libraries, special libraries, and museums to scale these solutions to fit very specific needs.
Axiell systems are used in more than 1,000 public libraries and 3,000 school and special libraries, primarily in northern Europe, and Adlib systems are used by more than 1,600 clients in 30 countries. The company also operates Ottawa, Ont.–based Selago Design, developers of the Mimsy XG logistics and collections management system, used primarily by museums, galleries, and archives.
BiblioCore is the foundation of BiblioCommons’ suite of patron interface tools. It integrates with a library’s ILS and replaces the functions of a traditional online catalog, adding features including patron-friendly discovery tools, faceted searching, and social media functions such as user commenting and tagging. Other tools include mobile apps, platforms for managing events and reading programs, and the vendor-agnostic BiblioDigital ebook platform and web-based, HTML5-compliant BiblioReader. BiblioCore is also fully integrated with OverDrive, the 3M Cloud Library, and Baker & Taylor’s (B&T) Axis 360, enabling the discovery and checkout of ebooks directly from the catalog at libraries that do not use BiblioDigital.
In partnership with the Chicago Public Library, BiblioCommons debuted BiblioCMS in April 2014. The fully integrated catalog and website content management system (CMS) enables libraries to highlight collections, events, services, staff members, and other resources on a flexible, customizable homepage designed to encourage browsing.
BiblioCommons also launched its Partner Portal last year, featuring a new ticketing support system, documentation on all BiblioCommons services, Community Forums to encourage collaboration, webinars for library staff, and other resources.
Austin, TX; 877-800-5625
Austin, TX–based Biblionix offers the Apollo ILS. Since Apollo debuted in 2006 at Austin’s Westbank Community Library, Biblionix has adhered to a targeted philosophy with three key elements: Apollo is available exclusively as a hosted software as a service (SaaS), sales of the ILS are limited to public libraries only, and a library can freely extract its own data/catalog records at any time. Company officials say that approach streamlines updating, third-party integration, and support services for customers, while enabling Biblionix to take a more focused approach toward development than would be possible if Apollo was also used by K-12, academic, and special libraries.
The web-based ILS is accessible on tablets and mobile devices. In November 2014, the company introduced responsive design techniques into the public catalog, enabling libraries to present a consistent interface across desktop and mobile devices.
Biblionix was recently ranked the best library technology vendor in LibraryWorks’ 2015 Library Purchasing Survey.
West Haven, CT; 888-900-8944
ByWater Solutions supports the open source Koha ILS, offering training and hosting solutions and helping libraries with migration, feature development, and 24-7 tech support. Although Koha originally debuted in 2000 as an ILS solution for small, single-site libraries, 15 years of community-led development have since made Koha a viable option for larger libraries as well. For example, the Rutgers University Law Library in December 2014 announced its intent to migrate from a commercial ILS to Koha with the support of ByWater.
ByWater made two major announcements in recent months. In January, the company launched a crowdfunding site that will help fund patches and new functions. In February, ByWater announced that it would be working with EBSCO to integrate the EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) into Koha and would be a key contributor to a broader Koha upgrade effort funded by EBSCO.
EBSCO Information Services
Ipswich, MA; 800-653-2726
EBSCO Information Services is a leading provider of research databases and offers the EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) discovery layer, which indexes content from more than 20,000 journal publishers and 70,000 book publishers—providing full-text search capabilities for much of this content—and enables patrons to search their library’s entire catalog alongside other EDS content via a single search box.
EBSCO integrates EDS with products from about 30 ILS providers including SirsiDynix, Innovative Interfaces Inc., and OCLC (WorldShare Management Services).
Last April, EDS parent EBSCO Information Services announced a new policy on metadata sharing that made all metadata for 129 of the company’s full-text databases, more than 550,000 ebooks, and more than 70 historical digital archives available to third-party discovery services, including EDS competitors.
EBSCO in February announced plans to fund and assist the integration of EDS into the open source Koha ILS (see “Open Source Picks Up the Pace,” p. 35ff.), along with several other Koha projects, including the upgrade of Koha’s full-text search engine to Elasticsearch.
Duluth, GA; 877-673-6457
Founded by the original developers of the open source Evergreen ILS, Equinox Software offers hosting, training, and development support primarily for Evergreen, as well as the open source Koha ILS. Evergreen was originally developed to support a large consortium of Georgia libraries.
Last year was a busy one for Equinox. July marked the official launch of the company’s new Sequoia Services Platform, a cloud-based environment that enables Equinox to host instances of Evergreen, Koha, and FulfILLment (a new open source ILL product) with a software as a service (SaaS) model. Although Equinox plans to continue offering support services to libraries that host Evergreen locally, company officials expect the majority of their customers will be moved to Sequoia by the end of 2015.
Separately, Equinox has been working to translate the Evergreen staff client into a web-based client. In August, they completed the first development “sprint” of this process, implementing circulation features and building the infrastructure necessary for future work. Cataloging workflows are the focus of “Sprint 2,” which was in progress at press time.
Ex Libris Group
Jerusalem, Israel; 972-2-649-9100
Newton, MA; 617-332-8800
More than 5,500 libraries in 90 countries worldwide use Ex Libris products, which include the ALEPH and Voyager ILS, Primo discovery solution, Rosetta digital preservation system, and SFX OpenURL link resolver. The company’s next-generation library management service Alma was designed from the ground up to unify the management of print and digital resources and enable comprehensive analytics of a library’s entire collection.
Ex Libris has long encouraged open development of extensions for its library management products, and last April the company launched the Ex Libris Developer Network. The successor to the company’s EL Commons platform, the Ex Libris Developer Network is an open environment designed to facilitate collaboration among programmers, IT professionals, and others interested in building applications and extensions for Ex Libris products. It features comprehensive API and integration documentation, an API testing environment, a blog and online forum for users, links to community-developed code and apps, and a dashboard for viewing usage analytics and managing implementations of open interfaces.
Follett Software Company
McHenry, IL; 815-344-8700
A division of the Follett School and Library Group, the Follett Software Company (FSC) offers the Destiny family of resource management products for K–12 schools, including the Destiny Library Manager ILS. The system is designed to offer seamless integration with other Follett solutions—including those outside the Destiny family—such as the TitleWave and BryteWave procurement platforms, the WebPath Express Internet search and filtering tool, and Follett’s State Standards Service.
FSC introduced several new features to Destiny Library Manager last year as part of versions 12.0 and 12.5. Most notable was the “Universal Search” federated search tool introduced last spring. Universal Search enables students to search their school library’s print and electronic resources with a single query, and in the fall, new features were added to enable students to limit search results to reading level, interest level, or reading program. Other recent features include the addition of ebook cover images from Follett’s TitlePeek service.
Infor Library & Information Solutions
New York; 800-260-2640
Although international enterprise software conglomerate Infor is headquartered in New York City, the company’s V-Smart ILS, V-Insight analysis tools, and Iguana platform are most widely implemented in Europe, where the system originated in the late 1970s as the Vrije Universiteit Brussel Information Systeem (VUBIS) at the Free University of Brussels library in Belgium. Launched in 2010, the Iguana platform melds a library’s website and catalog, and integrates social media sharing tools and personal interest profiles in an effort to enhance online browsing while encouraging visitors to promote their library to friends. Current V-Smart libraries include the City of Paris Library Network, the Amsterdam Public Library, and the Vatican Library in Rome.
In December, V-Smart 3.0 was released for general use, featuring a new version of the ILS’s browser client interface, RDA support, enhancements to order administration via EDI, new indexing and searching tools, including restriction by statistical category, added-by-date, by authority lists, and searching in multiple fields with Iguana.
Innovative Interfaces, Inc.
Emeryville, CA; 510-655-6200
Innovative Interface Inc. (III) made waves last spring with its acquisitions of Polaris Library Systems and VTLS Inc., bringing the Polaris ILS and VTLS’s flagship Virtua ILS, Chamo Discovery (catalog with integrated social media functions), and VITAL digital asset management solution into the fold with III’s proprietary Millennium ILS, next-generation Sierra Library Services Platform (LSP), Encore Discovery Services Platform, SkyRiver cataloging utility, Decision Center data-driven collection management solution, and Content Pro digital asset management system, among other products.
In November, Bill Schickling, principal architect of the Polaris ILS and former president and CEO of the company, was named VP of global sales for III. In October, Polaris launched Leap, a tablet-friendly mobile staff client.
Other unique, recently launched features of the Polaris ILS include “Community Profiles,” a tool that allows local organizations to input information about events, resources, and news into the library catalog, to be surfaced through regular OPAC searches.
Ultimately, III plans to take the “best in class” solutions from this portfolio of products and build a next-generation, cloud-based suite of tools that will work with Polaris, Virtua, or Sierra on the back end.
LibLime, a division of PTFS
North Bethesda, MD; 301-654-8088
LibLime provides services, training, and development support for the LibLime Koha and LibLime Academic Koha forks of the open-source Koha ILS used in more than 700 libraries globally, with most of the company’s customers in the United States. Since 2010, LibLime’s variants of Koha have proceeded down a different development path from the broader Koha community, and updates, patches, and new functionality developed for LibLime versions are not compatible with general Koha. However, LibLime has continued to publish its version of Koha as open source. All instances of LibLime Koha are installed as software as a service (SaaS) in LibLime’s distributed computing cloud platform, eliminating the need for local servers.
An annual subscription fee based on a library’s total bibliographic record count includes hosting, maintenance, and tech support. LibLime also offers sponsored development, enabling libraries to pay for customization and enhancements to the ILS, which later become available to other LibLime Koha users.
The Library Corporation (TLC)
Inwood, WV; 304-229-0100
The Library Corporation (TLC) offers the Library.Solution ILS for public, academic, and special libraries; Carl.X for consortia and large library systems such as the Los Angeles Public Library; and Library.Solutions for Schools for the K–12 market, each of which can be installed on local servers or hosted by TLC. Last year marked the family-owned company’s 40th anniversary.
In August, TLC launched CARL.Connect Circulation, the first module of a tablet-friendly mobile staff client. This initial module is designed to enable librarians to conduct tasks such as weeding and collection analysis while in the stacks, or handle patron registration and materials checkout and check in at off-site events. Cataloging, acquisitions, and serials interfaces are on the way, and, ultimately, Carl.Connect will fully replace the Carl.X Windows-based staff client.
Last year, the company also launched RDAExpress, a new ILS-agnostic service that converts a library’s catalog records to conform to resource description and access (RDA) standards while adding enriched content such as relator terms in name fields to enhance discovery.
Mandarin Library Automation, Inc.
Boca Raton, FL; 800-426-7477
Mandarin Library Automation offers M3, a traditional ILS solution, as well as the Oasis/CMS web-based, hosted ILS service. The M3 core package includes cataloging, searching, and barcode label printing functions, but optional, individually priced modules are available for a web OPAC, serials and acquisitions management, SIP2 authentication, textbook management, and more.
As its name would imply, the Oasis/CMS includes an integrated content management system (CMS), which enables libraries to meld catalog functionality into a customizable patron-facing website, simplifying the creation and management of common website features such as events calendars, book selections, reading lists, slide shows, top ten lists, RSS feeds, and embedded videos. The company has been encouraging M3 customers to move to Oasis with incentives including free migration.
Recent developments include the launch of an OPAC for children, which incorporates reading level–range search functions to help align materials with Common Core Standards. Oasis is also integrated with TABvue, the online content platform with 3,000 titles curated for grades K–8.
Dublin, OH; 614-764-6000
OCLC has played a growing role in the next-generation library services platform (LSP) marketplace since the launch of WorldShare Management Services (WMS) in 2011. The system leverages WorldCat data, drawn from the collections of more than 74,000 libraries in 170 countries, to streamline tasks ranging from acquisitions and cataloging to resource sharing.
OCLC describes WMS as “vendor neutral,” and the cloud-based, software as a service (SaaS) LSP features an open infrastructure intended to encourage integration of applications from third-party developers. Development of applications and extensions is facilitated by the OCLC Developer Network, which includes extensive documentation for OCLC products, electronic lists and forums for developers, an API explorer, and more.
Although WMS got off to a slow start, adoption of the system increased dramatically during the past year. In June, the University of Delaware library became the 200th library to go live with the system. Within the next nine months, more than 125 additional libraries went live with WMS.
Ann Arbor, MI; 800-521-0600
In November 2013, ProQuest launched Intota Assessment, a collection analytics service designed to enable academic libraries to work with print and electronic resources together, combining circulation data with qualitative information from sources including Books in Print, Resources for College Libraries, and Ulrich’s to generate dozens of comprehensive reports such as cost per use, cost by subject, and peer analysis.
Intota Assessment can integrate with any ILS to operate as a stand-alone analytics service, but it is also a key component of the Intota library services platform (LSP) which officially launched in June. The “v1” release integrates ProQuest’s Summon discovery service, 360 Link resolver, and Intota Assessment and Intota e-resource management services into a single platform. Intota has been built from the ground up with the view that e-resources will continue to displace print collections, and this earliest version primarily streamlines e-resource workflows. For example, the integration enables demand-driven acquisition (DDA) automation, activating ebook records in Summon directly from the ProQuest Knowledgebase. With “v2,” scheduled for release at the end of 2015, Intota will get closer to ProQuest’s goal of offering an ILS or LSP replacement.
Lehi, UT; 800-288-8020
Offering the Horizon, Symphony, and Unicorn ILS platforms, the eResource Central electronic content integration tool, as well as the Portfolio and Enterprise discovery solutions and the BookMyne mobile app, among other products, SirsiDynix has one of the largest customer bases in the field, supporting more than 23,000 library systems in over 70 countries.
Rather than build a cloud-based library services platform from the ground up as OCLC has done with WorldShare Management Services and Ex Libris has done with Alma, SirsiDynix has been building its BLUEcloud Suite (BCS), a portfolio of new and upgraded SirsiDynix solutions available as cloud-based modules for its existing Horizon and Symphony ILS. This approach has enabled the company to offer next-generation administration, cataloging, circulation, serials, and analytics tools without requiring customers to migrate to a new system.
Patron-driven revenue streams are a unique new initiative at SirsiDynix (see sidebar, p. 31). A January 2014 service pack release integrated BLUEcloud Commerce into the Symphony ILS, giving Symphony libraries a native payment processing solution, and also enabling them to charge convenience fees for processing debit and credit cards.