The library authorities, their systems and the vendors



Summary overview of the library technology market


Supporting Print, Digital, and Mobile:Multiple platforms in the ALA exhibit hall. By Marshall Breeding American Libraries 5 August 2014
Good short summary of the overall library technology market: "As the world’s largest exhibition of library products, the ALA Annual Conference continues to be a unique opportunity to assess current technologies from an almost comprehensive representation of library vendors."

‘Change will be relentless.’By Ken Chad. CILIP Update September 2012
If you are in the market for library systems, what should you be looking for? Needs vary across sectors: corporate, legal, public, school, college, and university – and circumstances differ between individual organisations. Nevertheless, there are enduring similarities between libraries and these are reflected in the market for library systems. The library management system – LMS (or, in US parlance, the integrated library system – ILS) remains the core system for many libraries. However, the weakness of the conventional LMS in terms of managing electronic resources means it is diminishing in importance.The article looks at the key technology themes influencing library system development.


Reviews of the global library technology market


Library Systems Report 2014: Competition and strategic cooperation. By Marshall Breeding. 15 April 2014

From the article:
"The library technology industry saw sharp competition in 2013, with a wide range of products vying to fulfill ever-rising expectations. To better position themselves for this critical period during which many libraries are considering options for their next phase of technology, a significant number of major vendors worked to extend their global reach, streamline internal organizations, and complete ambitious product developments. Competition has intensified for the applications used by library personnel to manage the collections and automate their operations, including the new generation of library services platforms as well as enhanced integrated library systems. Discovery services continue as a major area of activity, seen by libraries as especially critical given their intimate connections with customers, serving as one of the main delivery vehicles for access to collections and services"

Value of the market in 2013

From the article: "We estimate the 2013 library technology economy, including the total domestic and international revenues of all the companies with a significant presence in the US and Canada, at around $790 million, an increase of just more than 2% relative to last year’s estimate of $770 million. US revenues of these companies total around $485 million. We continue to estimate the global library technology industry aggregate revenues at around $1.8 billion, which would also include RFID and other self-service products in addition to the technologies related to library management and resource discovery. Within these broad industry figures, each experienced a varying range of increases or losses in revenue".

Perceptions 2013: An International Survey of Library Automation,by Marshall Breeding. Library Technology Guides. 3 February 2014

From the introduction
"This seventh annual Library Automation Perceptions Report provides evaluative ratings submitted by individuals representing over three thousand libraries from 53 countries describing experiences with 136 different automation products, including both proprietary and open source systems. The survey results include 730 narrative comments providing candid statements -- both positive and negative – about the products and companies involved or statements of intent regarding future automation plans. This report analyzes the results of the survey, presents a variety of statistical tables based on the data collected, and provides some initial observations. It aims to provide information to libraries as they evaluate their options for strategic technology products and to the organizations involved in providing these products and services as constructive criticism to help guide improvements"

'Automation Marketplace 2013: The Rush to Innovate.' By Marshall Breeding. Digital Shift (Library Journal) 2 April 2013
Snippets from the article:

Value of the market 2012

'For the 2012 calendar year, we calculate the library technology economy, including the total domestic and international revenues of all the companies with a significant presence in the United States or Canada, at $770 million, an increase of just under three percent relative to last year’s estimate of $750 million. A narrower view limited to only U.S. revenues of these companies would total around $475 million. When looking at the global library automation market, we estimate aggregate revenues of around $1.8 billion, which would also include radio-frequency identification (RFID) and other self-service products in addition to the technologies related to library management and resource discovery'

Investment

'Recent investment activity also seems to be centered on strengthening product development.'

The library management system (LMS/ILS)

'There remains a large number of libraries that continue to find the basic model of the ILS well suited to their needs. Public libraries, for example, continue to be vigorously involved with the circulation of their print collections. The ILS designed to manage print collections efficiently continues to be well used in these libraries. The rub comes with the near explosive impact of ebook lending on public libraries'.

Open source

'The idea of open source resonates with most libraries, but practical concerns trump philosophical preference. With open source now considered a routine option, these systems will prosper only to the extent that they are well supported and deliver on efficiency and innovation.'

Market place summary (2012)


'Automation Marketplace 2012: Agents of Change' Marshall Breeding The Digital Shift (Library Journal) 29th March 2012

'Today we see a new cycle beginning that brings libraries into alignment with the shift to cloud computing and the increasing dominance of electronic and digital content relative to library collections and services.

A new round of competition is heating up to place these new products in libraries, replacing their own legacy products and aiming to displace those of other companies. Ex Libris’s Alma, OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services, Innovative Interfaces’ Sierra, and Serials Solutions’ Intota, as well as the open source Kuali OLE project, are positioned to move toward more dominant market share through a product cycle that will play out over the next decade. These new-generation products will compete with well-established proprietary and open source systems following an evolutionary path,

As issues regarding ebook lending roil libraries, publishers, and service providers such as OverDrive, automation vendors are working to integrate ebook management and access effectively into their management platforms and discovery services.'