Waves of change are crashing on the shores of the library profession. New media, new tools, new techniques, and new expectations collide to cause excitement, anxiety, confusion, and concern. It may be difficult to determine where we are and where we are going. At our present crossroads, it is useful to view the pressures and effects of change on our services as a matrix of commercial versus local on one axis and physical versus digital on the other. Interesting observations about the nature of content and our reaction to it can be made at the intersections of commercial and local with physical and digital. This essay uses these intersections to examine the waves of content coming to the library and our ways of managing it.
In the course of putting together the JISC/SCONUL Library Management Systems Study, the authors interviewed the four major vendors of integrated library systems in higher education in the U.K.: Ex Libris, Innovative Interfaces, SirsiDynix and Talis. Among the “who are you” and “what do you do” questions were two that get to the heart of what many of us are clamoring for from our vendors:
- How do your products interoperate with products those from other LMS/ERM vendors?
- Do you have partnerships with other LMS/ERM vendors?
Since three of the four are also leading vendors in North America (and I’m betting the fourth would like to be one as well), I think it is instructive to look at how these four vendors answer these two questions.1
As our profession re-examines itself and the services we provide to users, we seem to spend a great deal of time concerned about the way our “web front door” looks and operates. That is, we expect web users to come through the front page of our website and so we agonize over the features as well as the look-and-feel of our portal of information. A section of the JISC & SCONUL Library Management Systems Study1 released last month suggests a different path for our information environment: one where the content is not bound to the confines of our web portals. This is the first in a series of posts over the next few days and/or weeks that explore this and other observations and commentary found in the JISC/SCONUL report.
OhioLINK is engaged in building a “trusted digital repository” on behalf of its membership. As we build it, we want to have an understanding of what “trusted” means, and so we are engaging in an audit process to assess whether we can claim to be trustworthy. This process is panning out to have four major phases:
- Research common and best practices for preservation.
- Evaluate the OhioLINK policies and processes against common and best practices.
- Perform a gap analysis between where we are now and where common and best practices suggest we should be.
- Propose and adopt policies and processes that get us closer to the ideal common and best practices.
This is a report at the end of phase 1. Earlier this year, two major reports were released that address how one measures a “trustworthy repository.” The two reports are summarized below, followed by a recommendation.
I’ve been tasked to write a whitepaper envisioning a Service Oriented Architecture for OhioLINK’s services and operations. I’ve found a bit of information through my own networking and searching, but in putting out this list and asking for additions I want to be sure that I’m not already missing the holy grail of documents that I could just rebrand as an OhioLINK document. (With appropriate permission, of course.) I’m looking for strategic/explanatory documents over technical documents, although the latter will undoubtedly be useful in later iterations and derivatives of the whitepaper.