Until recent times, the basic model of library automation centered on an integrated library system, including an online catalog and circulation functions. As the emphasis of academic libraries has made a dramatic shift toward access of subscribed electronic content and digital collections, the online catalog has been relegated to a search tool for the physical collection, as discovery interfaces are providing broader discovery across all varied components of library collections.
We need robust, flexible and scalable discovery and search platforms capable of handling diverse types of materials. As new platforms emerge that aim to provide more comprehensive automation for libraries, the author hopes they will encompass support for public services activities as well as internal library functions.
Marshall Breeding, Computers in Libraries, May 2011