Monday, February 18, 2013

ALA Midwinter Tech Wrap

A ALA Midwinter Tech Wrap up recording is now available.

Technology trends from ALA midwinter are presented by Jason Griffey, Head of Library Information Technology, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, and blogger for ALA TechSource, Marshall Breeding, Director for Innovative Technologies and Research, Vanderbilt University Libraries, Library Automation Writer and Expert, and Sue Polanka, Head of Reference and Instruction at the Wright State University Libraries in Dayton, Ohio, Vice President/President Elect of the Academic Library Association of Ohio and author/moderator of No Shelf Required.

Several interesting trends/products were highlighted.  All three presenters mentioned a new product called Mediasurfer, a piece of hardware designed to maintain and circulates tablets, iPads and e-readers. E-books continue to gain importance.  Ebrary has launched an IOS app for its content featuring Facebook sign in and the ability to read offline within the app.  Sue Polenka highlighted an interesting comparison of statistics.  Overdrive reports that it has "doubled" its usage with 1.6 billion  title pages viewed, 9.9 million visitors, 3.5 million check outs and 1.7 million holds.  Compared with Library Journal's Patron Profile data reporting that 23% of patrons are unsuccessful in their attempts to download ebooks because of technical issues, 44% reporting content unavailable and 74% reporting that they want more titles at their library.

Marshall Breeding concentrated on trends in integrated library systems.  He refers to the new genre of systems with different underlying assumptions as "Library Services Platforms".  These systems, exemplified by  ExLibris' Alma product, attempt to provide unified workflows across material types, make use of highly shared "knowledge-base" data models, and are designed to live "in the cloud".

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