Next Generation

Library Services Platforms (LSPs) - the next generation of library systems

Second (January 2016) HELibTech briefing paper: "Rethinking the Library Services Platform". By Ken Chad
See below

Rethinking the Library Services Platform. (PDF Version)

Überdenken des Konzeptes “Library Services Platform“ (PDF Auf Deutsch - translated into German)


Introduction

This entry covers next generation resource *management* systems such as (Ex Libris) Alma, (OCLC) WMS, (Innovative Interfaces
) Intota etc. It does not cover Discovery systems as such - these are covered in more detail under the Discovery entry.

Who is buying Library Services Platforms? See the Procurements page to see who is out to tender and who has bought a LSP

EBSCO Supports New Open Source Project.

Software for academic libraries will be developed collaboratively. By Marshall Breeding American Libraries. April 22, 2016
"Developers and librarians are working together to create a radically new, open source library services platform (LSP) aimed at transforming the technology academic libraries rely on. Backed by a multimillion-dollar contribution from EBSCO Information Services, the participants plan to fast-track production of the software, with early versions available by early 2018.If the yet-unnamed project sticks to its schedule and finds interest as lively as expected, it could open a new chapter in library technology at least as important as the advent of LSPs and the recent rounds of major company mergers and acquisitions."

Rethinking the Library Services Platform.

By Ken Chad
Second (January 2016) HELibTech briefing paper
While a new generation of library services platforms (LSPs) has emerged there remains a very significant lack of interoperability between the various components that make up the library technology ‘ecosystem’. So, although we talk of library services *platforms*, libraries and library system vendors have not yet fully realised a platform-based, interoperable library ecosystem. Cloud computing could help break this paradigm as it is doing with ERP solution. ORACLE is no longer a single product suite but sits in The Cloud alongside interoperable applications from Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). In summary the ERP suite is being deconstructed into what Gartner, an information technology market research and advisory firm, characterises as a ‘postmodern ERP.’ This will result will be more loosely coupled ERP environment with much of the functionality sourced as Cloud services or via business process outsourcers. Will we see the same trend in library technology?
No single vendor will be able to develop all the applications necessary to meet the technology requirements of a complex library – and librarians like to see choice in the market. A more open library technology ecosystem, possibly making better use of open source components would eliminate the restrictions of a closed and monolithic suite of services from a single vendor. Solutions are moving to The Cloud but aren’t yet really platforms. It is possible that such a platform-based ecosystem model will be the “next generation” in library automation. The promise for libraries is a more flexible and cost effective solution and for users a much improved user experience.

Rethinking the Library Services Platform (LSP) By Ken Chad. UKSG eNews 27 November 2015
In a complex ecosystem no single integrated LSP will meet the needs of libraries. Using print management as one of the defining factors for an LSP is the ‘LMS/ILS tail wagging the LSP dog”. A more user centred approach is needed. Comparing LSPs with enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs), Ken suggests that we may see a similar development to what Gartner has characterised as the ‘postmodern’ ERP. They predict a “ a more federated, loosely coupled ERP environment” and Ken suggests this could be the path forward for LSPs if vendors do more to open up their platforms.

Library management system to library services platform.

Resource management for libraries: a new perspective, Ken Chad HELibTech Briefing Paper August 2015
PDF version
HTML version (HELibTech page)
This briefing paper contrasts the library resource management landscape now with the situation in 2008 when the Jisc/Sconul LMS study recommended that the time was not right for libraries to purchase a new library system. In the intervening period a new generation of 'library services platforms' (LSPs) has emerged and the pace of procurement has quickened. Ken analyses the current landscape and looks at the strategic issues around the changing nature of library collections, shared services, workflows and analytics. The paper is made available under a CC-0 license to enable easy re-use.

Library Services Platforms: A maturing genre of products.

By Marshall Breeding Library Technology Reports. (ISSN 0024-2586) American Library Association 2015

Abstract: "The genre of library services platforms helps libraries manage their collection materials and automate many aspects of their operations by addressing a wider range of resources and taking advantage of current technology architectures compared to the integrated library systems that have previously dominated. This issue of Library Technology Reports explores this new category of library software, including its functional and technical characteristics. It highlights the differences with integrated library systems, which remain viable for many libraries and continue to see development along their own trajectory. This report provides an up-to-date assessment of these products, including those that have well-established track records as well as those that remain under development. The relationship between library services platforms and discovery services is addressed. The report does not provide detailed listings of features of each product, but gives a general overview of the high-level organization of functionality, the adoption patterns relative to size, types, and numbers of libraries that have implemented them, and how these libraries perceive their performance. This seminal category of library technology products has gained momentum in recent years and is positioned to reshape how libraries acquire, manage, and provide access to their collections as they go forward into the next decade."

The Future of Library Systems: Library Services Platforms.

By Carl Grant. NISO. Information Standards Quarterly. Fall 2012. Vol 24 Issue 4 ISSN 1041-0031
This is a good summary of Library services platforms. The article provides some good definition of what cloud computing means in a Library Services Platform context and useful summaries/analysis of the various vendor offerings from OCLC, Ex Libris, Innovative Interfaces, Kulai OLE, Serial Solutions and VTLS.

The Next Generation Integrated Library System: A Promise Fulfilled?

By Yongming Wang and Trevor A. Dawes. Information Technology and Libraries. September 2012
From the abstract.."
"New library systems the second (or next) generation are needed to effectively manage the processes of acquiring, describing, and making available all library resources. This article examines the state of library systems today and describes the features needed in a next-generation library system. The authors also examine some of the next -generation library systems [Ex Libris Alma and Kuali OLE] currently in development that purport to fill the changing needs of libraries."

Factors influencing change

Some background influencing the development of library systems is explored in the following:-

‘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.

Library Systems -future visions‘ By Ken Chad January 2012
This was a ‘provocation’ presented at a joint ‘SCONUL and JISC workshop (The Squeezed Middle: Exploring the Future of Library Systems) at the end of January 2012 . ‘Disruptive innovation’ was taken as a theme and in doing so imagined a scenario where library systems (and VLEs as well!) – as least as we understand them today – don’t play a part. This is not to suggest this *is* what will happen or is even desirable.

Characteristics of of a library services platform (LSP) approaches

The change, currently under-way with resource management library systems, encompasses some or all of the following characteristics:-

  • 'Decoupled' discovery
Search and discovery (Discovery services) for end users is 'de-coupled' from 'back-end' resource management although some Library Service Platforms (LSP) may only work with a singe discovery service or may certainly have a 'preference' for one (typically the one from the vendor that provides the LSP)
  • Management of print and e-resources
The management of print and electronic (digital) resources is integrated (or 'unified')
  • Improved workflows
Related to the above is more attention to improved workflows leading to saving in staff effort and consequently lower cost of ownership
  • Interoperability
The library system elements interoperate easily with other (external) systems. This is facilitated where overall architecture of the system is based around a (web based) Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) model to allow easier lower cost integration with 'admin' systems such as student registry and finance. This can be viewed as a move from a library system to what has been called a 'library services platform' approach where various components and sub systems are 'loosely' coupled (SOA) to provide an overall solution
  • Cloud based
Systems are typically 'cloud' based. This is a move away from more conventional 'hosting' to a system that is, in effect, a single entity that is shared by many separate and distinct libraries. Such 'multi-tenant' systems offer economies of scale and the opportunity to better share data (bibliographic, data on suppliers, licences etc) across the organisations that share the system
  • Analytics
Related to the above is a move from 'management information' to 'analytics' or 'business intelligence'. This is characterised by not simply providing statistics on transactions recorded by a single library system (number of loans, items catalogued, orders placed etc), to an approach where all activity (including clickstreams) is potentially recorded and might be analysed to deliver new business insights. A cloud environment offer opportunities to collect and analyse data and detect trends across, what is in effect, a global network of systems

The business case for Library Services Platforms


The Next Generation Services Project at LSE: the Business Case and Why We Chose Alma
Anna Grigson, Head of Collection Services Group, London School of Economics and Political Science. Presentation at UKSG Conference on Alma April 2014
Managing system change at the LSE (London School of Economics) By Anna Grigson 2014

Library infrastructure: value for money?
Presentation by Ken Chad at the Jisc Library System Programme Workshop on 15th July 2013. It looked at the value and business case for making changes to library technology infrastructure

Library service platform (LSP) products

The following have been characterised as 'next generation' LSPs

Alma (Ex Libris)

(University of East London) Alma case study
NOTE: Ex libris is now (January 2016) 'a ProQuest Company' so we will inevitable see the Alma and Intota product lines merge

BLUE Cloud Campus (SirsiDynix)

Announced 27 June 2014
Bulit with a collaborative partnership with EBSCO to deliver enhanced functionality to the academic and school marketplace. The Library Services Platform gives academic and school libraries electronic and physical content management tools designed for researchers and students, as well as integration with education-specific programs like learning management systems. The service-based architecture of BLUEcloud is based on the web services and APIs available through the SirsiDynix’s integrated library systems. BLUEcloud Campus libraries have access to these same APIs and web services.

Chorus (Capita)

Intota (ProQuest)

NOTE: Ex libris is now (January 2016) 'a ProQuest Company' so we will inevitable see the Alma and Intota product lines merge

Kuali OLE(Kuali Foundation)

Kuali OLE at the University of Chicago FOSS4Lib website (LYRASIS) 17 October 2014
This case study documents the processes at the University of Chicago Library (Library) that ultimately resulted in the decision to replace the Library’s proprietary systems – SirsiDynix’s Horizon, Innovative Interfaces’ Millennium Acquisitions and Serials Solution’s AquaBrowser – with the open source VuFind user interface and Kuali OLE (Open Library Environment)
Thoughts on a 2012 Kuali OLE presentation: TBOS [the benenefits of Sharing (jisc) project] learns about KualiOLE. By Colin Sinclair, University of Stirling
Bloomsbury Library Management System (BLMS) project blog on implementing Kuali OLE.

Sierra (Innovative Interfaces)

WorldShare Management Systems -WMS (OCLC)