Polaris Library Systems and Baker & Taylor (B&T) have announced that they are working together to integrate B&T’s Axis 360 digital media platform into the Polaris integrated library system (ILS). The integration will allow patrons to browse, place holds, and check out ebooks and other digital materials sourced from Axis 360 without navigating away from a library’s catalog. Axis 360 will also communicate all digital transaction and circulation status data directly to the ILS, enabling librarians to generate statistics on their Axis 360 collection in real time or in periodic circulation reports.
Both companies expect the integration to be complete in time for live demos during the American Library Association’s Annual Conference, June 27th through July 2, 2013 in Chicago.
“When librarians told us that they needed to be able to give their patrons single point access to e-content, we started talking to as many providers as we could to see how we could make this a reality,” Steven Nielsen, vice president of product management for Polaris, said in a press announcement.
“Many of the vendors we talk to are interested in working with us, and we’re thrilled that B&T has been one of the first to commit.”
Spurred in part by the 2012 founding of the ReadersFirst initiative, in which dozens of libraries demanded that vendors improve the ebook browsing and checkout experience for patrons, several vendors have begun working to develop integrated systems. Notably, both of these companies have been involved in prior integration efforts. In January, B&T announced that Axis 360 had been integrated into SirsiDynix’ eResource Central electronic resource management solution, which complements the company’s Symphony and Horizon ILS. Last year, Polaris collaborated extensively with the 3M Cloud Library to develop a suite of application programming interfaces (API) that integrated the Cloud Library with the Polaris ILS.
In a recent discussion with LJ, Livia Bitner, vice president of technical services and product development for B&T, said that the company had “been reaching out to all ILS vendors to work together” on integration efforts.
“B&T continues to pioneer electronic content services that fully integrate with the systems and workflows of our library customers,” George Coe, president of Baker & Taylor’s Library & Education group, said in the announcement. “Our achievements with publishers and library systems vendors make it easy for libraries to build and manage digital collections, and for their patrons to seamlessly access the electronic materials they want on the devices they prefer to use.”