ProQuest, through its affiliate Bowker, on April 8 acquired SIPX, the creator of a cloud-based digital course materials solution designed to eliminate redundant spending and address copyright concerns for universities and academic libraries. SIPX co-founder Franny Lee will continue to lead the company, reporting to ProQuest Senior VP for Strategy and Business Development Ben Lewis. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Newport Beach, CA-based NetObjex, developer of turnkey “Internet of Things” (IoT) device management solutions for commercial enterprises, recently announced the launch of SmartLibrary, a system that enables libraries to transmit targeted, location-relevant messages to their patrons’ smartphones and mobile devices. The company joins library app developers Capira Technologies and BluuBeam, which each separately announced the launch of beacon services in the fall of 2014.
Selecting a library management system is never an easy decision. Vendors of integrated library systems (ILS) offer solutions tailored to public, academic, school, and special libraries, but even when organized by type, libraries are hardly one-size-fits-all organizations. Choosing a new vendor tends to mean a major investment, with a multiyear commitment to a solution that often will require new training, adaptation, and trade-offs among cost, features, and functionality. Still, it’s a tough choice that many libraries are facing once again. This second edition of Library Systems Landscape, the successor to LJ’s annual Automation Marketplace feature, will examine the impact of recent mergers, the continued adoption of next-generation library services platforms, the emergence of mobile-optimized staff clients, and new partnerships and feature development in the open source arena.
April 2014 marked the launch of the Ex Libris Developer Network, a new, open environment designed to enable IT professionals, developers, third-party vendors, and others to collaborate and experiment with applications and extensions for Ex Libris Group products, including the next-generation Alma library services platform (LSP), the Primo discovery solution, and the traditional integrated library systems (ILS) Aleph and Voyager.
Koha and Evergreen aim high with development targets. This February, EBSCO Information Services announced plans to provide funding and technical assistance for contributors to the Koha open source ILS platform. The partnership will enable an upgrade of Koha’s core search engine to Elasticsearch, the popular open source, multitenant-capable full-text search engine.
Last August, the libraries of Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, and the University of Chicago Library became the first to launch the Kuali Open Library Environment (OLE), a community-sourced library management system developed by a partnership of research libraries. Within days of Lehigh and Chicago officially announcing their implementations, Brad Wheeler, chair of the Kuali Foundation Board of Directors, announced in a conference call that the foundation would be creating a for-profit commercial entity (later named KualiCo) to support future development of the Kuali project.
Company profiles of Auto-Graphics, Inc., Axiell Group, BiblioCommons, Biblionix, ByWater Solutions, EBSCO Information Services, Equinox Software, Ex Libris Group, Follett Software Company, Infor Library & Information Solutions, Innovative Interfaces, Inc., LibLime, a division of PTFS, The Library Corporation (TLC), Mandarin Library Automation, Inc., OCLC, ProQuest, and SirsiDynix.
The W.E.B. Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst on March 26 hosted the grand opening of its new MakerBot Innovation Center. Part of the library’s Digital Media Lab, the Innovation Center features 50 3D printers, several desktop 3D scanners, and MakerBot’s proprietary Innovation Center Management Platform, which links all 50 printers together, enabling print queuing and mass production of 3D prints. UMass Amherst is the first institution to offer such large-scale access to 3D printing within a library setting.
Library streaming media provider hoopla digital has launched LightSpeed, the 3.0 version of its user interface, which includes a faster signup process for new users, a recommendation engine, multi-tiered genre-based searching, and an algorithm designed to tailor recommendations for patrons based on the usage history.