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Wednesday, 30th January 2008

Report on Librarians’ Feelings About Automation Is More ‘Validating’ Than ‘Surprising’

Report on Librarians’ Feelings About Automation Is More ‘Validating’ Than ‘Surprising’
From the Info Today NewsBreak by Kathy Dempsey:

Keeping tabs on the world of library automation technology can be a difficult and confusing task, so it helps to have someone like Marshall Breeding to do it for us. For nearly 2 decades he has been methodically tracking both integrated library system (ILS) companies and individual ILS products. This month he published the results of a new survey, the first where he asked librarians how satisfied they are with their current ILS products, vendors, and support services and how likely they are to explore open source products. The data he culled from nearly 1,800 respondents in 47 countries paints an interesting picture.

The full report, "Perceptions 2007: An International Survey of Library Automation," published only on Breeding’s Library Technology Guides site (www.librarytechnology.org/perceptions2007.pl), does clearly rank some products above others. But, as Breeding points out, readers need to evaluate the results "with the proverbial grain of salt. … I worry that surveys like this one draw out the negative more than the positive. A survey provides an opportunity to vent against a vendor during a problematic episode, even when the relations with that vendor have been positive over the longer term." But he calls the survey "an important exercise" to gauge opinions on the current state of automation.

Source: Information Today


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