Library Automation News at ALA Midwinter

The 2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego was not one characterized by major announcements by the field of library automation vendors. Rather, most of the companies reported incremental progress on existing products or projects previously announced. Developments seen at the conference boil down into themes of a shift toward cloud computing, increasing interest in and development in discovery services, and emerging products that embrace new models of library automation.
The twenty-first annual “RMG Presidents Seminar: the view from the top” included the presidents from each of the major library automation companies and focused primarily on the theme of the ILS shifting to a model of implementation through software-as-a-service. While each of the companies offers some flavor of SaaS, the discussion revealed many different interpretations of cloud computing and relative advantages and disadvantages of deploying an ILS as a service. The panel reinforced the trend, as seen throughout the technology and automation products represented at the conference, that a major shift is underway from local implementations to cloud-based services.

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