Library Technology Guides

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Smart Libraries Newsletter

Volume 32 Number 01 (January 2012)

Author / Title
Breeding, Marshall, Smarter Libraries through Technology: What's in store for 2012
As we enter a new year, I’d like to pause and consider some of the trends and events that I anticipate playing out in 2012. The predictions I made for 2011 largely held (see Smart Libraries Newsletter, February 2011). Given the momentum of developments and the issues currently in play, 2012 may turn out to be a very interesting year in the realm of library technologies.
Breeding, Marshall, Endeca for Library Discovery: Implications of Oracle’s Acquisition
Oracle is a giant in information technology. The company has expanded light years beyond its original database product, and is one of the key providers of infrastructure for business applications and Internet services. Oracle has executed a steady stream of strategic acquisitions over its corporate history and has acquired a large number of companies, including other giants like PeopleSoft, Sun Microsystems, and dozens of others. Oracle does not produce products specifically for libraries, though libraries, like any organization dependent on technology, rely on hardware and software components for their core technology infrastructure.
Breeding, Marshall, MySQL: Implications of Oracle’s Ownership
A closely-watched aspect of Oracle’s business acquisitions involves its ownership of MySQL, an open source relational database extremely popular among Web-based applications, including many in the library realm. Sun Microsystems acquired the database platform from MySQL AB in January 2008 for around $1 billion. Its January 2010 acquisition of Sun Microsystems brought MySQL into the Oracle fold. The ownership of the dominant open source relational database engine by a company whose flagship product is a proprietary database technology has caused some concern in the library world.
Breeding, Marshall, Phoenix Public Library: Blending Discovery into the Web Presence
Phoenix Public Library has used Endeca’s technology in a way markedly different from its usage in other libraries. Most implementation of new-generation catalogs or discovery interfaces focuses on the search and delivery of resources in the library’s collection. Phoenix Public Library used the Endeca platform to power its entire Web site, producing a unified user experience across all the different services and content resources. This library makes use of two of Endeca’s products—Information Access Platform and E-Commerce—to go beyond search and retrieval in the catalog but to also promote library resources in ways similar to the merchandizing techniques seen in an online retail destination.
Breeding, Marshall, A New Wave of Executive Management Changes
Several companies made major changes in their management in recent weeks. These changes generally reflect senior management adjustments following changes at the CEO level made earlier in the year and are part of the expected pattern of establishing management teams aligned with the new top leadership.