Library Services Platforms: A Maturing Genre of Products

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Library Technology Reports, May/June 2015 (51:4)

The genre of library services platforms helps libraries manage their collection materials and automate many aspects of their operations by addressing a wider range of resources. They take advantage of current technology architectures compared to the integrated library systems that have previously dominated. This seminal category of library technology products has gained momentum in recent years and is positioned to reshape how libraries acquire, manage, and provide access to their collections as they go forward into the next decade. This issue of Library Technology Reports explores this new category of library software, including its functional and technical characteristics. The issues covered include

  • differences with integrated library systems, which remain viable for many libraries and continue to see development along their own trajectory;
  • an up-to-date assessment of library services platforms, ranging from those that have well-established track records to those that remain under development;
  • the relationship between library services platforms and discovery services;
  • a general overview of major products, discussing their high-level organization of functionality, and adoption patterns relative to size and types;
  • a look at libraries that have implemented platforms and how these libraries perceive their performance.

Marshall Breeding

Marshall Breeding is an independent consultant, speaker, and author. He is the creator and editor of Library Technology Guides ( and the online directory of libraries. He is the editor for Smart Libraries Newsletter, published by ALA TechSource, and has authored the annual Library Systems Report, published in American Libraries since 2014. He has also edited and authored several books, articles, and book chapters; was formerly the director for innovative technology and research for the Vanderbilt University Library; and regularly teaches workshops and gives presentations both throughout the United States and internationally at library conferences.

Library Technology Reports

Published by ALA TechSource, Library Technology Reports helps librarians make informed decisions about technology products and projects. Library Technology Reports publishes eight issues annually and provides thorough overviews of current technology. Reports are authored by experts in the field and may address the application of technology to library services, offer evaluative descriptions of specific products or product classes, or cover emerging technology. Find out more information on this publication and how you can subscribe here.