Opening Up Library Systems through Web Services and SOA: Hype, or Reality?

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Featured in the January 2010 Computers in Libraries "Books to Check Out" column by Deborah Poulson.

Libraries are increasingly demanding the ability to exploit their library systems (LIS) using application programming interfaces (APIs), Web services, or other technologies. This issue of Library Technology Reports explores how vendors of open source library technology are approaching this desire for customization plus an in-depth exploration of trends towards APIs, Web services, and the service-oriented architecture.

Topics Covered in this Issue Include:

  • Why Should Libraries Care about Application Programming Interfaces?
  • APIs: Basic Concepts
  • Vendors and Products: Case Studies and Customer Responses
  • API Hype and Reality
  • Conclusions and resources

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.