An introductory guide to library technologies, now in its fourth edition!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Alas, poor NOTIS! I knew him, Horatio . . .

Marshall Breeding's excellent Library Technology Guides site offers a visual chronology of library systems and mergers and acquisitions in the industry. It does give one some pause as you consider the possibilities of choosing a vendor (for library systems or anything else) who may not be around for more than a few years. NOTIS was around for nearly twenty years and now is ten years gone. On the other hand, a some of the vendors have been around in some form for 20 or 30 years.

Longevity of any technology provider, let alone the technologies themselves, is something of a crap-shoot. This state of affairs does show the importance of flexibility in technology planning and adaptation. We need to go into any new system or service with the idea that future events could alter them entirely, staying aware of those events and being prepared to shift when the time comes. As well, existing, foundational pieces of our library services must also be viewed with question.

The chart shows that predictions are few, changes are many, and that yet, somehow, libraries and their technologies persevere.

No comments: