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A paper presented by Judith Pearce, Director Web Services Branch; Warwick Cathro, Assistant Director General, Information Technology Division; and Tony Boston, Director Digital Services Project at VALA 2000 – 10th VALA Biennial Conference and Exhibition, Melbourne, Victoria, 16 – 18 February, 2000

In this paper we discuss the role of the OPAC as a hybrid library service and of the catalogue server as a provider element in a hybrid information environment. We identify developments required in the search and retrieval capabilities of the catalogue server to operate effectively in such an environment. We look under the hybrid library bonnet at the functions and metadata needed for management of online and physical collections. Lastly, we look at the architecture needing to be supported by library systems for storage and delivery of digital collections in a hybrid information environment.

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by Marshall Breeding
Computers in Libraries – March 2009

The downturn in the economy has taken its toll on libraries. Even in the best of times, most libraries have to work with budgets that are barely adequate to support their essential activities. In these recent months, the recession has subtracted significant funds from the parent organizations of many libraries: city, county, and state governments; public and private colleges and universities; schools; and corporations. In the sphere of libraries with which I’ve interacted, some have faced drastic budget cuts, including givebacks in their current fiscal cycle; others have been more lightly touched, facing only a year or so of zero-growth budgets. I’ve not heard from any libraries that expect increases in funding on the order of what they had a year ago.

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by Marshall Breeding
Computers in Libraries – 1 February 2009

The article discusses the use of automation software by libraries. The library automation environment favors systems that can deliver, in one way or another, products that allow libraries more liberal access to their data. Open source software is not the only approach possible as libraries seek options to gain more access and control over their data and other aspects of their technology environment.

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by Marshall Breeding
Bulletin – December 2008/January 2009

Following an era lasting more than two decades where companies offering integrated library systems (ILS) under traditional closed-source license arrangements, the library automation industry has seen a burst of activity in the last few years involving open source ILS alternatives.

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by Marshall Breeding
Library Technology Guides – 18 January 2009

This report describes the results of a survey that I conducted to gather data regarding the perceptions of libraries toward their automation systems, the organizations that provide support, and the quality of support they receive. It also aims to gauge interest in open source library automation systems.

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View the interactive version of the survey results