May 4-29, 2015
The integrated library system (ILS) has undergone dramatic changes in recent years. Transitioning one of our primary tools from a mature, client-based system into a newly architected Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud based system, vendors are transforming how we do our daily work. This class will give students an opportunity to step back and reflect on what that means and where this change is leading us. We will begin with a general historical overview of both the ILS software itself and the market that sprang up to provide it. From there we will explore the evolution of the software into its mature form and the consolidation of the market over time into a few large players. We will look briefly at what the ILS did well and what it never managed to do, before we turn our attention to the move to the cloud and the more recent “library services platform” style automation tools. We will carefully examine the SaaS model of software delivery and how this model impacts our ability to provide high levels of service to our users while maintaining privacy and security. The class will conclude with a look at current market offerings, including open source options.