• The changing landscape of the Library Management System and its implications for public and university libraries in England

    Jonathan Benedetti (see profile)
    Academic libraries, Library science, Information science, Public libraries
    Item Type:
    City, University of London
    library management systems, library technology, LMS, Library and information science
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    The focus was to explore the implications of concerning trends linked to Library Management Systems, to determine the level of impact on effective service provision within English public and university libraries and to develop workable solutions. A mixed methods approach was used, comprising a selective literature review exploring the international and UK perspective and two random sampling method nationwide online surveys. The first investigated the effects of the issues on public and university libraries across the nine regions of England, whilst the second focused on libraries that had already migrated to open source systems. Despite the literature review highlighting an array of concerns, there was no indication from the empirical component that consolidation and privacy trends linked to LMSs and discovery have progressed sufficiently to be severely impacting the capacity of these libraries to deliver a satisfactory level of service. However, there were indications that the situation could be significantly different five years from now, due to the after-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, concerns for patron privacy as more libraries migrate to next-generation LMSs with cloud-based discovery platforms, and the prospect of continued progression of stagnation – particularly for public libraries. University libraries in England appear to be in a stronger position to mitigate these negative trends. Conversely, there were indications that, depending on the actions of certain large companies, consolidation could benefit libraries in the future with enhanced levels of product development and innovation. The solution seems to be one of shared responsibility, where stakeholders need to consider the ethical implications of their actions and invest in new approaches to technology that better fulfil the needs of libraries. Libraries need to make sound decisions with their technology choices, invest in upskilling technical staff and be proactive with mitigation strategies.
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
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