Yesterday, the Kansas City Public Library held the first ever Kansas City SirsiDynix Users Group Conference at our Plaza Branch. Representatives from several KC-area library systems and from SirsiDynix met and discussed what the future could hold for ILS systems and library technology.
Web-based services, cloud services, APIs, fully integrated discovery layers, social media integration, the role of mobile apps, patron-driven acquisitions, one-click downloads, the relationship of the library OPAC to the library website…
We’re brainstorming the nature and structure of libraries in the Digital Age.
I came out of the conference with three major take-aways:
- Too many of us still approach our OPAC and our website as two separate things. Structurally, that may be true – but we cannot continue to treat them that way! For most of our patrons who access our services online, our catalog IS our website. There shouldn’t be any apparent distinction made between them on the front end.
- As mobile access becomes more ubiquitous, as libraries’ mobile apps become the standard method of access for patrons, the library website will become increasingly irrelevant to the patron experience.
- My vision for a digital library is, simply, this:
Everything we have, available from anywhere, all the time.
Anything less is unacceptable.
I’m incredibly excited about the potential that exists for libraries right now! I think it’s the most exciting time to be librarian since Dewey or Ranganathan!