April 18, 2011 – A table of powerhouses recently gathered to discussion a slew of topics, from the impact of cloud computing and open source ILSs (integrated library systems) to issues surrounding user engagement, the digital divide, and declining library budgets.

We found this interesting topic on Library Journal in their article, “The Future of the ILS,” highlighting a recent roundtable discussion in San Diego with top executives in the ILS field and expert librarians.

In response to the question, “What do you think is the single most compelling factor that will have an impact on ILSs and the industry in the future?”, the answers were varied. Some were surprising, some not so much.

According to Carl Grant, Ex Libris Group, “I think it’s clearly the amount of digital content that we’re having to deal with these days in libraries and that, particularly in our customer base, we’re seeing 50 percent of the materials budget now going for digital content. But that brings a whole host of new issues to automation systems and particularly in things like how we are going to preserve this and how we are going to make sure we can handle all the licensing issues and the workflows that are associated with that while maintaining all of our current processes.”

The topic of data overload isn’t a new one, but does deserve continued attention to find resolutions to fit everyone.

An interesting response came from Neil Block, Innovative Interfaces, “We really need to wrap our arms around the enhanced and enriched workflows to engage people and also deliver that data, digital content, to where they live in their digital neighborhood, which is really on their phone, on their device, and tap into mobility, which is super important right now.”

Read the full article for even more highlights from the discussion.

Melody K. Smith