Perceptions 2012 – Highlights for TBOS

Marshall Breeding has published his sixth annual review of LMS systems:

In his highlights of the report, he notes a couple of particularly interesting facts that are relevant to this project, and to the new SCURL task and finish group.

634 libraries indicated that they are considering migrating to a new ILS. Ex Libris Alma (121) and Sierra from Innovative Interfaces (120) were mentioned most frequently by libraries systems under consideration, followed by WorldShare Management Services from OCLC (99), the open source Koha ILS (71) or Evergreen (65), Symphony from SirsiDynix (51), Intota from Serials Solutions (48), and Kuali OLE (21).

The new group being formed by SCURL will be asking a similar question, to discover if and when SCURL members are going to be thinking about migrating to a different LMS.  For example, the report states that 48% of Voyager customers, 34% of Aleph customers, 31% of Alto customers, 42% of Millenium customers, and 20% of Symphony customers are looking to migrate to a new system.  Many of these percentages are much higher than previous years, suggesting that the trend towards new library service platforms (a.k.a. ‘next generation library management systems’) is influencing decisions, rather than just the usual percentage of churn in the market.

Except for the libraries already using one, the survey reflected fairly low levels of interest in migrating to an open source ILS.

This is an interesting finding.  Libraries that have tried Open Source continue to show interest in it, and those that haven’t continue not to.  Without further questioning it would be hard to find out why: is it because there is still concern about open source and those that try it find that it works OK, or is it that open source options only suit a certain type of LMS customer, and those that it suits have already moved to Open Source.  I suspect the former, but have no data to base this on.  Linked to this, the above statistic shows that open source systems figure reasonably well in the list of possible solutions to move to (in comparison to their current market share), and interest in Kuali OLE is now at a not significant level – we and many others continue to watch this with interest.

Written by Stuart Lewis, University of Edinburgh

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