Today & tomorrow: A brief history (& future) of library systems in the 2020’s
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From their inception in the 1970s to today, the library system market has gone from one marked by variety to one of narrowed options. From today’s perspective, library system history serves as a conceptual foundational and an instructive guide. This paper will provide a brief history of library systems, noting the recent history of market consolidation. I will also discuss the state of the library system market and the implications of current offerings. Lastly, I will consider the possible benefits and risks of open source initiatives, presenting a brief overview of the theoretical and labor implications of open source approaches.
Presentation at “Breakthrough: Preparing today’s librarians for tomorrow’s possibilities”, a special conference sponsored by DC/SLA, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank Group. Presentation given 12 September 2019.