NEWS RELEASE: RMG Consultants, Inc. 4 December 2008, Chicago

"Starting Over: Re-Inventing the Integrated Library System and the Library Automation Industry"

is the topic of

RMG's Nineteenth Annual Presidents' Seminar: The View from the Top

Friday January 23, 2009, 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
ALA Midwinter Conference, Denver
Denver Convention Center, Korbel Ballroom 3B

RMG's Nineteenth Annual Presidents' Seminar will include the traditional Panel of library automation executives from industry companies plus featured Speakers from libraries undertaking technology developments and initiatives.

The first segment of the program will feature Speakers from libraries making brief presentations about what they're doing and why, and responding to questions from the Panel and the Audience.

In the second segment the Panel, Speakers, and Audience will engage industry topics.

Executives of library automation companies who have been invited include:

Auto-Graphics, Paul Cope
Equinox, Brad LaJeunesse
Ex Libris, Carl Grant
Infor, Ann Melaerts
LibLime, Josh Ferraro
OCLC, Robin Murray, VP, Global Product Management
Polaris, Bill Schickling
Serials Solutions, Jane Burke
SirsiDynix, Gary Rautenstrauch
TLC, Annette Murphy
VTLS, Vinod Chachra

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Library innovators invited to make brief presentations and answer questions about their developments are:

Helene Blowers, Director of Digital Strategy, Columbus Metropolitan Library
* Re-engineering CML's locally developed ILS, Discovery Place
John Blyberg, Assistant Director for Innovation and User Experience, Darien Library,
* SOPAC 2.0, the social catalog that integrates patron interaction and input
Marshall Breeding, Director for Innovative Technologies and Research at the Jean and Alexander Heard Library at Vanderbilt University, and editor of Library Technology Guides
* Commenting on the Open Library Environment (OLE) Project to design an Open Library Management System built on Service Oriented Architecture, and other academic library initiatives
Wes Trager, Director, Queens Library Enterprises
* Co-developing a public library ILS with VTLS

Additional topics for discussion in the second segment of the program recognize uncertainty in the global library technology marketplace brought on by a number of factors.

Reactions in the U.S. library automation marketplace to perceived divergence of Integrated Library Systems and company practices from libraries' requirements have included discomfort and distrust of some ILS vendors. Influential libraries are:

* Replacing proprietary ILSs with Open Source ILSs
* Undertaking development and re-development of ILSs
* Focusing on features and functionality outside the ILS.

Libraries are seeking user discovery and search interfaces that access disparate resources like the ILS's MARC records, electronic subscriptions, digital repositories with varieties of metadata, and publicly available data sets.

More and more library users are searching with Google, Google Scholar, and Google Books. Should the library community work to ensure that Google functionality is not suddenly lost through changing market forces or corporate re-direction? Could the impact of private equity (like that experienced in the ILS industry), competition, and economic downturn threaten Google's services that are now at the heart of the information industry?

Some in the library marketplace see OCLC positioning itself on a Web scale to compete with and complement Google. Will OCLC evolve new ownership, governance, and business models that put libraries' dependence upon its products and services at risk?

The stage is set and market forces are in play for re-invention of the library automation industry:
* To provide wanted ILS functionality as needed, on a timely basis
* To establish reliable sources of library technology and support services
* To provide wanted solutions at competitive and lower prices
* To provide open source solutions that are self-sustaining
* To avoid RFPs and correct "RFP Bad Practices."

The RMG Seminar will be a venue for Panelists, Speakers, and the Audience to discuss and debate these and other topics.

The ground rules for Panelists are to keep their discussions at professional and industry-wide levels, and not make sales pitches or promote their companies or products.

Other interested librarians and leaders of companies from the library, information, and education industries are invited to attend as members of the Audience, and to add their questions and comments to those of the Panelists and Speakers.

Convened by Rob McGee, President of RMG Consultants, Inc., this free seminar annually focuses the library community on topics of significance. This unique industry forum for the exchange of ideas on leading edge developments is RMG's way of thanking librarians and companies whose energy and passion lead the library industry.

Registration is not required.

To join our mailing list for updates on the venue, confirmed panelists and future seminars, please email

RMG Consultants is an information technology consulting firm specializing in team-based IT procurements (designed as enterprise learning processes) and IT Strategic Planning for libraries and Higher Education institutions.

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