VALA Events 2020: Library Perceptions of Technology Vendors and Products

VALA invites you to our first Guest speaker event for 2020. This 1-hour event will be run as a Zoom Webinar.

Our special Guest speaker will be Marshall Breeding, creator and editor of Library Technology Guides and the online directory of libraries on the Web.


Marshall Breeding will present the results of the 2019 edition of his annual Library Automation Perceptions survey. The survey gathers data from libraries evaluating the library resource management systems they use, the organizations that develop or support them, and to gauge interest in migrating to new systems and interest in open source.

Topic: Library Perceptions of Technology Vendors and Products

Marshall Breeding’s popular VALA webinars provide a candid glimpse into the effectiveness of strategic library technology systems from the perspective of the libraries which use them. The Library Automation Perceptions survey, now in its thirteenth annual iteration, provides an important opportunity for libraries to register their perceptions of the strategic automation products they use, organizations that provide these products, and the quality of support delivered.

This annual survey attracts around 4,000 responses from libraries, providing enough data to focus the analysis more on each category of library type and size rather than aggregating across all responses. An analysis of the data across each year of the survey identifies trends in the performance of vendors and products. The functional requirements of public, academic, school, and other types of libraries overlap to a certain extent, but in other areas have distinctive if not contradictory functionality. Some of the products represented in the survey have been designed for specific sectors. For those used by multiple types of libraries, the analysis of the survey results by size and type of organization provides an opportunity to observe any differences in satisfaction across these categories.

The library technology landscape has seen a seismic shift in recent months through yet another round of mergers and acquisition. The acquisition of Innovative by ProQuest means not only a strengthening of Ex Libris position in the academic and research library sector, it also marks its entry into public libraries. Breeding will discuss the impact of this change on the library community and what can be expected regarding current and future products available to academic and public libraries. The ever deeper consolidation of the industry also amplifies interest in open source alternatives, especially FOLIO and Koha. It remains to be seen if there will be an impact on the other global and regional ILS vendors.

The business transitions of the broader library technology industry have a longer term impact in libraries themselves. The longevity of systems and the levels of support provided are key factors as libraries develop their own technology strategies. The International Library Automation Percepts Survey aims to capture how well these core technology products serve libraries and the quality of support given by their respective vendors.

Core Content: The report upon which the presentation is based highlights strengths and weaknesses in the library management products which may be of interest to libraries as they develop their technology strategies.

The Future: The report includes data which anticipates what library management products are under consideration for those libraries indicating interest in migrating.

Q & A: The presenter will respond to questions following the presentation.

Pre-reading or other relevant information: The report summarizing the results from last year’s survey, including data from all previous years, is available HERE.

Guest Speaker: Marshall Breeding, Independent Consultant for Library Technology Guides

Marshall Breeding is an independent consultant, speaker, and author. He is the creator and editor of Library Technology Guides and the online directory of libraries on the Web. His monthly column “Systems Librarian” appears in Computers in Libraries; he is the Editor for Smart Libraries Newsletter published by the American Library Association and has authored the annual “Library Systems Report” published by American Libraries since 2014 and in Library Journal from 2002-2013. He has authored eleven issues of ALA’s Library Technology Reports and has written many other articles and book chapters. Marshall has edited or authored eight books, including Cloud Computing for Libraries published by in 2012 by Neal-Schuman, now part of ALA TechSource. He regularly teaches workshops and gives presentations at library conferences on a wide range of topics.




Online Webinar

FREE for VALA members.

Not a VALA member? Cost of this webinar is $22.00 AUD for non-members.

Registration is essential and numbers are limited. Registration will be confirmed via email. Group participation is welcome.


Those seeking to cancel a registration are encouraged to contact the VALA Secretariat asap – registration numbers are limited for this event, and we appreciate prior advice if you are unable to attend. Please contact the VALA Secretariat (E: or Tel: 03 9844 2933).


Wednesday 4 March 2020, 12.00 midday – 1.00pm AEDT.

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