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Magazines > Computers in Libraries > March 2022

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Vol. 42 No. 2 — March 2022
Taking a Systems Approach to Library Services
by Dick Kaser

Library systems come in all shapes and sizes. As we continue to pursue our yearlong infrastructure theme, this issue focuses on the systems that power library operations, fuel discovery, and engage users. Some are entire platforms, and others are simply apps that get a specific job done. Our contributors this month touch on the entire range.

David Lee King (Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library) identifies the new user engagement CRM features that are being built into the leading library platforms, but also reviews tools that do not require you to buy off on a complete system or to settle for the features that are hardwired into the systems you already use. 

In two articles this month, we follow developments at Spokane Public Library, which—as we featured in our December 2021 issue—is developing a public library services platform using FOLIO open source software. Caris O’Malley, the library’s deputy director, reported previously on his team’s effort to build the platform. In this issue, O’Malley discusses the actual launch. His colleague, Amanda Donovan, writes about the library’s effort to build a companion user-friendly website. 

Our resident systems expert, columnist Marshall Breeding, provides an in-depth review of the evolution of library systems and discusses the factors that will drive future developments. 

Some systems that libraries employ are not really systems at all, but systematic approaches that librarians have innovated. In her article about digitizing local history collections, Michelle Skinner (Chickasha Public Library) shares her structured approach to identifying local collections of merit, getting funded, digitizing, and delivering the collections online, while preserving them at the same time. 

Please join us March 29–31 for our Computers in Libraries Connect virtual conference, in which all kinds of library systems will be discussed and demonstrated.  

Dick Kaser, Executive Editor
Dick Kaser

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