First, I’m stoked to be getting copies of the following books over the course of the next few weeks:

They reflect pretty clearly the sorts of things that have been on my mind of late.

Also, I saw a very interesting post on Peter Brantley’s blog, Shimenawa, and I thought it was important enough to share verbatim:

There is considerable ferment these days in the library community about the shortcomings of the current generation of OPAC systems. A number of libraries are investigating replacement discovery systems divorced from their Integrated Library Systems (ILS), and a few have already implemented alternatives. Replacing an integrated OPAC with an external generalized discovery system raises some difficulties, however, as OPACs provide functions beyond simple bibliographic discovery. Among the areas of difficulty are: * Handling/displaying complex non-bibliographic library data, such as detailed serial holdings; * Providing access to highly volatile ILS transaction data, such as circulation status; * Supporting ILS-specific patron functions, such as renewing charged-out books; * Supporting institution-specific functions, such as requesting the delivery of books from a remote storage facility. The inability to provide such popular functions will inhibit the freedom of libraries to use alternative (frequently more modern) discovery platforms for their catalogs. From the standpoint of libraries it would be ideal to be able to mix-and-match ILS and discovery platforms to suit local needs. To create such a rich environment the library and vendor community will need agreement on the specific technical details of how discovery and ILS systems are to integrate. DLF is planning to establish a Task Group to analyze the issues involved in integrating ILS and discovery systems, and to create a technical proposal for how such integration should be accomplished. We are now seeking nominations of knowledgeable people to serve on the Task Group. Candidates should have analytic skills, be familiar with ILS and discovery systems, and, ideally, have some experience in systems interoperation. We hope to create a group that has a balance of experience with a variety of specific ILS and discovery systems. We encourage both self-nomination and the nomination of people from the community you believe can contribute to this important effort. Because we believe the need to regularize interoperation is immediate, we are hoping to name this Task Group within the next several weeks, and that its work can be completed by the end of the calendar year. We expect most of the work of the group to be carried out through telephone and electronic means, although one or two face-to-face meetings may be needed. I have also asked a few experienced people to serve as advisors for the Task Group, to offer help and advice if needed.

Note that although this call went out originally to DLF members, this effort will not be limited to DLFies.