The Next Generation Integrated Library System: A Promise Fulfilled?

Yongming Wang, Trevor A Dawes


The adoption of Integrated Library Systems (ILS) became prevalent in the 1980s and 1990s as libraries began or continued to automate their processes.  These systems enabled library staff to work, in many cases, more efficiently than they had been in the past.  However, these systems were also restrictive – especially as the nature of the work began to change, largely in response to the growth of electronic and digital resources – for which these systems were not intended to manage.  New library systems – the second (or next) generation library systems are needed in order to effectively manage the processes of acquiring, describing and making available all library resources.  This article examines the state of library systems today and describes the features needed in a next generation library system.  The authors also examine some of the next generation library systems currently in development that purport to fill the changing needs of libraries.

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