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System Director’s Report:

July 2008

Can you believe it’s already the end of July? Every summer seems to move faster than the last, and this year’s Summer Library Program—which has seen an unusually large number of participants—is winding down. Our attention is turning to Fall, and registration is now open for two big annual events: SCLS System Celebration on Sept. 25; and the Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference Nov. 4-7.

We traditionally schedule staff members’ annual reviews and begin to set goals for next year’s annual plan in summer, and that process is underway. Also underway is our technology planning process, and 150 individuals from member libraries have been invited to complete a survey about technology services. The data gathered will help us identify the issues to be addressed.

Many of us attended WiLSWorld this month, where library technology is the focus, and experts in the field come to Madison to talk about future trends. A central theme this year was open source software, and as a follow-up to the discussion SCLS Automation staff arranged for a question and answer session with LibLime, one of the open source software support vendors. This session gave interested library staff an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about open source options.

The possibilities for this new direction in library automation have sparked lively discussions within SCLS. We don’t know of a group of libraries the size of the LINK consortium that has installed an open source product for its library automation system, but it seems to be the wave of the future. Is it a viable option for us? Tom Zillner of WiLS will join us at our August meeting to talk about the open source software movement and the implications for the future of library automation. It should be interesting.

Stef will be on vacation, but I’ll see you on the 11th.