Since it has been mentioned a couple of times in this thread, here is some additional information about lib-web-cats and Library Technology Guides. (http://www.librarytechnology.org)
The lib-web-cats component of Library Technology Guides draws on a variety of sources to keep up-to-date information regarding the technology products used in libraries. It's most accurate and complete for libraries in the United States with increasing international scope. As mentioned, vendor announcements constitute one source. But I also use other means, including regular canvassing of library web sites, and e-mail queries and surveys to libraries. The site includes the ability for an individual associated with a library to register and update their listing, which I routinely verify. Several state library agencies have worked with me to help gather automation data.
Having maintained this resource for over 10 years, my experience is that only a small minority of libraries will actively submit or update their information. It takes a great deal of proactive effort.
lib-web-cats tracks most, but not all of the product categories mentioned. It includes:
Current and previous ILS with implementation dates
Current and previous discovery products with implementation dates
Current and previous OpenURL resolvers with implementation dates
Institutional Repository platforms
Electronic Resource Management systems
RFID-based products implemented
Web content management system (Drupal, Plone, Joomla, Plinkit, etc)
Catalog enhancements (LibrayThing for Libraries, ChiliFresh, etc)
The ILS and discovery categories are much more complete than the others.
I am happy to add additional categories if there is interest.
Entries also include library type, collection size, circulation volume, population served, and other qualifiers.
The database structure of lib-web-cats makes it possible to create reports or queries that illustrate trends or identify reference sites. This resource page provides some examples:
A statistics page shows the number of libraries included from each country:
(23,478 in the United States)
I hope this information is helpful.
Director for Innovative Technology and Research
Vanderbilt University Library
Editor, Library Technology Guides & lib-web-cats
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Susan Kane
Sent: Sunday, October 03, 2010 9:06 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CODE4LIB] Systems Tracker
My only thought is that if you can use some kind of already existing system
(ACRL or ARL reporting? Marshall Breeding?) I think you will have better
luck than requesting voluntary participation by either libraries or vendors.
Certainly, lots of libraries will voluntarily contribute these kind of data
to a joint effort, but will they keep it updated?
Won't we need to contact that library and make sure they're still using it
"just in case"?
(Although a database that tracks use of various systems over time and not
just each year would also be tremendously useful.)
The problem with vendor reporting is that it will be hard to get full
disclosure in a timely way across all vendors.
But even with that problem, it still makes more sense to have a limited list
of vendors who absolutely know who their customers are doing the reporting
than to trying to get every library in the country or the world to report
Marshall Breeding uses (AFAIK) press releases from vendors to track system
changes and to report losses and wins. So that's vendor reporting, albeit
indirect reporting. Maybe he also sends a questionnaire to vendors each
I think it would be ideal if ALA or ACRL would do this kind of data
collection. I know it's hard enough to do your ACRL and ARL stats every
year but they are valuable and most institutions do them. A few more
questions that are fairly easy to answer would provide a very rich data
source, although of course, adding even a single question has significant
impact on data processing, survey creation, etc. etc. etc.