Thursday, November 24, 2005

The Right Fight: ILS Customer Bill-of-Rights

Yes! John Blyberg's post on ILS Customer Bill-of-Rights outlines exactly what we should require from our ILS vendors. Vendors aren't bad folks. But they are in a business, and we need to require standards and let them know what is acceptable for us, and what is best for our patrons.

1) Open, read-only, direct access to the database.
2) A full-blown, W3C standards-based API to all read-write functions
3) The option to run the ILS on hardware of our choosing, on servers that we administer
4) high security standards

From John: "Given these tools, libraries would be empowered to roll out new services and features in their time-frame, not that of the vendor. Vendors could still (and should still) provide templates for the more popular features such as RSS, but we wouldn’t be reliant on them. It would also let vendors focus on what they really should be focused on: the quality of the automation system itself. This isn’t a take-us-through-the-next-3-years feature. This, alone, is a major evolutionary necessity for the survival of the online library. If we don’t get this, we will fall irrepairably behind the curve."

I couldn't agree more. So, how do we get the ILS Customer Bill-of-Rights as ingrained into library culture as the ALA Bill-of-Rights?


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