January 19, 2022

LJ: Ebook Providers, ILS Vendors Move Rapidly to Remove Friction From E-Lending; OverDrive APIs Coming in April

By Mike Kelley at Library Journal:

Even as anxious publishers are hoping to increase friction in the ebook lending experience, librarians have been clamoring for vendors of integrated library systems (ILS) to make e-lending a unified, sleek experience. Rather than navigating their patrons away from the library’s web presence to Balkanized, often commercial, third-party platforms, each with a different discovery and delivery experience, librarians have been demanding a single, easy-to-use, easy-to-search platform — an integration of the ILS with ebook vendor platforms.

Kelley’s article goes on to discuss:

+ Just Announced Deal Between Polaris and 3M Deal

“We’ve been directing patrons away from us and to some other agency. We need to get them back into the library,” said Steven Nielsen, vice president of product management for Polaris. Nielsen stepped down as director of the Bettendorf Public Library in Iowa in September in order to help lead the 3M integration project for Polaris.

+ OverDrive APIs

We are committed to providing access to our APIs and working with our library partners and our ILS partners,” said David Burleigh, a spokesperson for OverDrive. “It’s a big deal and we really want to make it happen,” he said.

Burleigh said OverDrive plans to release a series of APIs in late April for ILS integration that will “result in both catalog discovery and single sign-on for the patron.” The company also has plans to release at a later time APIs that will streamline the ordering of physical and digital content.

OverDrive and Bibliocommons (Discovery Layer NYPL and Many Others Use)

OverDrive also seems intent on insuring that it releases its data on its own terms as its negotiations with Bibliocommons show. Bibliocommons provides a discovery layer that sits on top of a given ILS’s OPAC module in order to avoid varied account experiences and have the single silo of content that librarians are demanding. Some major libraries —- NYPL, Boston, Seattle — are using Bibliocommons to integrate their OverDrive service into their OPACs, but the implementation has stalled.

+ SIRSI/Dynix Integration

For SirsiDynix the time may be quite soon as it is preparing to launch the first version of its “eresource central” product at its user conference in Orlando, FL, in May. The product, which has been in development for about a year, will achieve the complete integration that was being discussed at PLA, and Brad Whittle, the vice president for global sales, said the issue was “a big blip on our radar screen” and ebook vendor partnerships “are extremely close.” SirsiDynix Chief Technology Officer Talin Bingham met with several vendors during PLA to discuss integration.

Read the Complete Article, Loaded With Comments and Analysis

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.