At the recent Public Library Association conference, I discovered three products currently in development that seem to be (finally) moving the ball in the ILS game.
The three products are:
- BiblioCommons new mobile app (currently in development: I think they said it was at the wireframing stage). Beth Jefferson (CEO ofBiblioCommons) said that wayfinding is not the problem – knowing what to read next is. So their app is designed to help solve that problem. It will use proximity marketing as one way to tackle the problem. For example, if you are close to the library, you might get notified that the library has a book you want to read. The app will use a smartphone’s location-based features to know where you are, and then send notifications to you about books the library has on their shelves. Helping solve that “what should I read next” dilemma.
- OCLC Wise (currently in beta): You might remember OCLC’s WMS system – an ILS system that has more of an academic library focus. OCLC Wise is focused on public libraries, and uses data in some pretty useful ways. It will help optimize your collection by analyzing circulation trends to help you figure out what to buy, to weed, etc. It will also help create targeted email campaigns based on reading genres, happy birthday wishes, etc. OCLC’s example is this – you can send a monthly email to customers based on their favorite genres, or an invitation to an event that they might be interested in. It even includes registration for the event.
- Communico (coming soon): They have a new product called “Discover.” From talking to them at PLA, I’m pretty sure it’s an ILS overlay. In the public library marketplace, right now that space is pretty much filled only by BiblioCommons, so it will be nice to see a little friendly competition there!
So – three new products, all currently in development. It will be pretty cool to see how these products actually work, once they are released!