Library systems in the electronic era

Abstract: Using two very helpful flowcharts, Bley illustrates the different internal resource commitments needed to collect and manage print versus electronic resources and then discusses how to adapt to this disparity. A major challenge is linking authentication systems to license/access permissions.

In addition to single sign-on and EDI standards, "there need to be new automatic data flows between libraries, agents, and publishers", such as:

  • holdings information;
  • automatic loading of license terms and conditions;
  • usage metrics;
  • unique standard identifiers for e-journals and e-book collections;
  • a standard for libraries to communicate IP address changes to content providers;
  • a standard to enable institutional or library identifier, with the facility to identify sub-libraries or sites; and
  • integration with other systems.

He concludes that integration is possible if libraries, system suppliers, and publishers work together.


Bley's flowcharts are REALLY helpful for one with my visual learning style in grokking the print versus electronic resource usage requirements.

Even more interesting to me, though, is the single sign-on challenge he mentions.

I wonder if there's a way for openID to be used as THE single sign-on in a way that doesn't violate the privacy of the user or enable hacking. I worry about the security of such a single ID, as hackers would only need to crack one password. If it could be made secure, though, it seems like the perfect solution is to have a sign-on that can have attributes (such as: member of particular institutions) added to it.

Bley, R. (2008). Library systems in the electronic era. Learned Publishing, 21(3), 176-186. Retrieved November 1, 2008, from Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text.