Kudos to Ex Libris
Kudos to the folks at Ex Libris for jumping into the library 2.0 discussion. Many librarians are currently complaining about the slowness of vendors to react to changes within computing culture. To be fair, the employees for some vendors are doing the same. For example, Stephen Abrams, SirsiDynix's VP for Innovation, bemoaned this slowness during his section of the Dead & Emerging Technologies Forum at CIL2006. It looks as if Ex Libris is working to at least stay close to the curve, if not ahead of it.
Patrons today probably expect that all library resources should be able to be found in one place. Federated searching and link resolvers are a nice start, but Ex Libris has gone one step further. Today, they officially published that they are developing a tool called Primo, "a complete solution for the discovery and delivery of diverse content types." I had a chance to speak with the folks at Ex Libris during the recent CIL2006, and I have to admit, they have my curiosity peaked. I like the fact that they are trying to bring all of a libraries resources into one place. I am extremely excited that they decided to make a fopac-like product that allows for tagging and comments. I cannot wait to see how this functions, and I think I would love to be in on the testing of this product.
I do have a few questions, though.
- Will Primo work in conjunction with other Ex Libris products such as MetaLib, or will it be a total replacement for it? I know the newsletter says, "Primo uses the metasearch capabilities of MetaLib to perform the searches on remote databases," but I am not exactly sure whether this means Primo has MetaLib built-in, or whether MetaLib will be separate. I think it means that one has to have MetaLib as a separate product, but I am not sure.
- Will institutions be able to add online resources to Primo? I assume they can. What if I want to use Primo to access several search engines? Can I do that?
- Will it generate RSS feeds and permalinks for searches?
- I know it is customizable, but can it be OpenSearch-like? Or can it be incorporated into OpenSearch?
- Given Paul Miller's recent article on the death of the OPAC, will Primo soon be unnecessary? FWIW, I highly doubt it, but I just thought I would throw it out there.
If anyone has any other questions, feel free to leave them in a comment. Perhaps someone from Ex Libris will come over and discuss all this. Whether they do or not, kudos to them for trying to give librarians what they say they want!