Chapter 1. Introduction and Concepts

Marshall Breeding


This chapter provides an overview of library services platforms, including how and why this new category of library software evolved to consolidate the functionality that was previously distributed in multiple separate products or systems. Some of the key characteristics in functionality and technology are given. These products include support for multiple formats of resources, offer flexible metadata management capabilities, include knowledgebases in support of resource management, and usually have built-in analytics capabilities. These products are delivered through global multi-tenant platforms that deliver all interfaces via web browsers and obviate the need for local server or workstation software. They follow the services-oriented architecture and offer application programming interfaces to expose functionality to external applications or systems. Key differences and similarities are addressed that distinguish library services platforms from integrated library systems as well as the concerns that might drive a library toward products in either category.

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Marshall Breeding, “Smarter Libraries through Technology: The Beginning of the End of the ILS in Academic Libraries,” Smart Libraries Newsletter 31, no. 8 (August 2011): 1–2, accessed May 6, 2015,

Marshall Breeding, “A Cloudy Forecast for Libraries,” Computers in Libraries 31, no. 7 (September 2011): 32–35.

Marshall Breeding, “E-resource Knowledge Bases and Link Resolvers: An Assessment of the Current Products and Emerging Trends,” Insights: The UKSG Journal 25, no. 2 (2012): 173–82.

Wikipedia, s.v. “Brownfield (Software Development),” last modified December 2, 2014,

Wikipedia, s.v. “Greenfield Project,” last modified January 3, 2015,

Marshall Breeding, “OCLC Announces WorldCat Discovery Service,” Smart Libraries Newsletter 34, no. 3 (2014): 6–7, accessed May 6, 2015,

Marshall Breeding, “Smarter Libraries through Technology: The Roles of Integrated Library Systems and Library Services Platforms,” Smart Libraries Newsletter 33, no. 3 (2013): 1–4, accessed May 6, 2015,


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