Thursday, June 30, 2005

Services for intermediate consumers

Lorcan has been talking for several months about one of the significant changes taking place as a result of technologies like RSS. He suggests that those who have been users of library services are now going using other systems as the primary system in which they do their work. They still need and want to information and services provided by the library, but they want to retrieve it from within their own system rather than go to the library to get it. The consequence is that libraries increasingly provide services/information to other systems rather than directly to the users we serve.
"These workflows raises a major issue for library systems moving forward. Increasingly, users will be supported in their various workflows by various systems environments. And, it is the systems which support these workflows which becomes the consumer of library services. The model in which an end-user consumes library services at a human interface will continue; but the model in which library services are consumed by a system which supports a user workflow will become increasingly important. The learning management system, the enterprise portal, the RSS aggregator, the search engine: these are all intermediate consumers of library services."