mergers and aquisitions – SirsiDynix + Vista

You know, if you want to bury some news, make sure to announce it between Xmas and New Years. So SirsiDynix says “investment partnership” in the article headline (their pdf) but “acquisition” in the article. Vista hasn’t announced it at all as of this typing. Press releases are usually vapid and devoid of content and this one is no different. The letter from Sirsi-Dynix CEO is also not really forthcoming. “The partnership validates the contributions libraries and SirsiDynix make to our communities.” What? Dan Scott has some analysis on his blog, Coffee|Code and makes a few predictions.

You heard it here first: expect lots of news from SirsiDynix in 2007. I’m predicting more service fees (100% confidence), increased annual support fees (100% confidence), and the beginning of the end of Unicorn with an announcement that Horizon is the strategic product for new development efforts going forward (75% confidence). I’ll go out on a limb and say that a merger or acquisition of SirsiDynix in 2007 is unlikely (33% confidence), but after proving their new business strategy and the nice spikes on their revenue and profit charts, I’ll say that it’s quite likely in 2008 (80% confidence).

I’m not into the industry enough to make any predictions or even any observations, but it seems to me that if a non-library company sees fit to buy a library services company it’s probably because that company is making money hand over fist. And if Sirsi-Dynix is making money hand over fist, it’s because libraries are paying them boatloads of money. Sirsi-Dynix says they expect no staffing changes. A little more over at Library Journal.

Don’t miss this amazing graphic showing “the history of mergers and acquisitions in the library automation industry” over at Library Technology Guides.

Slow Library, a 2.0 idea

I missed Ryan Deschamps discussing a talk by Mark Leggott about the Slow Library Movement. As someone suspicious about the Slow Food Movement, I was curious about this. Go here to listen to Mark’s lecture and peek here to see if the Slow Library blog is up and running. In Mark’s words “The idea behind the Slow Library site is to propose, promote and discuss the concepts of a new movement called Slow Library. Slow Library applies the philosophies and concepts of the Slow Food and Open Source movements to the development of library services and resources.” In Ryan’s notes from Mark’s talk he says

Mark is saying “ubiquity is not an end in and of itself.” Here are some “Let’s” thoughts that may or may not apply to the Slow Library Movement”:

  • Let’s focus on realistic, local solutions and build community first.
  • Let’s forget about Web 2.0 for a second, understand our customers needs and then apply or give access to resources that help them satisfy those needs.
  • Let’s play.
  • Let’s shun pressure to “keep up” with Ann Arbor (sorry John Blyberg), Hennepin County (sorry Glenn Peterson via Tame the Web) and etc. and apply our own strengths to come up with our own creative ideas.
  • Let’s focus on what we can do right now to make the community a better place.
  • Let’s notice the beauty of things right before our eyes, and let supporting that be our Return on Investment.

Good comments by Jenny on Ryan’s blog. [anarchivist]

5 things you don’t know about me

Thanks Darren (and Tara). When you’ve had a blog for a week shy of ten years it’s hard to believe that there is anything that people don’t know about you, but let me give this a shot.

  • I lived in Transylvania for a year between my first and second years of library school. I taught basic computer skills to journalists. I speak Romanian, somewhat.
  • I got married at a drive-up window in Las Vegas to a man I had never kissed. I am not currently married.
  • I won an essay contest in sixth grade and got to read my essay at graduation. It was about age discrimination and how it was, in my opinion, lame. You can see a photo of me at that graduation here. I am in the light blue dress with the brown hair.
  • My first pets were a cat named Dante and a dog named Botticelli (photo). I didn’t realize these names were a little odd until I was in high school. I didn’t realize a lot about me and the way I grew up was odd until high school.
  • File under brain: I got a 28 on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient test. I count every stair I climb. I don’t know my left from my right. I can add but not subtract.

Tagging in: Linda the Lipstick Librarian, Michael the Library Administrator, Ben the newly minted Washtub Librarian, Jonathan from dystmesis, Dan Chudnov and his One Big Library.

can your users “recreate” @ your library?

From The Librarian’s Rant comes this report from AL Online of a public library in Florida blocking MySpace because their Internet use policy prohibits using the computers for “chat-room access, e-mail, and recreational uses.” The actual policy goes so far as to prohibit “entertainment” use as well, so they block YouTube. Longer article here, please make sure to note the MySpace = predators assertion.

“E-problem” puts 15,000 library patrons’ info on Internet

Please read this newspaper’s account of how 15,000 library patrons’ personal information — names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, street addresses, children’s names and library card numbers — wound up accessible to the public as a result of… something happening to the systems at the Lakeland Library Cooperative in Michigan. That’s the rub, they’re not even sure. The interim director (what a lousy time to be an interim director) said that they “think there was a software malfunction” and then later in the article is paraphrased as saying “the library last month underwent a software upgrade on their system, but was not able to determine if that was the source of the problem.” Does this inspire confidence? No, it does not. E-problems?

Mistakes happen, we all know that, but this story tells me that either the reporter doesn’t understand computers enough to write about this incident, or that the person who runs the Library Cooperative does not understand what happened, or possibly both. I’m aware that there is always a third option, that they are trying to be deliberately obscure to keep people from hacking into their system, but if I were a patron of one of the affected libraries, I’d like mor information, a lot more. This is a file that is on the web, right? There should be log files that show how many times that page was accessed. Wouldn’t it be reassuring if that number was, say, three instead of perhaps a hundred? There is nothing on any of the Coop’s web sites about this incident even though the news story has been online all day (I found it through LISNews).

Oddly it looks like the previous director left the job somewhat mysteriously a few weeks ago. According to this short story, all the member libraries will be notified and 15000 new bar codes will be issued.