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Library technology leaders discuss innovations, trends and the future

January 23, 2013

As one of the first major research universities to launch a pioneering new cloud-resident enterprise library platform, Virginia Commonwealth University hosted a Jan. 9 session designed to help other libraries around the world prepare for the next generation of library technologies. VCU Libraries went live in the fall semester with Alma, cloud-resident enterprise library software from Ex Libris, Inc.

"Libraries have always been on the cutting edge of technology," said University Librarian John E. Ulmschneider. "Emerging cloud technologies are building blocks for the research libraries of the future--more accessible, scalable, secure and content-rich than ever to advance scholarly endeavor."

At the Jan. 9 event, industry leaders discussed how emerging cloud-based technologies are transforming research libraries.  Speakers were: 

  • Marshall Breeding, the national authority on enterprise library systems, is editor of Library Technology Guides and author of a monthly column in Computers in Libraries.
  • Mark Ryland, chief solutions architect for Amazon Web Service's Worldwide Public Sector team, began working with Microsoft Federal Systems as a senior architectural engineer in the early 1990s and has witnessed the industry mature.
  • Mark Triest, president of Ex Libris North America since 2010, previously was president of Inigral, a social-media start-up delivering applications for the education market. He also served as senior vice president of global sales at Sunguard Higher Education.
  • John Ulmschneider, university librarian at VCU, is a past president and board member of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, and leads VCU's growing and innovative research library system.
  • Gene Damon, panel moderator, is director of library automation for the Virginia Community College System, one of the nation's largest community college systems. He is chair of the steering committee for the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA), and brings a distinguished background of leadership in enterprise library systems in both corporate and academic environments. 

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