Introduction The Kraemer Family Library Experience The introduction describes the role of the integrated library system (ILS) in the modern library, explains why the typical library’s ILS needs optimizing, and discusses the Kraemer Family Library’s institutional history and why our library chose to optimize our ILS and how it has benefitted our staff and patrons. There are an estimated 116,800 libraries in the United States, and almost all of them use software to manage their collection and patrons (American Library Association, 2022). The integrated library system (ILS) or library management system (LMS) is the backbone of a library: It is an inventory of materials owned it contains user information it manages circulation func- tions (checking out, checking in, holds, bills, etc.) and it might have order information or serial issues that have been received. For libraries that have one, it is their lifeblood, keeping them running and able to serve their users. It can also be a source of frustration when it doesn’t work the way we want it to or doesn’t have a feature that would be helpful. Every year, Marshall Breeding releases a report on the current state of affairs in library systems. In addition to news about each of the vendors, mergers, new releases, and an analysis of current trends, he includes statistics on new installa- tions. The library system report is done by surveying vendors, but Breeding also conducts a survey every year of libraries. In this report he includes information on the number of libraries considering migrating to a new ILS. In 2022 17 percent of academic libraries and 6 percent of public libraries who responded indicated they are considering migration. Satisfaction ratings for a library’s current ILS are also included, which can offer another insight into how happy a library is with their vendor and system. In looking at the Library Perception 2022 report, there was generally higher satisfaction for libraries with open source or smaller vendors who focus on a specific audience (Breeding, 2021 Breeding, 2022).
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