Folio—A New Library Services Platform Built for Innovation

Sponsored by EBSCO
Recorded on 01/12/2017

Posted in Library Technology and IT


In a September 2016 online conference, Ken Chad presented a compelling case for an industry in disruptive motion. In his presentation, Ken referenced a 2014 Wired blog noting that “market upstarts are displacing market leaders faster than ever before as entire industries transform.” Ken goes on to look at the Platform Revolution (2016), a compelling book that speaks to the success of companies like Uber, Airbnb, Amazon and others. The reason for their success? These businesses are built on platforms.

Library technology has traditionally centered on monolithic systems that lack some of the key platform attributes that Ken points out underlie success: the ability to create value for all participants, leveraging resources they don’t own in order to grow faster, and changing the traditional focus from inward to outward.

The question now is one of disruption in the library industry: are libraries ripe for fundamental change that will bring about a new paradigm in library technology? And what would this change look like? The key point may well be that a platform derives its value from the community. In concrete terms, this means that no single product dominates the technology environment. Instead, a loosely coupled ecosystem of applications arise, built on the platform, to deliver ever-increasing value to the community, by many community participants.

This webinar will discuss FOLIO, a community collaboration to develop an open source library platform built for innovation. Presenters will explore what FOLIO can mean for libraries: the ability to leverage the open source platform and the growing community to spur innovation and offer new services; reimagining resource management centered on a central knowledgebase; rethinking workflows and traditional ILS functions to allow for more efficiencies and better ways to serve our users; the means by which vendors and libraries alike can contribute to the building of FOLIO. Participants will also hear an overview of the growing FOLIO community, its infrastructure and how to become involved.


Harry Kaplanian is the Senior Director, Product Management at EBSCO Information Services.

Peter Murray is the Open Source Community Advocate at Index Data.