Progress Report

Name:Van Halm, Johan


1        News from library automation vendors active in the Netherlands


1.1         Introduction


The Netherlands has – after Germany, the UK and the USA – the largest spectrum of library IT suppliers.

The variety in library systems used is more evident in the special and public libraries than in the academic libraries, where PICA is still strong (6 systems), but important roles are played also by Ex Libris and Geac Library Solutions both 3 systems. SIRSIDYNIX and MINISYS have each one system. An open library network has emerged, which links the local library systems transparently to the central facilities.

In the special library category there is the largest variety of systems and many libraries were automated and more functions have been implemen­ted in the last years.

For the public library category we have seen mostly orders for upgrading or replacement and the battle for market share seems to go between Geac[1] and HKA, who have taken the sites of Tobias (used to be Datapoint which went bankrupt) and both are fighting for the IsacSoft BIBLIOMONDO sites, which seems to loose rapidly its – before so strong – position.


1.2         Systems on the Dutch market


The Dutch library scene is, as always, changing rapidly with some new names replacing long established ones and an ongoing reshuffling – like OCLC PICA taking over SISIS after in 2004 its business was already merged with the LBS activities – is taking place in this – basically – shrinking market.

Certifications had been given in 2003 to Bicat (HKA), CONCERTO (BiblioMondo), SunRise (SISIS) and VUBISsmart (Geac), but with the new round of certification ultimo 2005 only HKA (BICAT5.2), Truston Solutions (BiblioByte) and Geac (VUBISsmart 2.3) kept their certification, while newcomer Truston (Biblio-byte 2.13) has received certification too. New market entrants cannot easily get certification, as no ongoing ad-hoc procedure exists, leaving potentially successful companies out of the Dutch market for a minimum of one year.

Also from a technological point of view the Dutch scene is changing rapidly: Aladin (the virtual information kiosk), muziek.web with leendirect (music.web/ILLdirect one of the largest European music libraries), RFID-chips[2], self-service machines and smart cards are now common features, while many libraries are moving from websites to digital library solutions.

Hotspots have been introduced in public places, including libraries, and the AquaBrowser application for associate searching and access to metadata has been installed in many public libraries.

Bibliotheca-RFID and the Public Information Kiosk (Informatiezuil) company are now being  represented by DILITES in the Netherlands (BENELUX). One of the first public libraries with RFID is Heiloo, whereby DILITES Bibliotheca-RFID has been integrated in BiblioMondo’s CONCERTO.

A broadband solution (ADSL and flatfee IDSN fast Internet and CONCERTO OPAC access) for all public libraries in the provinces North- and South-Holland has been developed by Bbeyond for ProBiblio.

Haarlemmermeer Public Library has a wireless GPRS connection to its mobile libraries via a cooperation between Geac and Fujitsu Services. Other VubisSmart customers are the Free University of Amsterdam (with an RFID application) and the library for visually-impaired users FNB[3].

OCLC PICA have taken over in 2005 Openly Informatics (an OpenURL system supplier) and Fretwell-Downing Informatics (Olib LMS, resource sharing and portal solutions).


1.3       Active vendors


            AAC Cosmos ICT Solutions      Biblio Network Assistant(BNA)

ADLIB Information Systems      ADLIB                           

AppSoftware                             AppGuard                       




            Autocheck Systems                   security, self-service        

            Axiell Bibliotek AB/OBD           security, self-service        

                                                            (Tor Ins/Tor Outs)           

BIBLIOMONDO                      CONCERTO                   

                                                Zone1/ZonePro (portal)

DIALOC ID (ID Systems)        security                           

DILITES                                  Bibliotheca-RFID            

EasyData                                  Windows/PDF applications

Ex Libris                                   Aleph500                         

                                                DigiTool (digital management)                                       

MetaLib (portal)

SFX (link resolver)

            FDI                                          OLIB7                            

                                                            VDX (resource sharing)

            FKI Logistics                            self-service systems        

            Geac Library Solutions               VubisSmart                     

                                                            Vlink (OpenURL resolver)

HKA                                        BICAT                           


i-tr@ck B.V.                                    Library Mate                   


IT-Accent CuadraStar               CuadraSTAR                  

Itsec Nederland bv                    EasyPay                         

Kno-Tech productbeveiliging      Kno-Tech                       

Lorensbergs                              netloan public                  


                                                Resource management

Medialab Solutions bv                Aquabrowser (associate search)

NBD/Biblion                             RFID[4]                            

                                                Cor-Lector (sorting robots)

Nedap N.V.                              Bibliochecker (RFID)      

Netcreators                               TYPO3 (cms)                 

Notra BV                                  Security and control         

OBD                                        Tristan & Isolde (self-service)             

OCLC PICA                             LBS4                              


                                                iPort (portal)






                                                SISIS Sunrise


OVID Technologies                   LinkSolver                      


Q-be Library Systems                Q-be                               

SirsiDynix                                 UNICORN                      


SQUARE IS bv                         BIBIS                             

                                                BIBIS Library Portal

                                                VKS (Virtual Knowledge Syst)

Truston Solutions BV                 Biblio-byte (ex Biblioservice)

Xafax Nederland BV                 PayStation (of Itsec)        

            X-ref Nederland b.v.                 X-ref                              

            3M                                           security (RFID, barcode) 


2    Activities of Johan van Halm


2005 has seen again an array of challenging activities, such as


-         brainstorming projects with many European and international vendors, as well as major international library suppliers

-         ongoing teaching activities at the Fachhochschule Cologne(D) for marketing, library and information consultancy and information brokerage, increasingly with coverage of e-commerce and e-content

-         joint ventures and take-over preparations for a variety of information industry companies at both sides of the Atlantic ocean  

-         a project to automate the 8 public university libraries in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (financed by the World Bank) and a contract has been awarded to DYNIX, now part of SIRSIDYNIX

-         recruitment projects for ‘top-dog’ positions in the library services industry

-         ongoing assistance with the launch of sophisticated new library automation systems world-wide, incl. explorations for the use of WEB2.0 library applications 

-         the editor-in-chief of the well-known information industry journal Information Service and Use (ISU) a variety of topics could be covered, incl. a special issue on electronic publishing and e-learning – papers of EUSIDIC events

-         monitoring the European library-portals market

-         exploration of the various national library services markets

-         Chairman of EUSIDIC, the European Association of Information Services, trying to re-vitalize this association, and since 1 January 2006 acting as Executive Secretary of EUSIDIC

-         Board Member of the Dutch Platform Information Management and

-         an initiative to set-up a platform to defend the interest of exhibitors at library and information services events in 2004 has cumulated in the establishment of EXSPO (see


Just at the end of 2005 we have concluded a procurement project of electronic full-text resources for a consortium of 12 Egyptian university libraries belonging to the Egyptian University Network (EUN).

[1] Geac was acquired by Golden Gate Capital ultimo last year

[2] A Generic Certification (Programme of requirements) has been published by the VOB (see  

[3] A plan has been launched to make the Central Library for the Blind part of the public library infra-structure

[4] all processed books for libraries will automatically receive a RFID label