On joining the Talis LPAG

About a month ago, Dr. Paul Miller invited me to join Talis’s Library Platform Advisory Group. The group is tasked with evaluating the Talis Platform product and participating in some discussion that ranges from specific issues regarding the product itself to abstract notions of next-generation library systems and philosophies. It’s an interesting group with an interesting agenda. From the Talis web site:

The Talis Library Platform Advisory Group draws together an international group of individuals with a shared enthusiasm for reshaping the way in which information from libraries is used and reused, both inside the traditional library and far beyond. At Talis, we believe that the Talis Platform is key to the sector’s success in this area, and we have assembled this group of independent experts in order to engage in a free and frank dialogue which we expect to challenge, test and validate our beliefs as we move forward.

Because of my unique relationship with vendors, in general, and in lieu of some of the things I have written in the past, espousing vendor-independence, I thought I should offer up some explanation as to why I accepted Paul’s invitation to join the group.

First, I want to be clear that by joining LPAG, I’m in no way endorsing the Talis Platform product. I do think it’s very interesting, though, and want to learn more about it and their strategic vision for it. I do, however, endorse Talis’s willingness to engage the library community transparently and openly. I’ve admired their willingness to offer up and discuss opinions on their blog, Panlibus, that are, sometimes, quite contrary to their business model. Other vendors could learn a great deal from Talis’s transparency–chiefly, that the world will not crumble if you address dissenting opinion head-on, and in the round.

So, I’ve joined the group for several reasons. First, I want to participate in what I know is going to be a very interesting and stimulating set of discussions. Second, I want to take away a keener understanding of what the Talis Library Platform is all about and how a radically different approach to providing an ILS service layer can affect librarianship. Third, I deeply admire and respect the other members of the Advisory Group (You can see who else is on it here). And finally, I was asked by Paul Miller who is not in the habit of tossing out invitations to join advisory groups, and who is a tremendously talented librarian and computer scientist.

I’m looking forward to letting some of our discussion spill over into the biblioblogosphere, where appropriate.

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