||Many libraries are in the process of rethinking the effectiveness of the automation tools
they're using to provide library services, both within and outside of their library buildings.
Internally, the core component driving many of these services has been the integrated library
system (ILS). The next generation of these systems are called "library services platforms." The vendors and products that have been announced include: WorldShare™ Management Services by OCLC®, Alma by Ex Libris, Sierra by Innovative Interfaces, Intota™ by Serials Solutions®, Open Library Environment (OLE) by Kuali®, and Open Skies by VTLS. When looking at the new library services platforms, we're seeing some radically different approaches being taken and, as with all technologies, each approach has its advantages and disadvantages. However, to understand those approaches, we need to start with some common definitions upon which to make comparisons at the technical level. Then we'll look at each of the new library service platforms. Finally, we'll consider a high-level view in order to understand what the approaches mean at a professional level.