Softlink IC Blog

Subscribe to our regular updates

Marshall Breeding Kicks Off Successful North American User Group Meeting

User Group Meeting image
Published May 21, 2021

The Liberty Virtual User Group Meeting (VUGM) 2021 “season” kicked off on May 13. An enthusiastic group of users registered and attended an informative and fun afternoon. All Liberty users who registered for the VUGM will be sent a recording shortly so those who could not attend due to unexpected events will not miss out entirely!

The meeting began with Jeo introducing the Softlink team members joining our users and checked that everyone had their bingo sheets to check off throughout the afternoon. He then handed over to Matt Coy, Softlink IC’s Sale and Account Manager for North America and Europe. Matt had the pleasure of introducing our special guest Marshall Breeding who joined us for a fireside chat.

Marshall could be considered a classic overachiever! He has written eight books, published a thousand articles and contributed regular columns in library journals. If that isn’t enough, he established the Library Technology Guides website that he maintains to this day. His annual library survey is a “go to” for many libraries and vendors. Quite exhausting just hearing about his workload!

Most of us know of Marshall, but that he could be viewed as almost an accidental library and technology specialist was something many of us didn’t know.

Marshall discussed his career journey, one shaped by serendipitous opportunities, and an interest in technologies. He focussed on how they could work together to benefit library staff and users. While it was complicated back in the 1990’s, technology in libraries is far more seamless to the point library staff and users almost take it for granted these days!

One of the interesting questions Matt asked Marshall related to the difference between integrated library systems and library services platforms. Marshall noted that the needs of libraries in different sectors greatly determine the type of systems they may deploy.

He also touched on the consolidation of vendors in the library sector. Additionally, Marshall remarked that the upside of this consolidation is the concentration of development focussed on the sector’s needs, thereby bringing many cutting-edge features and functionality. The downside is less choice.

Matt was thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with Marshall and on behalf of us all reiterate that,

“All of us here at Softlink IC and our users were delighted to have had the opportunity to listen to and learn from Marshall. We thank him once again for his willingness to chat with us.”

Jeo then introduced Zane Koria, a Support specialist based in our UK office, who provided an overview and brief demonstration of the new functionality included in Liberty’s existing Interest’s feature.

After a brief break so attendees could get themselves a cup of coffee or tea and have a bit of fun with Jeo’s pop quiz, it was Zac’s turn. One of our super star development team, Zac provided an insight into accessibility for everyone which is the current focus of Softlink IC’s development team. We want Liberty users with sight disabilities to access and use Liberty with as few roadblocks as possible.

Zac identified and gave examples of the changes being made to several of the screen layouts in Liberty. The changes will facilitate optimization for screen reader technology. For a bit of behind-the-scenes developer learning, read our May 14th Accessibility blog post, and try Development Manager James Martin’s little challenge!

It was then back to Jeo for the Masterclass on Reports. The topic was chosen based on what was trending in the Help Desk and the pre-meeting survey responses. After fielding questions at the end of the class he reminded everyone that they can always contact the Support team for any further help on Reports or any topic for that matter!

The comments from our attendees reassured us the User Group Meeting and Masterclass were enjoyed by everyone. The Softlink IC team look forward to catching up with you all again as we continue our program of boot camps and training throughout the year.

Keep an eye out for the upcoming email which will include a link to the recording for your future reference. In the meantime, if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.