At the Fall 2010 HBI/LBI Conference in Springfield IL, Jeanne Drewes from the Library of Congress (LC) made the announcement that LC has decided to fund some improvements in the ABLE software. The software being used currently is not meeting the needs of the LC, and ABLE, with these modifications will do so.

The most important three improvements addressed are to be:

1. Security
2. Error Reduction through using ZLink and ILS linking
3. Enhanced Reporting and Management

It has been decided that all ABLE users will be asked to stay on the one version. Therefore, when these improvements are released, we will all be the beneficiary of these changes. SB Stone is the developer of these upgrades and is in the process of the rewrite. Release date is scheduled for March 2011.

What does this mean to ABLE users?
For the most part, very little. The enhanced security may be an issue at the Library of Congress, but it is not a large concern to most libraries. The improvements in ZLink may be of some help, if your library is using a system compatible with the developments written for LC. Finally, the improvements in the exporting of data may be an improvement to those libraries who have felt the reporting available within ABLE to be limited.

We are told that the average user will not experience difficulty, or the need for retraining due to any of these changes. More information will be made available in the near future.