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From Marconi to Ex Libris: Innovation in Communication Technology

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From Marconi to Ex Libris: Innovation in Communication Technology

Laura Salmi, Administration Manager & Sales and Marketing Support, Ex Libris Italy

One hundred and fifteen years ago, in a little village in the Italian province of Bologna, an amazing discovery came to light that would radically change the way people communicate. The physicist and inventor Guglielmo Marconi, testing the transmission of radio waves emitted from the hilltop near that little village, sowed the seed of a revolution in information technology, a revolution that quickly picked up speed, reaching out to more and more people and covering increasingly greater distances. Since that day, radio has become a symbol and tool of freedom: the freedom to find information, use it, and share it—anywhere on the globe.

After many years, in the same village near Bologna, now named Sasso Marconi in honor of its extraordinary citizen, and during the centennial of Marconi’s Nobel Prize for physics, the Italian office of Ex Libris opened its doors. Like Guglielmo Marconi, Ex Libris possesses the skills to envision and imagine technology that doesn’t yet exist, to create the foundations for new solutions that harness the power of aggregation, and to share ideas and data. Ex Libris has repeated demonstrated how it can translate these capabilities into applications that have made the Company a world leader in the library automation industry.

The most notable examples are SFX®, the first OpenURL link resolver; Primo®, the revolutionary discovery and delivery system; bXTM —the first and only scholarly article recommender service; and the Rosetta digital preservation system, which is the first end-to-end solution for the management and preservation of digital collections.

Other projects currently on the drawing board of Ex Libris visionaries and developers have the potential to completely redesign library services and build the future management system for back-office library operations, while maintaining their ongoing purpose of making information available and enabling the advancement of human knowledge. Guglielmo Marconi would be proud to know that such a pioneering company has chosen to open its Italian office in the village that many years ago witnessed his amazing discovery.