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No Secret Code:


Academic Library Users: a current profile 'New Openness' & Library ... Now the development platform for Summon by Serials Solutions broad content integration ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: No Secret Code:

No Secret Code
  • Open Source, Innovation,
  • Academic Libraries
  • in the Digital Environment

Presentation Overview
  • Academic Library Users a current profile
  • New Openness Library Technology
  • Enter VUFind the back story
  • VuFind demo
  • The case for open source in libraries
  • Q A

Our Users,From an Academic Library Perspective
Some Findings on College Students
  • 89 start research with search engines
  • 87 have visited an academic library, for a
    variety of reasons
  • 57 report using online library site as a step in
    research process
  • 70 describe libraries as accurate credible
  • 50 report using library catalog frequently

Some Unsurprising Conclusions
  • Current undergraduates evidence greater
    familiarity with search engines than with online
    library resources
  • Current undergraduates have a broad awareness of
    and respect for the value accuracy of library
  • Current undergraduates evidence a behavioral
    preference for the open Web
  • We need to make the library search experience as
    familiar as engaging as searching the open Web

Enter the New Openness in Library Technology
  • Web-native technologies for the rapid development
    deployment of simple applications
  • Critical mass of robust well-developed open
    source components (MySQL, PHP, Lucene, SOLR,
    etc.) that can be easily glued together to
    create new tools
  • Standardized data frameworks interfaces that
    can be used to build sophisticated discovery
    presentation layers (XML, Web services, etc.)

More Facets of the New Openness
  • Pervasive desire / demand for APIs, data
    portability, seamless intersystem connections
  • Lessons from Linux success the underpinnings of
    the Web (Apache, Firefox, a plethora of
    emerging niche applications)
  • Desire to assert control in a turbulent

  • VuFind
  • The Inside Story

Background Core Beliefs
  • Libraries must
  • Participate in development of technology
  • Be producers not just consumers
  • Build a fully collaborative environment around
    tools services
  • To establish technical staff models in support of
    these beliefs

Immediate Context
  • Disillusioned with Voyager OPAC its
  • Wanted a better search experience for our Web
    native users
  • Endeca catalog came online at NCSU
  • Already built a search system for a specialized
    international bibliography
  • Experimented with export of MARC records to XML
    for alternative searching

Other goals
  • Integrate library search into the design
    texture of library Web environment
  • Faceted search browse
  • Enhanced content
  • Use common search resource across all library
    contexts (dream on)

VUFindNext Gen Resource Discovery
  • Developed in-house in less than six months
  • One programmer
  • Code released as open source August 07
  • Software live a National Library of Australia,
    January 08
  • Software live at Villanova, August 08
  • Now the development platform for Summon by
    Serials Solutions broad content integration

VuFind, contd
  • Highly modular architecture, built from common
    open source components LAMP, Lucene, Solr
  • SolrMARc / MARC4J
  • SMARTY Template engine at presentation level
  • Similar functionality to Endeca Primo
  • Growing community of collaborators
  • Rapid, iterative software development
  • Big fixes enhancements completed in days or
  • Direct control of development roadmap
  • MATC Award in December 2008 (Mellon Foundation)
  • Villanova library Web with VuFind

  • VUFind Demo

Open Source The Perfect Fit for Libraries
  • Concept Case

What is Open Source?
  • Software that is developed by an individual or
  • with an interest in a particular application or
  • distributed in un-compiled (source) form, with no
    licensing fees,
  • to a broader community that has a use for it,
  • allowing for local development enhancement of
    the source code
  • including in many cases a means for contribution
    of local enhancements back to the common code

More on Open Source
  • Open Source software is not non-commercial.
  • It is often supported by commercial entities.
  • In distinction from proprietary software, those
    commercial entities neither own nor control
    access to the code base.
  • Open Source development processes can often (but
    not always) yield superior results to proprietary
    software development regimes.

Defining the commons
  • Paraphrasing the OED
  • A resource held in common to its users
  • Lawrence Lessigs examples
  • Streets
  • Parks
  • The theory of relativity
  • Writings in the public domain

The Library as a Commons
  • Libraries are situated within the domain of the
  • They provide their communities with open access
    to intellectual and cultural resources.
  • No single individual controls or uses up the
    resources of a library.
  • Accessibility to all translates into open
    stacks, in which materials are available to any
    who use a particular facility.

A Foundational Claim
  • The cultural assumptions and social practices
  • embedded within Open Source software
  • are congruent and co-extensive
  • with the values and missions of libraries writ
  • Embracing Open Source software
  • Deepening enhancing our cultural mission
    social function.

An Expanded Vision
  • The emergence of Open Source software with the
    library space enhances the library as a center
    for participatory culture and collaborative
  • Libraries are profoundly social they function to
    put different ideas and different perspectives
    adjacent to each other, yielding new insights and
  • Open Source software development is a powerful
    instance of, and rich paradigm, for this function.

Some implications of the New Openness
  • Leading libraries will take control of technology
  • Libraries will create new cooperative frameworks
    to build environments suited to Web native users
  • Mantra will be customize, personal, expose,
    syndicate, connect, socialize
  • Activist community will push for open APIs
    standards for services data
  • Resource discovery and content access will be
    utterly intertwined
  • New relationships will be forged between
    libraries content providers

Some Implications of the New Openness, contd.
  • Demand for content fluidity and re-packaging in
    various access presentation environments
  • Example of YouTube videos, Facebook syndication
    from media sties etc.
  • Desire for seamless, integrated but localized /
    library-branded online information spaces
  • New questions pressures around intellectual
    property, ownership, licensing digital archiving

  • Q A