Education

Digital Public Library of America triples its free collections and more in year one

Digital Public Library of America

When the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) opened last year, Carolyn Fox covered it's progress after one month in her article: Review of the new Digital Public Library of America. In it she explained that the purpose of the Library is "to provide a large-scale, national public digital library of America's archives, libraries, museums, and cultural institutions into one portal." Carolyn also pointed out the DPLA's open attributes, like: » Read more

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The maker movement helps transform our public libraries

public library transformation with open source

The small town of Bethlehem, New York purchased a 3D printer and started teaching classes at its public library recently—jumpstarting the community's knowledge of advanced manufacturing and building upon a new way of doing things in a world where physical bookstores are dissappearing.

It's true. Public libraries are reinventing themselves. Today they are becoming less of a place that hosts physical books and more of a center where people collaborate, commune, and learn new things. » Read more

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Resources for libraries exploring the open source option

library tools for open source

Libraries of all types have the same questions about open source software that are asked by technologists in other fields. Does open source make sense for me? What open source packages mesh well with the skills already in my organization? Where can I go to get training, documentation, hosting, and/or contract software development for a specific open source package?

With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we set out to build tools that help libraries answer these questions. These questions and answers may be useful to others as well. » Read more

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How to introduce open source to your public library

introducing open source

I was intrigued to read this recent article in The Guardian about public libraries’ new role as community problem solvers. If you read carefully into this article you’ll notice the author talks about libraries becoming more involved with "proactive community engagement."

This means that libraries are looking to community members as partners to help solve community problems. In the open source community, we’re familiar with how well these methods can work. In open source, different players contribute to group projects according to their own personal strengths. The results can be far greater than anyone originally imagines. » Read more

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The story of Koha, the first open source library management system

open source library management system Koha

A small public library serving a population of 30,000 in New Zealand developed and released the world’s first open source library management system in 2000. Horowhenua Library Trust named the system Koha, which is a New Zealand Māori custom meaning gift or contribution.

This is a story of why we developed Koha and how it has changed the way we, and millions of others, work. » Read more

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Open data hackathon tackles cultural preservation

Sharing open ideas

More and more galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs) are digitizing their collections to make them accessible online and to preserve our heritage for future generations. By January 2014, over 30 million objects have been made available via Europeana—among which over 4.5 million records were contributed from German institutions. » Read more

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Web-publishing for libraries and the robust community of Omeka

open source library tool

Understandably, software developers might wonder how a bunch of historians ended up shepherding an open source content management system into the world, but in the case of Omeka the trajectory is a logical one that stems from years of work in open access public history and cultural heritage projects.

Omeka is a leading open source collections-based web publishing platform for cultural heritage institutions, researchers, scholars, and students, developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) and the growing open source developer community it supports. It is released under the GPLv 3.0 license. » Read more

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Open source library system Evergreen rewards the community

open source library tool

As a systems librarian at an academic institution, I am a conduit between those who want to access the resources our library offers and my colleagues who describe the resources on behalf of researchers. I direct our limited development resources so that our systems can best meet the needs of all of our users. In their paper, Schwarz and Takhteyev claim that software freedom makes "it possible for the modifications to be done by those actors who have the best information about their value [and] are best equipped to carry them out."

Evergreen, as an open source library system, enables me to invest my time so that my work benefits not only our institution, but all other Evergreen-using institutions when I offer my local work to the project as a whole. This focus on the improvement of the project as a whole, rather than site-specific enhancements, is a broadly shared principle of our development community. » Read more

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Five open source tools libraries need to know about

open source tools for libraries

There was a time when working in the library I found it very frustrating (as many librarians do) that there were so few options for software that actually did what I needed. In libraries we're so used to there being this vendor=software model. Where one vendor controls a product and while there might be other similar products, they too are controlled by a vendor. 

This is why libraries need to take a closer look at open source software. » Read more

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Book contest for Open Library Week

Open Libary Week book contest

It's Open Library Week at Opensource.com, and we're celebrating open source tools and methods for libraries with a contest.

Enter for a chance to win two books of your choice from O'Reilly Media. When you enter, be sure to select your favorite public library becuase they could win too. If you win, the library you selected will recieve five free books of their choice. » Read more

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