Wednesday, February 9, 2011 7:52 pm
One important point of today’s presentations at code4lib was on using community-based approach to provide solutions. There was also an interesting breakout section led by Lyrasis on the importance of open source solutions in libraries and why they are becoming so popular.
In order to develop a digital exhibit that would aggregate digital collections originally in different formats, the University of Notre Dame decided on a community-based approach. They then joined the Hydra Framework community. The community includes Stanford, Virginia University, DuraSpace, MediaSpace, and Blacklight. Hydra Framework is a shared base of code that each Hydra community member benefits from. It provides developers with a set of tools that facilitate the rapid development of scalable applications. The Notre Dame’s digital exhibit’s information architecture includes Apache Solr and Fedora Commons as their repository and Blacklight and Active Fedora as their interface.
The Chicago Underground Library also used a community-based approach to collect and catalog the Chicago city’s history. They collected every piece of print data imaginable and this included hand-made artist books, university press, self-published poetry books etc. They also gathered information about each individual who contributed to the collection so users can trace back to them. They have accumulated over 2000 publications so far. Their future goal is to expand the collections to include audio and video.
A rep from Lyrasis led a breakout section to talk about how their organization can help libraries achieve their goals and find out why there is so much interest in open source solutions and what is driving such enthusiasm. It was interesting to find out that no attendant thought that the decision to embrace open source solutions as opposed to vendor provided solutions was solely due to financial reasons. Everyone agreed it was more about the independence and the flexibility that open source software provide. Then there was a long discussion on the cost involved in open source software implementation. Overall the group found that open source solutions are definitely worth it.