Implemented Open Source in your Library? Get Paid to Write a Case Study

Share your story of implementing an open source system at your library. If selected, you will get paid to develop a case study of your open source system adoption experience and learning.

LYRASIS, in partnership with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is seeking academic and public libraries to share their experiences with open source systems, such as content repositories or institutional repositories, integrated library systems, or public-facing websites. The two selected case studies will be available on This effort, part of the larger LYRASIS Digital initiative, is a continuation of LYRASIS working with libraries and other cultural heritage organizations to learn about, evaluate, adopt, and use open source software systems.

LYRASIS’ “Reposervice” Setup Pushed to GitHub

Earlier this month published ‘reposervice’ to GitHub. Reposervice is a “self-contained” Islandora installation source tree that is intended to smooth the LYRASIS deployment of repository services between development servers, a staging server and production servers. It is a bit of a work-in-progress at the moment, but others might find it useful as well.

(By the way, if you had looked at Reposervice prior to June 18th, you may have noticed a missing critical element — the Drupal submodule. Not because you couldn’t add Drupal yourself but because the Reposervice clone has relative soft symlinks to the Islandora modules positioned in the top level Reposervice directory.)

Vote for an ALA2013 Ignite Session on Open Source Communities

I’ve put in a proposal on the importance of communities in open source software for an “ignite” session at the ALA Annual meeting in Chicago, and I’d appreciate your vote to get the talk into the program. If you have experienced the power and benefit of open source software, you know that the community is just as important as the code. In a 5-minute presentation accompanied by 20 slides that advance automatically every 15 seconds, I’ll be describing the many ways libraries can be a part of an open source community. Here is the brief description of the talk:

The open source method for developing software works best when everyone contributes a little bit to the process. Do you benefit from open source? Do you wish the open source you use was a little better? Don’t know why the community nature of open source is important? Hear what you can do to make the world a better place by nudging your favorite open source project along a path to perfection.

Helping Libraries Consider Open Source Software

One of the key activities that brought me to LYRASIS many months ago is going to see the light of day in about 10 days at ALA Midwinter — a set of tools to help libraries determine if open source software is right for them and what open source software works the best. Here is the announcement snippet from today’s LYRASIS newsletter:

FREE Open Source Sessions at ALA Midwinter: Take Control of Your Library’s Software

Open Source LogoIs your library thinking about jumping into open source software, but not sure if you have the tools in place to succeed, or where to start?

Governance in Open Source Software Projects

Note!Below is the text of an article I wrote for a LYRASIS member newsletter in which I talk about the nature of governance in open source software projects. I’m reposting it here for the DLTJ readership.

One of the more fascinating aspects of open source software is the role that its creators and users play in its evolution. (For more on the community nature of open source software, see a previous article, The Challenges and Rewards of Open Source) With proprietary systems, the creators and users are separate groups, and the control over the relationship is bound up in proprietary rights and contracts. (This doesn’t diminish the role of robust user groups for proprietary software; rather it is a reflection of where the ultimate control lies – with the creators of the software.) With open source software, the creators and users are commonly the same or closely overlapping. How do creators and users work with each other? This is a question of governance.

Seeking consultants to create decision support tools for open source software selection

My employer (LYRASIS) is seeking to engage consultants to create decision support tools in the form of whitepapers, self-guided assessments, and worksheets for libraries considering open source software. This work is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help libraries of all types determine if open source software is right for them, and what combination of software, hosting, training, and consulting works for their situation. These tools are to be paired with a software registry to become a community exchange point and stimulant for growth of the library open source ecosystem by connecting libraries with projects, service providers, and events.

How Do You Decide To Use Open Source Software and What Software to Use?

As part of the Mellon Foundation grant funding the start-up of LYRASIS Technology Services, LTS is to produce a series of tools that enable libraries to decide whether open source is right for their environments. The grant says:

When Closed Source Companies Contribute to Open Source Communities

I was reading a story last week about the Linux Foundation‘s third annual report [PDF] of the Linux kernel, and in it was a section that talked about the affiliation of the programmers that contributed to the development of the kernel. This got me thinking about the affiliation of programmers in the library open source community. More on that after a brief detour to explain what the “kernel” is.