ALA has its “Introducing FOSS4Lib webinar and in-person. The version I’m doing for the ALA Virtual Conference has a broader look at open source software in libraries in addition to the tools and software registry on FOSS4Lib.org. There are a on the state of ebooks in libraries plus talks on and . for the virtual conference is $69 ($51.75 if you attended the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim), and group registration for up to 15 IP addresses is $300 ($225 if you registered for the Annual Conference).” coming up on July 18th and 19th. It is of at-your-desktop talks on some of the most interesting topics in libraries today. a derivative of the
It is that time of year again where representatives from the library profession all gather for the annual Annual Library Association meeting. This year it is in Anaheim, California on June 21–26. And as the pace of technology continues to push libraries into new areas of content and service, this meeting promises to be an exciting one. Or, at least I’m planning on having a fun and engaging time. Here is my tentative schedule of public events. If you’d like to get together to chat outside these times, please get in touch.
Updated to correct the date for the LYRASIS lounge.
Thursday Threads has been a back-burner activity for quite a while now. Blame it on too many interesting things happening at home and at work (to say nothing of the early arrival of spring weather). This week will be only a slight exception with just two threads of mention rather than the typical three or four. First is the announcement by Blackboard that it is starting up an open source support division and acquiring/hiring some of the bigger names in that sector. Second is a reflection on two independent stories about the effect of copyright uncertainty and digital rights management on book materials.
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:
Welcome to the new year! Threads this week include a brief analysis of the legal problems in store if SOPA and PROTECT-IP become law, what an analysis of the problems with Best Buy might teach libraries, and why open source licensing of clinical tools is important.
With Thursday Threads coming on a Thanksgiving Thursday, it seems appropriate to use a theme of what I’m thankful for. So, in this edition of DLTJ Thursday Threads I’m offering three things: open source software, the internet, and public libraries. Reading this on Thanksgiving? Feel free to offer what you are thankful for in the comments.
This week brought news of the Kindle-based e-book lending program through Overdrive, and Peter Brantley has an opinion piece on what this means for Amazon, publishers, and even libraries. From the other e-book powerhouse — Google — is a TED talk presentation about the Google Books ngram Viewer. Finally, there is a view of one of the benefits of the open source software model with an announcement that six libraries are funding development to meet their needs.
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.
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.
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: