Thursday Threads: Ebooks in Libraries, Prognostications for the Year, Open Source Adoption, Public Domain Day

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The turn of the year brings commentary on the past 12 months and thoughts on the future. This edition of DLTJ Thursday Threads looks at the relationship between libraries and electronic books with an offer by Sony to explain e-reader hardware to libraries and an opinion piece that libraries need to get their act together on the adoption of e-books. Then there is a look forward at possible trends for the new year; I try to pick out the ones that I think will have an impact on libraries. One trend that does seem to be emerging is the migration of libraries from proprietary software to open source software for their integrated library systems. Lastly, we’ll wrap up with a look at Public Domain Day.

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.

Thursday Threads: Refining Data, Ebook Costs, Open Bibliographic Data, Copyright Infringement

It has been a long week, so for many of you this edition of DLTJ Thursday Threads will actually be read on Friday. The spirit was willing, the topics were certainly out there in the past seven days, but the necessary distractions were numerous. Please enjoy this edition whenever you read it. As always, there is lots more on my FriendFeed aggregation page.

Google Refine 2.0, a power tool for data wranglers

Now Working for LYRASIS

News of my joining Lyrasis has been officially reported (“Timothy Daniels and Peter Murray to Lead LYRASIS Technology Services” [PDF]) so I can talk about it here now. On September 10th I left OhioLINK to join LYRASIS on September 13th as the assistant director for the newly emerging LYRASIS Technology Services (LTS). Along with Tim Daniels, I’ll be forming a group to help members among the various open source and commercial software options works best for their situations, including options where LYRASIS can effectively and efficiently aggregate Software-as-a-Service hosting options.

Extensible Catalog Project Seeking Developers in Innovative Ways

Last month, the eXtensible Catalog (XC) project posted job openings for Java developers. These are short-term, grant-funded projects and, having been on the hiring side of that equation before myself, I know how difficult it is to get good people for a one- or two-year project. The XC posting is different, though, in one important way: it is possible to have XC buy out the time of a developer on staff for the time that the development is happening.

Consideration will be made for qualified developers that are currently employed at another institution, but who may be available for loan to the XCO [eXtensible Catalog Organization]. The XCO would cover the salary and benefits of such individuals in the form of a direct payment to their host institution. This is an excellent opportunity for a library to invest in open-source software for libraries as well as a way to temporarily offset staffing costs in a difficult economic environment. Only staff that can be made available to XCO at 100% time (or close to that level) will be considered for this arrangement.

A Thread of Comments on the OLE Project Draft Report

Carl Grant, president of Ex Libris North America, posted a pair of messages on his corporate blog that it is worth calling attention to regarding the OLE Project final report, if you haven’t already run into them: OLE; The unanswered questions and Library Software Solutions – We need a higher level of discourse... Equally important is the comment on the first by Brad Wheeler, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at Indiana University. The whole thread should take about five minutes to read; five minutes well spent if you are interested in the intersection of community source software development with proprietary, closed-source software development. It is even more important if you are looking for a case study of governance issues surrounding community source software development. Go ahead…I’ll wait.

FulfILLment from Equinox Selected for Statewide Resource Sharing System

This is an announcement posted by the State Library of Ohio regarding the selection of FulfILLment from Equinox for a statewide resource sharing system.

OPEN SOURCE STATEWIDE RESOURCE SHARING SYSTEM PROPOSAL FROM EQUINOX HAS BEEN ACCEPTED.

The State Library of Ohio is pleased to announce Equinox Software Inc. has been selected to develop a new open source resource sharing solution called Equinox FulfILLment. The goal of the project is to develop a seamless resource sharing application under an open source licensing framework in an environment of disparate integrated library systems (ILSs).

Aligning Clashing Values

This started out as a comment to a posting by Chris Coppola, president and co-founder of rSmart Group. The comment got longer and threaded with yesterday’s posting about the nature of BioMed Central, so I moved it to this posting on DLTJ. For those in the library community who are not familiar with rSmart, it provides commercial support for the Sakai collaboration and learning environment and the Kuali administrative systems suite. rSmart is somewhat equivalent to Equinox Software and LibLime in the library automation arena.

Educational Patents, Open Access Journals, and Clashing Values

This posting has two goals — first, to introduce DLTJ readers to the notion of “Educational Patents” or “edupatents” and provide an update on events of this week. Second, to frame the sometimes contentious interaction between academic institutions and supporting businesses as one of “clashing values.” The former serves as a cautionary tale within the wider scope of the latter.

Educational Patents

“Show Me The Code!!!” -or- It Isn’t Open Source Until We Can See the Source

Show Me the Money! There are days that I feel like Tom Cruise. No, I have no idea what it is like to be married to Nicole Kidman or Katie Holmes and I don’t have the secrets of Scientology. Let me rephrase: there are days that I feel like Jerry Macguire, the character Tom Cruise played in the movie by the same name. Have you seen it? Very early in the movie there is a scene where Jerry’s life as a top-tier sports agent is crumbling. He is on the phone with what turns out to be his last client — desperately trying to keep his business. The athlete (Cuba Gooding Jr. — I have no idea what it is like to be him either) gets Jerry to scream “Show Me The Money!” into the phone as a precondition for remaining his agent. In that vein, here is what I’m screaming into this PowerBook. (Imagine now that I am dancing around the room and standing on top of desks — not really a stretch for those that have seen my presentation style, I’ll admit.)