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.
The full solicitation is on the Decision Support Tools page of the Code4Lib wiki. Anyone who is interested is invited to get in touch with me to ask questions and/or see the responses to questions from others. By way of background, the part of the grant that we are seeking to fulfill is:
Identify useful tools that can support decision-making and create free, web-based versions for library self-use. Tools will enable libraries to look at products (open source or not) from the library requirement perspective as well as product functionality. Readiness assessment tools will assist libraries in evaluating local conditions to assess what resources exist or are needed to acquire, adopt, and support open source products. Selection tools will provide a structure for looking at such factors as usability, scalability, documentation, upgrade frequency, customization, maintenance requirements, community adoption levels, system support needs, and security in addition to product features. Existing models for assessing business requirements and readiness for other software applications will be used as a starting point for developing readiness assessment and selection tools for open source library products. The tools will be developed by staff and consultants, and tested/vetted with members and/or experts.