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  • It’s a pleasure to be back in Tasmania, after spending three weeks here on holiday just three months ago. I was asked to speak about the NL’s work with VuFind and its participation in the OLE Project. I will certainly do this, but I’m going to contextualise those topics by speaking about the mix of vendor supplied, open source and in-house developed software at the NL, and our efforts to make sense of that mix and to chart a way forward. My hope is that what I say will connect with the thinking of the libraries represented here, and will help with the exchange of ideas at this Conference (or “Unconference”).
  • These systems exclude those (such as CBS, TeraText and Lucene) that are used to support Libraries Australia and the NLA’s discovery services. In this list, only Voyager, RefTracker, Relais and Quadriga are vendor-supplied. VuFind and AT are open source, and the rest were developed in-house. DCM was developed in-house in 2001/02, after a major request for tender failed to identify any product that met the NLA’s needs – and the tendered products were also very expensive.
  • SOA – reusable, modular software components that are connected to each other through standard protocols and interfaces (may not be the official definition). The architecture of these components will be guided by a “service framework”. Single Business – “a single data corpus that can be deployed in many business contexts”. For both of the above, read – move away from stand-alone, silo applications.
  • How our involvement in OLE came about – Blinco, Mackie, Duke. Factors behind our involvement: our shift in policy on open source our IT Architecture report our (modest) experiments with open source (incl Lucene) What might come out of this? Perhaps a bit like the NCore toolkit from the NSDL. Represented at the Melbourne meeting were Swinburne, La Trobe, USQ, SLT, SLNSW, Calyx.
  • Transcript

    • 1. The National Library’s journey with open source library software Horizon Libraries Conference Hobart, 11 February 2009 Warwick Cathro National Library of Australia
    • 2. NLA collection management systems
      • Ex Libris Voyager (acquisitions, cataloguing, serials check-in, e-call slips)
      • Digital Collection Manager and Resolver Service (digitisation workflow, web delivery)
      • PANDAS (web archiving and delivery)
      • Rights Management System (recording rights and permissions data)
      • VuFind (NLA catalogue)
      • Subject Suggestor Tool
      • Archivists Toolkit (manuscript finding aids)
      • RefTracker (reference and acquisitions support)
      • e-Resources (access to licensed e-resources)
      • Relais (ILL support)
      • Quadriga (audio management)
    • 3. IT Architecture report
      • Released March 2007
      • Service Oriented Architecture
      • Single Business approach
      • Changed emphasis on open source
    • 4. Open source
      • “ Use products and services which are available in the marketplace [unless they] fall well short of functional requirements ... do not fit the Library’s IT environment, are too costly, or involve unacceptable levels of risk” [2006]
      • “ Evaluate open source solutions on equal terms with solutions available in the marketplace ... [and] return [any] in-house developed software to the public domain” [2007]
    • 5. Open source issues
      • Often more modular
      • Often uses open standards
      • Developing software for open source release is challenging
      • Often difficult for others to install and use
      • NLA paid a third party to develop a Z39.50/SRU gateway for Lucene
      • Contribution can be through design, specification (eg web curator toolkit)
    • 6. Ventures into open source
      • Investigation of web curator tools (collaboration in IIPC)
      • Development of Automated Obsolescence Notification System (funded by APSR)
      • Lucene:
        • supports two NLA discovery services
        • preferred platform for discovery services
      • VuFind (replaced our Voyager catalogue in 2008)
      • OLE Project (covered below)
      • Participation in Code4Lib conference
    • 7. VuFind
      • We needed a better interface:
        • relevance ranking
        • faceted search refinement
        • Web 2.0 features
      • Open source from VillaNova University
      • Builds a second copy of catalogue using Lucene
      • Was installed and developed rapidly
        • very light project management
        • rapid prototyping approach
        • adopted ideas from staff and users
      • Needed integration with Voyager for e-call slips
        • changes to Voyager’s Oracle database (no API)
    • 8. Ex Libris strategy
      • Open Platform Program
      • Ex Libris now publicly recognises the importance of SOA and the inclusion of open interfaces in its architecture (Developers Meeting, Jerusalem, November 2008)
      • Openness will be “addressed on all levels” (Ex Librian Newsletter, January 2009)
    • 9. Getwise Project
      • “ Gain Efficiencies Through Workflow Investigation and System Exploration”
      • Two year project (July 2008 – June 2010)
      • Workflow analysis using BPMN
      • Focus on:
        • original (unpublished) materials
        • copying and delivery workflows
        • tracking of items – exhibitions, preservation, etc.
        • implementation of Rights Management System
      • Exploring software tools:
        • Archivists Toolkit
        • RefTracker for acquisition processes
      • Feeds into OLE Project
    • 10. OLE Project
      • Aims:
        • Define requirements for an open source library management system
        • build a community
        • potential for a Stage 2 (software building and integration)
      • Led by Duke University
      • Mellon funded
      • NLA is a core partner (focus on original materials requirements)
      • Meeting of interested Australian libraries, Melbourne, November 2008
    • 11.  
    • 12. NLA Service Framework
      • NLA investigation of a “Service Framework” during 2008
      • Work undertaken by Judith Pearce
      • Published on NLA’s “Library Labs” wiki
      • Attempts to define the reusable software components needed for building library systems, and the protocols that link them
      • Attempts compatibility with the “E-Framework” (UK/Australia/NZ/Netherlands)
      • Has been adopted by OLE Project as a reference framework
    • 13. Service framework
    • 14. Conclusions
      • NLA’s library “system’ is already an assemblage of software components:
        • vendor supplied
        • open source
        • in-house developed
      • We expect this to continue, but with more cleanly defined components and interfaces
      • We will contribute to frameworks and design projects (eg OLE) that facilitate community movement in this direction
      • We certainly don’t have all the answers so we welcome collaboration with other interested parties