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.
The National Library’s journey with open source library software Horizon Libraries Conference Hobart, 11 February 2009 Warwick Cathro National Library of Australia
“ 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” 
“ Evaluate open source solutions on equal terms with solutions available in the marketplace ... [and] return [any] in-house developed software to the public domain”