Open Source ILS Add-Ons


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This webinar is about the Open Source software that is available to supplement your library system, regardless of whether you are using an Open Source Library System like Koha or Evergreen or a proprietary system like Millennium, CARL, or Horizon.

Software that dramatically extends and expands the capabilities of your library system software fall into two main categories: discovery interface and metasearch. While other products (e.g. content management systems) may integrate with your ILS to some degree, we will focus our attention on discovery and metasearch tools, how they work and who is using them.

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  • No single website is the sole focus of a user's attention. Increasingly people discover websites, or encounter content from them, in a variety of places. These may be network level services (Google, ...), or personal services (my RSS aggregator or 'webtop'), or services which allow me to traverse from personal to network (Delicious, LibraryThing, ...). — Lorcan Dempsey, “Discovery happens elsewhere” (
  • Current APIs provided by vendors are limited (ask for ingredients to apple pie and get the whole pie or some key ingredients missing) Inconsistent implement of SIP Expense of SIP Slowness of Z39.50 Maybe NCIP2 will be better Screen-scraping - grab output intended for display to end user Not documented Not structured for convenient parsing Direct query access to database: most vendors don’t support it (or if they do, it costs extra) IF YOU HAVE AN OSLS… <other developments if you don’t have an OSLS>
  • New approach: move toward XML-based web services API model to enable developers outside of the library community to more easily access the information stored within the ILS. In 2007, the Digital Library Federation convened the ILS Discovery Interface Task Group (ILS-DI) Purpose: analyze issues involved in integrating integrated library systems (ILS's) and discovery applications create a technical proposal for accomplishing such integration. Initial recommendation of the group ("revision 1.0") published in June 2008. <other technologies that are improving “discovery”>
  • OAI-PMH: OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting A way to take many different types of data formats, organized in different ways and make it findable/discoverable SOA service oriented architecture modular programs that perform a single, simple task (restaurant analogy) tasks are re-usable, recallable (call the busboy to clean the table) the presentation, business logic and computer logic are separate food on the plate / menu / recipe Example of web services is when the ILS communicates with Amazon’s API to pull reviews and book covers. This is an “application to application communication over the Internet.”
  • databases and catalogs use a variety of metadata schemas, indexes, and algorithms, and the metasearch engine must make often arbitrary decisions about how to aggregate, and order the search results. Source:
  • An open source social discovery platform for bibliographic data. It provides a graphic integration between the catalog UI and the library's Drupal (CMS) site. Composed of three parts: SOPAC (UI), Locum (ILS connector), Insurge (data repository) Entire project licensed: GPL v.3
  • 2.1 Enhancements - Multi-branch support - Incorporation of 3rd-party data into discovery index (Syndetics, Amazon, etc) - Destination login links within the catalog - "X of Y copies" availability in the hitlist and record view - Limit searches to available items - Links for downloadable items - Vacation holds (pause your holds) - Internationalization - Native support for diacritics
  • Blacklight uses Solr to index and search text and/or metadata, and it has a highly configurable Ruby on Rails front-end. Currently, Blacklight can index, search, and provide faceted browsing for MaRC records and EAD XML files, and support is planned for Dublin Core and MODS as well. Blacklight was originally developed at the University of Virginia Library and is made public under an Apache 2.0 license. As of version 2.2.0 (released June 8, 2009), Blacklight is distributed as an engines plugin and as a demo application that uses the engines plugin.
  • Right side allows searcher to limit by Facets behave like tag clouds: Subject Genre Place & Time Format (audiobook, book , e-resource journal, microform, video) Author Tags
  • Apache Lucene : a search engine library for indexing content Solr : a Lucene-based search server that includes facets PHP : a scripting language for Web development AJAX : techniques used to load data asynchronously (facets, availability) Other libraries involved in development: CARLI is working with the open source community to continue to develop and improve VuFind so that it will serve the unique needs of the consortial community, and serve libraries of all sizes within the CARLI I‑Share community and beyond. Discovery is an online search tool which is being developed by the Research and Development Services department of CSU Libraries.
  • WebVoyage (Voyager OPAC) at I-Share Libraries WebVoyage: shared catalog for CARLI – Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois Better suited for known-item searching More sophisticated, library-savvy searching Just added records immediately available in WebVoyage (VuFind finds items added as of 9pm the night before – new items are exported and reindexed for VuFind)
  • Just like WebVoyage, CARLI users can checked item availability and place requests Benefits of VuFind over WebVoyage -better for discovery and narrowing large searches -item level requests (avoids time outs that sometimes happen with WebVoyager) -links to Google Book Search for previews -more accessible (screen readers, etc) -better integration with SFX (URL linker)
  • Similar goals as VUFind and Blacklight, but XC incorporates a modular, standards-based architecture and integrates with a wider range of user interface platforms. Does NOT use metasearch: uses a series of services to collect metadata, normalize it into a common format, enhance existing relationships, refine it into FRBR levels, and then construct a single efficient interface that provides precise and comprehensive searches. Search performance and results ranking issues can now be overcome with the XC architecture. In addition to providing discovery tools (like VUFind and Blacklight), XC’s Metadata Services Toolkit provides services for metadata normalization Aggregation Enrichment Can use XC to prepare metadata for use in a variety of user environments, both commercial and open source. Can customize out-of-the-box user interface and add to functionality of your website. Offers a platform that fully integrates online catalog with library website.
  • The OAI Toolkit enables OAI-PMH harvestability of an existing repository (part of XC or standalone) is a server application written in Java only needed for ILS’s and other repositories that do not already have the ability to be act as OAI-PMH Repositories (OAI Servers) NCIP Toolkit acts as intermediary between NCIP clients and the ILS to provide real-time interaction with ILS client sends an NCIP request to the toolkit, the request is parsed and sent to the ILS using its proprietary interface response is then translated back into the NCIP protocol and returned to the client. XC user interface The XC Project plans to include NCIP toolkit drivers for a wide range of popular commercial and open-source integrated library systems.
  • A unique metasearch tool for a couple of reasons: Integrated OpenURL resolution Both a harvester/indexer and federated search tool Metadata driven knowledge-base Implements a 3-tier caching system Issues: Have no control over the response time of the remote query targets Working with targets so they allow better access to their servers or their data Better: XML gateway (instead of Z39.50) - optimally through harvesting via OAI-PMH). How to minimize slow response time on users: The 0.9.0 branch represents a different direction in the UI — in that the UI will be much more responsive to users, allow users to stop a query at any point and retrieve present results, see queries and search status, etc.  search result caching - we use a tiered caching system to enable users who happen to enter a search that some other user had previously performed to take advantage of that fact of get their results quite quickly - by caching the results of the first instance of the search, we do not need to go out an query the remote targets again. Technology: Ruby on Rails – OS web framework provides easy, quick, flexible UI development MySQL Lucene (Ferret) web services (REST, SOAP/WSDL)
  • Works with SFX (and URL resolvers used by many libraries because SFX provides an XML representation of the request results. Innovative has no API support for its OpenURL component so would not work with LibraryFind. Uses the following protocols to harvest OAI or MARC formatted data: Z39.50 / SRU / SRW OAI-PMH OpenSearch SOAP / WSDL COinS
  • Passe-partout
  • Shared principles: free, transparent, high quality, collaborative, empowering, available to anyone who needs it
  • Open Source ILS Add-Ons

    1. 1. Open Source ILS Add-ons Lori Bowen Ayre http:// Infopeople Webinar 10/22/09
    2. 2. Traditional ILS <ul><li>manages acquisitions, cataloging, circulation, and reporting </li></ul><ul><li>provides a discovery interface (commonly known as the Online Public Access Catalog or &quot;OPAC&quot;) which enables library users to search for resources </li></ul>
    3. 3. User Expectations <ul><li>expect to see resources available beyond traditional library holdings. Want books, CDs, DVDs, plus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>journals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>newspapers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>magazines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>other libraries’ holdings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>want search options beyond traditional author/title/subject searching or generic keyword searches. </li></ul><ul><li>when they find something, they want to easily obtain it </li></ul>
    4. 4. The ILS needs to become a platform that supports appropriate interfaces for discovery and metasearch applications living on top of it instead of trying to do everything on its own.
    5. 5. The Decoupling of the ILS <ul><li>The public interfaces provided by many ILS's cannot by themselves meet the demands of users in a world where the availability and sophistication of digital resources and web applications has increased significantly. </li></ul>
    6. 6. Current Options for Accessing ILS Data Are Limited <ul><li>Application Programming Interface (API) provided by vendor </li></ul><ul><li>Inconsistently implemented library-centric protocols </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Z39.50 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SIP/SIP2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NCIP/NCIP2 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Screen-scraping </li></ul><ul><li>Direct SQL queries against the ILS's database tables </li></ul>
    7. 7. DLF ILS Discovery API <ul><li>An API For Effective Interoperation Between Integrated Library Systems And External Discovery Applications </li></ul><ul><li>(DLF ILS Discovery Interface Task Group Technical Recommendation) </li></ul><ul><li>Available from: </li></ul>
    8. 8. Key Web Technologies: OAI, SOA, and Web Services <ul><li>OAI: Open Archives Initiative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>develops and promotes interoperability standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OAI-PMH: protocol for exposing data for harvesting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SOA: Service Oriented Architecture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>modular programs that perform a single task </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web Services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>applications talking directly to applications over the Web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>use standards such as XML, SOAP, and/or WSDL </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Metasearch <ul><li>Definition: a technology that sends a user’s query off to multiple databases and catalogs and then collects and presents the results in a single interface </li></ul><ul><li>Issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>user interface seems sluggish because work happens after user initiates query </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>connections to the databases and catalogs can break, leading to inconsistent and incomplete result sets. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sometimes arbitrary decisions are made about how to aggregate and order search results. </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Libraries are beginning to develop their own tools for searching multiple data repositories with a single search box and to present understandable search results to their users
    11. 11. SOPAC2 <ul><li>Developed by John Blyberg. Currently supported by the John Blyberg and Darien Library </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: Enhances ILS by adding social functionalities including: tags, reviews, ratings, RSS. </li></ul><ul><li>Using it: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Darien Library </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ann Arbor District Library </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Palos Verdes (CA) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Running on Innovative and Koha </li></ul><ul><li>More info: http:// </li></ul>
    12. 12. SOPAC2 Modules <ul><li>Support for shared/no email address </li></ul><ul><li>RSS everything </li></ul><ul><li>Wish lists </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter broadcasting </li></ul><ul><li>Saved searches as a separate module </li></ul><ul><li>Summer Reading module </li></ul><ul><li>Checkout History </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendation engine </li></ul><ul><li>Search statistics </li></ul><ul><li>SMS notifications / support </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Recommend to a friend“ </li></ul><ul><li>Auto-renew items </li></ul>
    13. 13. Ann Arbor District Library (SOPAC2)
    14. 14. Darien Library (SOPAC2)
    15. 15. Allowing Customers to Add Reviews Can Be Dangerous “ This book was very thrilling and the ending took me by surprise when I've learned that Sirius Black was actually innocent and Ron Weasley's rat, Scabbers,was actually a servant of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Name. Voldmort dies in the 7th book.”
    16. 16. Blacklight <ul><li>Developed by University of Virginia Library </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: can index, search, and provide faceted browsing for MARC records and EAD XML files, and support is planned for Dublin Core and MODS as well </li></ul><ul><li>Using it: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Virginia </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Running on Unicorn </li></ul><ul><li>Other libraries involved in development: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stanford </li></ul></ul><ul><li>More info: </li></ul>
    17. 17. VirgoBETA (Blacklight) Features <ul><li>search items the Library has catalogued, including books, journal titles, DVDs, CDs, sheet music, websites, and microfilm, and also, in the same search for the first time, digital collections of images and texts; </li></ul><ul><li>filter your results by format, dates, and keywords; </li></ul><ul><li>sort your results by relevancy ranking, date received, author, title or call number; </li></ul><ul><li>save and share your searches and results in Delicious, and, in a future release of VIRGObeta, RefWorks and Zotero; </li></ul><ul><li>generate an RSS feed for your search, so you can be notified when the Library acquires materials in your subject area. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Virgo: Classic
    19. 19. Virgo Beta
    20. 20. Virgo Beta (Blacklight)
    21. 21. Per Bess Sadler… <ul><li>The idea is that libraries, which know their local needs, should control the technology that patrons use to gain access to their collections. That's a change from the one-size-is-good-enough-for-everybody, commercially managed model that has prevailed in the industry. </li></ul>(Source: Library Hi Tech article by Bess Sadler, chief architect of the online library environment at the University of Virginia)
    22. 22. Also from U-V: Collex <ul><li>Developed by Dr. Bethany Nowviskie </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: collect, tag, analyze, and annotate trusted objects (digital texts and images vetted for scholarly integrity); produce interlinked online exhibits </li></ul>
    23. 23. Nines (Collex) <ul><li>Aggregates 412,747 peer-reviewed digital objects from 63 federated sites </li></ul><ul><li>More info: </li></ul>
    24. 24. Scriblio <ul><li>Developed by Casey Bisson. </li></ul><ul><li>Currently supported by Casey Bisson and Plymouth State University </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: merge the concept of a &quot;blog entry&quot; and &quot;catalog record“ using WordPress </li></ul><ul><li>Also involved in development: Cook Memorial Library </li></ul><ul><li>Running on Innovative (at least) </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries currently using it </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lamson Library, Plymouth State University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cook Memorial Library (NH) and others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>More info at http:// </li></ul>
    25. 25. Lamson Library (classic)
    26. 26. Lamson Library (Scriblio)
    27. 27. VuFind <ul><li>Developed at Villanova University. </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: enable library users to search and browse through all of the library's resources by replacing the traditional OPAC to include </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Catalog Records, Digital Library Items </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional Repository, Institutional Bibliography </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other Library Collections and Resources </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Running on Innovative, Voyager, Aleph, VTLS Virtua </li></ul><ul><li>Other libraries involved in development: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CARLI “I-Share” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CSU Libraries “Discovery” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>More info at http:// / </li></ul>
    28. 28. VuFind Features <ul><li>A single simple search box </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to refine search by subject, title, topic, language, format, and more </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to either search the UIUC library catalog or all I-Share libraries at once, including item status and location information </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to request UIUC and I-Share items </li></ul><ul><li>Patron-created usernames and passwords </li></ul><ul><li>Links to patron's library account with the ability to save, organize and retrieve records from any computer (using log-in information the patron creates). </li></ul><ul><li>Zotero compliant for saving and tagging records and uses a feature like Delicious to bookmark and tag records. </li></ul><ul><li>One-click link to reviews, including author reviews (through Wikipedia) </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking tools, such as leaving comments and tagging </li></ul><ul><li>Previews in Google Book Search </li></ul>
    29. 29. I-Share (WebVoyager)
    30. 30. I-Share (VuFind)
    31. 31. Discovery (VuFind) Colorado State University Libraries
    32. 32. XC – eXtensible Catalog <ul><li>Hosted at the University of Rochester, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: provide easy access to all resources (both digital and physical collections) across a variety of databases, metadata schemas and standards, and enable library content to be revealed through search engines and other services that libraries may be using (e.g. CMS) </li></ul><ul><li>Has connectors for Innovative, Voyager, Aleph, Koha, Evergreen, Scriblio </li></ul><ul><li>Other organizations involved in development: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Notre Dame, Oregon State, University of Buffalo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Georgia PINES , LibLime, Casey Bisson, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rochester Institute of Technology, CARLI </li></ul></ul><ul><li>More info: http:// / </li></ul>
    33. 33. XC Modules <ul><li>Released </li></ul><ul><li>OAI Toolkit – synchronization of digital repositories (DSpace, ContentDM) </li></ul><ul><li>NCIP Toolkit –ILS integration with bibliographic, holding, item and authority data. Supports live access to circulation status, authentication mechanisms, and native ILS circulation requests </li></ul><ul><li>In Development </li></ul><ul><li>Metadata Services Toolkit - normalization, transformation, authority control, FRBRization, aggregation, user-generated metadata distribution, and terminology services. </li></ul><ul><li>Drupal Toolkit - user interface embedded into Drupal CMS </li></ul><ul><li>LMS Toolkit - user interface embedded in Blackboard </li></ul>
    34. 34. LibraryFind <ul><li>Developed by: Oregon State University Libraries with funding from State Library </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: contribute to the support of scholarly workflow, remove barriers between the library and web information, and establish the digital library as platform. </li></ul><ul><li>Guiding Principles: two clicks—one to find, one to get; a goal of getting results in four seconds; and known and adjustable results ranking </li></ul><ul><li>Development Partners: Ross Singer (Georgia Tech), Ed Summers (LC) </li></ul><ul><li>Two current releases: and 0.90 </li></ul><ul><li>More info: </li></ul>
    35. 35. LibraryFind Features <ul><li>2-click user workflow (one click to find, one click to get) </li></ul><ul><li>facets for browsing / limiting </li></ul><ul><li>ability to sort by relevance or date </li></ul><ul><li>ability to harvest OAI and MARC data repositories </li></ul><ul><li>integrated OpenURL resolver (with support for OpenURL tools that return XML) </li></ul><ul><li>Web-based administration </li></ul><ul><li>3-tiered caching system to improve search response time </li></ul><ul><li>customizable user interface </li></ul><ul><li>ability to locally index collections </li></ul><ul><li>“ Look-ahead” OpenURL resolution </li></ul><ul><li>smart ILL link display </li></ul><ul><li>dynamic, on-the-fly facet creation </li></ul><ul><li>extensible, customizable XML backend </li></ul>
    36. 36. OSU LibraryFind Demo
    37. 37. Paspar2 <ul><li>Developed by: Index Data </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: high-performance, user interface-independent, data model-independent metasearching middleware web service featuring merging, relevance ranking, record sorting, and faceted results. </li></ul><ul><li>Released under GPL license and commerically released as part of MasterKey platform </li></ul><ul><li>Features: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>performs record merging, relevance-ranking and sorting by arbitrary data content, and facet analysis for browsing purposes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>works with MARC, DublinCore, or any other XML -structured data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>can be used against servers supporting Z39.50 and SRU/SRW protocols </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>user interface independent (uses web-service API) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>More info: </li></ul>
    38. 38. dbWiz  PKP Software <ul><li>Developed by Simon Frazer University as part of a larger suite of software tools called reSearcher Goal: federated search engine that allows users to select their own starting point for research </li></ul><ul><li>ReSearcher suite has morphed into PKP Software suite: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open Journal Systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open Conference Systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PKP Open Archives Harvester </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Public Knowledge Project partners: Simon Fraser, Univ. of British Columbia, and Stanford </li></ul><ul><li>Information available from: http:// / </li></ul>
    39. 39. Open Source software belongs in libraries!
    40. 40. Additional References <ul><li>Code4lib </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Oss4lib </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Library Best Practices Wiki: OS Software http:// = Open_Source_Software </li></ul><ul><li>Parry, Marc,“After Losing Users in Catalogs, Libraries Find Better Search Software” </li></ul><ul><li>My Delicious tags on this topic http:// </li></ul>