Back in January Danie Chudnov invited a submission to this list on the
evolving proposal to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation concerning what has
become known as the Open Library Environment, or OLE Project. I know the
messages were circulating pretty widely at that point so I'd like to update
this list. The project press release is below. More information can be
found at the website <http://oleproject.org/> along with information about
how to stay tuned to the developments.
We are very fortunate to have started with a great list of partners but the
process is intended to be very open. A full schedule of events is available
on the web site where we will post more information about the open webcasts
that will occur throughout our process. Please stay tuned, get subscribed,
and get involved as your time and interest allow.
ILS Support Section Head
Duke University Libraries
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A $475,700 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the Duke University
Libraries will lead to the design of a next-generation, open-source library
system that is flexible, customizable and nimble enough to meet the changing
and complex needs of 21st-century libraries and library users. The goal of
the Open Library Environment (OLE) Project is to develop a design document
for library automation technology that fits modern library workflows, is
built on Service Oriented Architecture, and offers an alternative to
commercial Integrated Library System products.
Leaders of the OLE Project, representing libraries in the U.S., Canada, and
Australia, will involve the library community in the design process through
workshops, meetings, webcasts and online discussions. Through those
activities, they will develop a plan for a library technology system that
breaks away from an emphasis on print-based workflows, reflects the changing
nature of library materials and new approaches to scholarly work, meshes
well with other enterprise systems, and can be modified easily to suit the
needs of different institutions. The project website at
http://oleproject.org gives detailed information about the project and
includes FAQs, recommended reading, and a comment section.
"The information environment is changing rapidly, but the technology of
library management systems has not kept pace," said Lynne O'Brien, principal
investigator on the project and Director of Academic Technology and
Instructional Services for Perkins Library at Duke University. "This project
is a wonderful opportunity to design a system that supports library
innovation and better meets the needs of today's researchers."
O'Brien is joined on the OLE Project team by colleagues from Duke as well
individuals from the University of Kansas, Lehigh University, the University
of Pennsylvania, the National Library of Australia, Library and Archives
Canada, Vanderbilt University, the Orbis Cascade Alliance, Rutgers
University, the University of Florida, the University of Chicago, Columbia
University, the University of Maryland and Whittier College.
Because the OLE Project is a collaborative, community-based venture, there
will be many opportunities for individuals from other libraries to
participate in the project through regional and virtual meetings, discussion
of plans and documents, comments via the project website and listserv and
discussions at professional meetings.
In addition to its development of a design document, the OLE Project is
intended to create a community of interest that could be tapped to build the
planned system in a follow-on project.