Hi OSS4Lib

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.