Support Open Access Resources

Open Access LogoWe continue our celebration of Open Access Week.

While open access repositories and journals are free for end users, they do cost money to set up and maintain.  Forward-thinking libraries are beginning to allocate funds to support open access resources.

Here are some open access resources you should consider supporting.

BioMed Central

BioMed CentralBioMed Central contains over 290 peer-reviewed journals in Biology, Clinical Medicine, and Health.  Your library can get an institutional membership to manage Article Processing Charges (APCs).

Knowledge Unlatched

Knowledge UnlatchedKnowledge Unlatched creates packages of scholarly books in the humanities and social studies which are “unlatched” to become open access ebooks through membership contributions.  The first two rounds allowed the release of over 100 titles, made available for free via the HathiTrust Digital Library and OAPEN.  The pledging period for the next collection, KU Select 2016, runs through January 31, 2017.

Open Library

Open LibraryOpen Library is an initiative of the Internet Archive with “one web page for every book” ever published.  Users can read public domain “classic books” for free or borrow up to five titles for two weeks each.  Users can contribute by adding books or editing records. Sign up for a personal account or register your library to provide in-library loans for users on your library network.

Open Library of Humanities

Open Library of HumanitiesThe Open Library of Humanities (OLH) is a UK-based open access publishing platform for scholarly peer-reviewed articles.  The OLH charges no author fees, but is “funded by an international consortium of libraries” along with grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  Annual fees range from $534 to $1,600 based on institution size.  US libraries can join through LYRASIS at lyrasis.openlibhums.org.

PLOS

PLOSAdd PLOS ONE (and other PLOS publications) to your library’s databases list and activate PLOS ONE in your discovery service.  There are several ways you can get involved.  You and your institution’s faculty can publish in PLOS.  Your library can become an institutional member to handle Article Processing Charges (APCs) for your faculty.  Or you can simply donate to PLOS.  See www.plos.org/get-involved.

Open Access Week 2016

Open Access Week

International Open Access Week starts today and runs from October 24–30, 2016.  For all of the details, visit www.openaccessweek.org.

This year’s theme is “open in action” with an emphasis on how you can take practical steps to implement open access in your library or support its growth.

Open Access Week 2016

Ways to Participate

Many organizations which embrace and promote open access are sponsoring events to encourage participation in open access resources. Here are just a few of them.

Open Access Week Commitment

The Open Access Week organization is asking librarians to sign up and take “concrete steps to open up research and scholarship and encourag[e] others to do the same”.  Sign up at www.action.openaccessweek.org.

TwitterFollow on Social Media

Follow and use the Twitter hashtag #OAWeek.

 

Get an ORCID iD

Do you have an ORCID iD?ORCID Open Access Week iD Register  ORCID stands for Open Researcher and Contributor ID and is a unique 16-digit number which distinguishes you from other researchers in online resources.  Register for an ORCID iD at orcid.org/register.

Join COAPI

Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI) The Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI) exists to allow member libraries to help develop and share open access policies.  Sponsored by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), COAPI offers best practices and advocacy for open access.  To become a member library, see sparcopen.org/become-a-member.

Support Open Access Resources

Open Access LogoWhile open access repositories and journals are free for end users, they do cost money to set up and maintain.  Forward-thinking libraries are beginning to allocate funds to support open access resources (and to support faculty who want to contribute articles to them).  Here’s how you can support open access resources.

Join the FOLIO Project

FOLIOFOLIO stands for the Future of Libraries is Open, an open source library services platform. Learn more about it by reading our recent FOLIO: An Open Library Services Platform article.  Work has progressed swiftly since its introduction in June 2016.  Join the FOLIO Project Discussion site to get involved.

Bake Some Cookies

Think open access only applies to online resources?  You can bake your very own cookies in the shape of the open access logo with a cookie cutter printed from your 3D printer using some open access cookie cutter printer files.  The scalable files are in .stl and .dae format and were created by Chip Wolfe from Hunt Library at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  Download the open access cookie cutter files.

Open Access Cookie Cutter

API: Basics and Resources

API stands for Application Programming Interface which allows external applications to access software or Web services data, in the latter case by using HTTP request messages, for recombination (mashup) or custom presentation by the external application.

Why use APIs?

Application programming interfaces essentially allow programs and online services to talk to each other.  APIs provide a set of definitions and protocols for services to request and exchange data.  Many library vendors provide public and key-based APIs to their services in order to allow customers to pull bibliographic and other data into local systems and websites.

The Basics

For our purposes, we’ll only look at Web APIs.

Web services and applications exchange data through APIs using a request and response system.  The exchange uses HTTP and HTTPS (secure HTTP) like regular Web requests, however the data isn’t formatted for people to read but rather for other services.  The data format is usually expressed in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) or Extensible Markup Language (XML).

API Graphic

Continue reading “API: Basics and Resources”

FOLIO: An Open Library Services Platform

Back in April you might remember the news that EBSCO was giving $1 million (or more) to help fund the development of a new open library services platform (LSP).  American Libraries wrote about this on their blog post EBSCO Supports New Open Source Project.  EBSCO has a Vice President of Open Source Platforms & Communities, Christopher Spalding, who is taking an active role in the project.  At the time of EBSCO’s announcement the name of the project had not been announced.

At the Code4Lib 2016 Conference in March, Sebastian Hammer gave a talk on the state of the project at that time, still with no name.  Watch his presentation: Constructive Disintegration — Re-imagining the Library Platform as Microservices.  Some goals of the projet (from his slide) are:

  • Easy + fun to extend and customize
  • Apache 2 license: Everyone can play
  • Cloud-ready, multi-tenant, built around an open knowledge base, linked data, electronic and print resource management
  • Can be hosted by commercial vendors, library networks, or locally
  • Community-based
  • Modular — snap-in modules (apps) can be contributed by libraries or vendors.

During the ALA 2016 Annual Conference the FOLIO project was announced.

FOLIOFOLIO stands for the Future of Libraries is Open. It is currently a software platform to be used as a starting point to build library services. Consider FOLIO as a “cloud-based operating system” for applications.

The project is being led by the Denmark-based company Index Data headed by Sebastian Hammer (a panelist at the ALA 2016 Annual Conference) and the Open Library Environment (OLE) directed by Michael Winkler.  The main source of funding comes from EBSCO.  The Open Library Foundation, a nonprofit oversight organization, was set up to direct the project.

Index Data will be responsible for building the core platform which will be released as open source software under an Apache version 2.0 license.  The FOLIO platform software can be downloaded and installed locally or hosted on cloud-based servers from library vendors such as EBSCO, SirsiDynix, and ByWater Solutions.  Index Data intends to make the platform “as little as possible” and not create obstacles to development.

FOLIO Platform
Graphic from FOLIO.

Read the FOLIO press release: Introducing FOLIO – A new collaboration bringing libraries, service providers and developers together to speed innovation and redefine the future of library automation (June 24, 2016).

On top of the FOLIO platform, developers from library vendors, organizations, and member institutions will build modules, applications, and services.  Apps will include traditional ILS service modules such as Acquisitions, Cataloging, and Circulation.  We should eventually see LMS functionality including electronic resource management, OPAC, data conversion, and resource sharing.  Native Linked Data output is not in the works but it is expected that this model will be supported.

Developers of existing library services can choose to port their applications to FOLIO or simply build integration points to their current systems.  The FOLIO platform should make software with open APIs even more attractive to users.

In August, Index Data will release prototype code on GitHub.  Developers can then turn their attention to building microservices.  Note that although the FOLIO platform itself is open source and free, some of the premium apps built to run on it might be created and sold by library vendors.

FOLIO can also be thought of as a community of institutions and vendors working together.  There are many ways to interact and get involved with the FOLIO community:

FOLIO Website – News updates at www.folio.org/news.

OLE Website – Blog posts at www.openlibraryenvironment.org.

Email Lists – Subscribe and archives at lists.openlibraryfoundation.org.

FOLIO on Twitter@FOLIO_LSP

OLE on Twitter@ole_community

FOLIO Forum on Twitter#FOLIOForum

We will certainly be following this project and bringing you more information as the platform launches and develops.

ALA 2016 Annual Conference Follow-up

ALA 2016 Annual Conference

The American Library Association has added the audio and presentation files from many of the conference sessions to its ALA 2016 Annual Conference website.  For librarians interested in library technology, there were four must-attend sessions and fortunately ALA has the audio for these four sessions.  You’ll need to log in to the conference website to access them.

Linked Data – Globally Connecting Libraries, Archives, and Museums

Saturday, June 25, 2016 • 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM

Gordon Dunsire – RDA Steering Committee
Reinhold Heuvelmann – German National Library
Richard J. Urban – Florida State University

In the past years, libraries have embraced their role as global participants in the Semantic Web. Developments in library metadata frameworks such as BIBFRAME and RDA built on standard data models and ontologies including RDF, SKOS and OWL highlight the importance of linking data in an increasingly global environment. What is the status of linked data projects in libraries and other memory institutions internationally? Come hear our speakers address current projects, opportunities and challenges. Sponsored by the ALCTS International Relations Committee. Co-Sponsored by ALCTS/LITA Linked Library Data Interest Group.

The implementation of BIBFRAME and Linked Data is poised to revolutionize the access of scholarly articles and research data.  This session covered some projects including an open database of Linked Data from the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (German National Library), the Open Metadata Registry (OMR), and r-balls which contain “packages of data”—Linked Data and semantic Web representations of cultural heritage resources described using RDA.

Download the audio and presentation.

Executive Perspectives: A Strategic View of the Library Technology Industry

Saturday, June 25, 2016 • 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Marshall Breeding – Library Technology Guides
Sam Brooks – EBSCO
Matti Shem-Tov – Ex Libris
Skip Pritchard – OCLC
Jim Tallman – Innovative Interfaces
Sebastian Hammer – Index Data

Marshall Breeding, author of the annual Library Systems Report published in American Libraries, will assemble and moderate a panel of CEO or other senior executives representing organizations that produce software or services for libraries. Breeding will give a brief introduction and will then lead a lively discussion to probe at the technology and business trends currently in play, including industry consolidation, differing approaches to opening software to library programmers, and the shift toward cloud-based technologies. Panelists will be expected to candidly reflect the perspectives of their organizations, but not promote their products. The select panel will include representatives of organizations that produce commercial products, open source software, and will reflect for-profit and non-profit perspectives.

In this session, Marshall Breeding gathered executives from major library vendor companies and questioned them on topics including library vendor consolidation, comparative openness of their platforms, and more.  The three ILS vendors took subtle jabs at each other, while OCLC emphasized their nonprofit model.  Hammer took the opportunity to introduce an open library services platform (LSP) called FOLIO (of which we’ll have more soon).

Download the audio and presentation.

Library I.T.: Information Technologists or Information Thought-leaders?

Sunday, June 26, 2016 • 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Craig Boman – University of Dayton Libraries
Whitni Watkins – Analog Devices, Inc.

Library staff employed in information technology (I.T.) departments are often seen as support staff, only providing services when something breaks. But what more can library IT staff do to support the mission of their libraries? In this presentation we will explore why library IT staff should maximize their ability to work across various library departments to collaboratively design new library services rather than being relegated to support staff. We will also explore how library IT staff may challenge traditional bureaucratic organization structures to lead change efforts.

The speakers discussed the relationship of the library with its information technology staff (who may or may not be librarians).  They recommended that library IT staff be should be proactive.  “Don’t just wait around for problems to solve.”  Library IT staff should seek out opportunities to learn what other library staff do and join teams to get more involved.

Download the audio and presentation.

LITA Top Tech Trends

Sunday, June 26, 2016 • 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Maurice Coleman – Harford County (MD) Public Library
Blake Carver – LYRASIS
Carolyn K. Coulter – PrairieCat Library Consortium, Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS)
Nick Grove – Meridian Library District – unBound
Laura Costello, MLIS – Stony Brook University
Lauren Comito, MLS – Queens Library

This program features our ongoing roundtable discussion about trends and advances in library technology by a panel of LITA technology experts. The panelists will describe changes and advances in technology that they see having an impact on the library world, and suggest what libraries might do to take advantage of these trends. More information on Top Tech Trends: http://ala.org/lita/ttt

This was a huge session in one of the largest conference rooms.  Panelists were asked to state their top tech trends in a word: concepts, real time, virtual reality, balance (security vs. access), and super-easy application development.  “Library technology staff need to read vendor contracts to ensure privacy and security.”  Tools libraries can use to encourage open everything include promotion, shifting academic attitudes, and institutional repositories.  Panelists were asked about the Internet of Things: Useful or useless technology trend?  “Security is key.”  American Libraries posted a session summary on their blog.

Download the audio and presentation.

For more session audio and presentations, see our Library Technology at the ALA 2016 Annual Conference post and the official conference Full Schedule page.