Tomorrow I am flying up to Edinburgh to attend the Mashed Libraries: Open Edge-Open Source event which runs Tuesday and Wednesday. This particular mashed libraries event (Haggis and Mash) is being supported by SCONUL and JISC, and has been developed with the Enhancing Library Management Systems programme (JISClms) which recently came to an end.
The JISClms projects investigated a number of issues that libraries currently face and the systems they use, including: The usability and enhancement of interfaces; management of electronic resources (ERM) and the feasibility and implementation of open source library systems.
The open source library strand of the JISClms work was relatively small, yet it has been extremely prescient with recent developments of institutions adopting open LMS alternatives (such as Staffordshire University).
But the event also ties in with broader issues that form part of JISC’s strategy, and specifically the aims of the Digital Infrastructure programme (the IE Team and eRsearch Team are now working together as a single programme under this new name). Some of the more obvious examples include:
- The joint JISC and RLUK work on Resource Discovery as well as all the work on Open Access that JISC has undertaken (from Open Educational Resources to Open Bibliographic Data).
- The event fits nicely with JISC’s developer work and the aims of DevCSI (the developer support and innovation project) and Dev8D (the series of developer community building events). Developing skills and capacity in the sector is key to these projects.
- The event also highlights the potential for systems and interfaces to be enhanced and adapted at a local level, quickly and effeciently, following on from work in JISClms. Allowing institutions to be both agile and innovative, but always within the context of delivering a service to users.
- Day two of the event begins with an articulation of some of the benefits and opportunities afforded by open source library systems. Like much of JISC’s work with libraries, including the eJournal usage statistics and the recent work of Salford and the JISC/SCONUL Shared ERM project, exploring cost reduction and avoidance are central to much of this work.
This isn’t meant to be a very comprehensive list, instead I wanted to highlight some of the connections between the mashed libraries event and work in JISC and the Digital Infrastructure team.
With so many links I intend to write another post upon my return and flesh out some of these connections, and add new and more interesting ones!