Date: Friday, May 31, 2013
Featured Experts: Kristin Antelman, Associate Director for the Digital Library, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, and Liam Earney, Project Director, Knowledgebase Plus, JISC Collections.
It seems to be “that time of year.” When March comes in like a lion we begin to look for signs of spring: crocuses, tulips and daffodils are starting to show themselves and tree are beginning to hint that they survived the winter. There’s a stirring in our surroundings as we begin to feel the changing weather and the buzzing excitement in people.
OLE is in a transition as well. Like a classic Minnesota winter, the KFS 5 merge seemed to last and last. It is finally surrendering as the last portions of code is integrated into OLE. Developers and consultants alike have been busy working on the merge since 5.0.1 for several months. The development staff remain busy preparing for the 0.8 release. The QA team and testers are ramping up to see that everything works the way it should. Just as winter sometimes throws in a few flurries because it is not ready to give in to spring just yet, so too have bugs revealed themselves. New testers are being trained to help in the process. The Describe Team (Cataloging) was trained in late February and Select and Acquire had theirs the first week of March.
Some days it seems as though winter will never end but some days it feels as though spring is truly just around the corner. We received a new grant from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation in January. The Functional Council and the Technical Council met at the end of February in Philadelphia, PA to review and plan. While 0.8 development is being completed and tested, functional Kuali OLE community members have already begun specifications for 1.0. Electronic acquisitions have been working for some time on specifications for an electronic resource record that will support the lifecycle of an e-resource. They have also been working to determine how to capture GOKb elements in OLE. The rest of Select and Acquire continues making modifications to the financial module and will incorporate more of serials and licensing. Describe has continued to spec out record editors and plans to include global changes for the Holdings/Items. Deliver has some workability already in “My Account”, a patron self-service feature. System Integration has begun to look at the OLE user interface and is working out plans for global changes.
Transitions spark a vast array of emotions. They can be a little scary, exciting, productive, cantankerous, exhilarating, and/or difficult. There are ups and downs but there always seems to be sunshine after the rain. If you look at the 0.6 milestone release and compared it to today’s development environment, there have been great strides in the OLE interface. A few more changes are still to come for 0.8, and yet new and exciting things await 1.0.
Check out our official press release! We’re grateful for the support to help us complete our third year of development and to assist with implementation for our early adopters, Lehigh University and the University of Chicago. We’ve also updated our timeline to reflect current progress and to provide more detail about specific modules. Finally, we’re engaging in some interesting partnership discussions with international libraries and with prospective commercial affiliates in areas of discovery, implementation support, and hosting. This is an exciting time for the OLE partners and our project teams!
—Molly Tamarkin, Chair, Kuali OLE Functional Council
Libraries and licensing made the news in late December. Did you catch “Libraries and E-Lending: The ‘Wild West’ Of Digital Licensing?” from NPR’s All Things Considered? While the article is about public libraries and their struggles with e-lending, the author mentions one thing that seems to be universal: licensing seems to be a frontier environment, a wild west, where every publisher has its own set of rules.
The OLE Licensing Specification Team has taken this wild frontier of negotiating, recording, and linking licenses into consideration and are working with developers to manage workflows and organize documentation. One subject matter expert suggested that many libraries use at least three different types of software to try to manage licensing processes. Can you relate? While publishers may have their own set of rules and procedures, OLE is developing software that is both flexible and accommodating.
Still in the beginning stages, the specification team and developers have started with license requests and agreements. An agreement is the understanding between the library or institution and a publisher, provider, or donor regarding access to content. OLE will store agreements in its Document Store (DocStore - think library catalog plus more). A license request is an electronic document (an online transaction initiated in a Web-based form and routed electronically through a prescribed sequence of approvers) that will be used to track and route license negotiations, communications, and documents (pdfs, docs, etc) between libraries and vendors.
Using the Kuali Rules Management System (KRMS) for workflows and PeopleFlow (from Kuali Rice, read more about both KRMS and PeopleFlow here) for versatile routing, staff will eventually be able to track licensing work from beginning to end no matter how structured or customized the process may be. Locally configured statuses will be used to report and search on current stages and determine future steps. Finally, with the agility of OLE’s ad hoc routing, users will be able to clear any sudden hurdles in the workflow.
While licensing may be a wild west with a changing landscape in many libraries, OLE is preparing to be flexible enough for librarians to accommodate whatever may blow their way.
Libraries and E-Lending: The ‘Wild West’ of Digital Licensing? (2012, December 27). NPR’s All Things Considered. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2012/12/27/167649198/libraries-and-e-lending-the-wild-west-of-digital-licensing
The OLE Technical Council, reestablishing after a hiatus, met for a face to face in Chicago on November 27th and 28th. Consisting of the OLE Project Manager, one of the OLE Development Managers and a technical lead from each partnering institution, the Technical Council is charged with providing guidance in support of development related to the OLE baseline software. Their direction may consist of taking inventory of technologies, services, and interfaces to be utilized by the OLE system and identifying where standards or interfaces do not exist or need to be developed. They may also recommend best practices for scheduling OLE releases, patch cycle management and product upgrades as well as offer overall technical support to the OLE community.
During the Kick Off in Chicago, the OLE Technical Council reviewed these charges and went straight to work. They began by looking at the near future of OLE and discussed the timelines and priorities of the 1.0 and 1.5 releases. Then the council continued with considerations for an OLE sustainability plan. The OLE Development Manager was onsite to present OLE’s architecture, to suggest what the installation process may look like, and to review configurations of roles and permissions, system parameters and workflows. Chicago and Lehigh, the first implementers of OLE, divulged their staffing structure, approach, and timeline to the Technical Council. Recognizing the importance of good documentation, plans were reviewed and best practices were considered. Finally Chicago led a discussion on discovery layer integration and universal unique identifiers (UUID) but more on those another day…
Guest post by Nora Roggeveen-Sams