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Weekly News Digest

August 6, 2009 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Open Library Environment Project Draft Final Report Available

The Open Library Environment project (OLE Project) has posted a draft of its final report ( With support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (, a multinational group of libraries is developing the design for an OLE, an alternative to the current model of an integrated library system (ILS). The goal is to produce a design document to inform open source library system development efforts, to guide future library system implementations, and to influence current ILS vendor products. The resulting OLE platform is predicated on service-oriented architecture and a community-source model of development and governance.

The response from the library community during this project exceeded all expectations. Workshops quickly filled with participants from libraries large and small, near and far. Webcasts drew interest from around the world. More than 300 libraries, educational institutions, professional organizations, and businesses participated in some phase of the project. Using input from those participants, the project planners produced an OLE design framework that embeds libraries directly in the key processes of scholarship generation, knowledge management, teaching, and learning by utilizing existing enterprise systems, where appropriate, and by delivering new services built on connections between the libraries' business systems and other technology systems.

The OLE Project met all of its objectives and was completed on time and within budget. Project members are now in discussions with potential investing partners who will develop and deploy this new library technology platform. Although this is an especially difficult time for libraries to launch new projects and commit funding for them, project planners continue to hear from the library community that it is more critical than ever to create the technology infrastructure that can help libraries serve as a primary nexus of scholarly information management.

The OLE Project completed its official goals. But beyond that, it launched a worldwide conversation about the desired future of libraries and what is needed to move libraries toward that future.

Source: OLE Project

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