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Mellon Grant Funds Library Software Development

A $2.38 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to Indiana University will be used to develop software created specifically for the management of print and electronic collections in academic and research libraries around the world. 

Duke University, working with more than 200 libraries, educational institutions, professional organizations and businesses, led the design phase that laid the groundwork for the Kuali OLE project. The design project was also supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Indiana University will lead the Kuali OLE (Open Library Environment) project, a partnership of research libraries dedicated to managing increasingly digital resources and collections. Together, these libraries will develop "community source" software that will be made available to libraries worldwide.

The Kuali OLE board of directors will be co-chaired by Brad Wheeler, Kuali Foundation board chair and vice president for information technology at IU, and Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and vice provost for library affairs at Duke University.

"The Kuali OLE collaboration comes at the perfect time," said Jakubs, "If libraries are to provide excellent support for scholarship and teaching well into the future, we must develop a new model that reflects the true needs of our organizations and facilitates our work in a constantly changing environment. This partnership capitalizes on the experience, the commitment and the energy of a key group of institutions to build that model for the future of research library operations. We are grateful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for recognizing the promise of the OLE project, and to Kuali for offering us this opportunity to align our goals with theirs."

In addition to Duke and IU, other Kuali OLE (pronounced Oh-LAY) partners include Florida Consortium (University of Florida representing Florida International University, Florida State University, New College of Florida, Rollins College, University of Central Florida, University of Miami, University of South Florida and the Florida Center for Library Automation); Lehigh University; Triangle Research Libraries Network (represented by Duke University and North Carolina State University); University of Chicago; University of Maryland; University of Michigan; and the University of Pennsylvania.

Large academic research libraries such as these manage and provide access to millions of items, using software to track interrelated transactions that range from ordering and paying for items to loaning materials to library patrons.

IU’s Interim Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries Carolyn Walters said, “As the nature of library collections expands to include more digital materials -- including leased electronic journals and digitized photograph collections -- libraries are increasingly interested in developing management software for these resources. “

Kuali OLE project researchers will work to create a next-generation library system that breaks away from print-based workflows and reflects the changing nature of library materials and new approaches to scholarly work.

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Posted 14 January 2010

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Last modified January 20, 2010 11:28:19 AM EST