Free Online Symposium on Sustainable Cultural Heritage Open Source Software: September 24-25, 2014


Last updated September 15, 2014.

Join your colleagues from the convenience of your desk for a free two-day symposium on sustainable open source practices from the perspective of the software project communities and from the software project adopters. There is no cost for participating in the open symposium; the costs are funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. See the registration page for details on signing up, links to the community discussion site, and the Twitter hashtag.

Successful open source projects have support structures where bugs are reported, code enhancements are created and reviewed, documentation provided, and user questions answered. In mainstream open source projects, the core people in those support structures usually come from companies with a vested interest in the ongoing health of the software. (At times, one company will be the primary driver of ongoing support for a project. At other times, a consortium of cooperating companies will provide ongoing support.) In projects from the cultural heritage community -- libraries, archives, museums -- the source of ongoing support varies widely: grant subsidized funding, in-kind donations of staff time to work on a project's community-focused needs, voluntary monetary donations or memberships to non-profit stewards of a project, sales of services by non-profit stewards to cross-subsidize community needs, and often a combination of all of these possibilities.

The purpose of the symposium is to provide managers of open source software projects and organization leaders with details about support practices in use in the field and to further the cooperation of cultural heritage organizations towards common interests in sustainable open source. Topics include:

  • Successful sustainability models used in cultural heritage open source projects.
  • Importance of adopter and user support -- monetary and in-kind -- for open source projects.
  • Examples of effective community growth and management.

The symposium runs from 12:30pm to 3:30pm EDT on September 24 and 25, 2014, and includes two or three 20-minute prepared talks from community leaders and panel question/answer. Colleagues are encouraged to use the public discussion site on FOSS4Lib to ask questions of each other and the panel. Go to the symposium schedule page for details on the speakers and topics.