Supporting Cultural Heritage Open Source Software

Last updated April 15, 2014.

Planning for and commitment to sustainability is an issue for even well-established open source initiatives. Organizations need to be prepared to financially support open source communities if they want the benefit of open source software.

LYRASIS is convening two meetings with the goal of identifying and advancing good practices for the long-term support of open source software currently in use or under development within libraries, archives, museums and other cultural heritage organizations.

The first meeting is an invitational symposium to consider issues that impact open source software support and sustainability, consider characteristics of successful strategies, and explore ways for projects and institutions to collaborate on sustainability. LYRASIS will document the outputs of the discussion in a white paper and host a community-wide webinar to foster broader discussion of topics that evolve from the symposium.

About the SCHOSS Project

Last updated April 15, 2014.

Sustainability of open source software in libraries and other cultural heritage organizations is challenged by several factors. Many open source applications are developed by a single institution for local use, with no mandate to sustain them for a larger community. Adopters often add additional code to meet their own needs (which is part of the value of the open source paradigm). However, it also results in multiple variations of the same software, perhaps with no single organization/person/group responsible for maintaining it. In other words, there is often no governance over code development and maintenance.

More mature open source projects often depend on communities of “volunteer” developers for maintenance (some of whom are employed by libraries), which does not provide a reliable infrastructure if institutional interests or needs shift over time. In many cases there isn't a source of code-related revenue for development, supporting other users, documentation, communications, promotion, and community engagement. Sustainability depends on having the financial, staff, technical, and communication resources to maintain an open source application, provide access to it, and ensure that it is updated regularly and remains viable for current and potential users. Putting the code out there is the easy part; persuading others to pick it up and contribute back is hard.

To identify factors in open source project sustainability and develop techniques or methods for the cultural heritage community, LYRASIS proposed a series of meetings in a grant request to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In contrast with the Code4Lib conference, which connects programmers, the Supporting Cultural Heritage Open Source Software (SCHOSS) meetings would connect project leaders, software adopters, support companies, and granting agencies that have stakes in planning, implementation, integration, and institutional support for open source products and programs. Each of these constituencies is dealing or will have to deal with sustainability, so the conference will consider issues and solutions that impact sustainability, present models, and identify ways for projects/institutions to work together on sustainability. The first meeting is an invitation-only symposium on the topic, to be followed by an open webinar summit to a wider audience.

Open Symposium, 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.

About the SCHOSS Symposium

Last updated September 15, 2014.

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.

Symposium Schedule, Speakers and Topics

Last updated March 17, 2015.

The symposium was held on September 24 and 25, 2014, and included two or three 20-minute prepared talks from community leaders and panel question/answer. Colleagues were (and still are!) encouraged to use the public discussion site on FOSS4Lib to ask questions of each other and the panel. Links to topics on the community discussion site are included below with each day's agenda.

September 24th: Creating the Conditions for Community Engagement

If you build it, will they come? The structure for encouraging and valuing the contributions of those that adopt the code is of equal importance to the functionality of the code itself. Adopters of an open source project come to rely on the software to varying degrees. In the same way, projects rely on adopters to keep the project moving forward. This session looks at what projects can do to encourage community participation.

Prepared Talks

Seed Questions

September 25th: What Does it Mean to Adopt an Open Source Package

So, whether on your own or through a service provider you've decided to use an open source package to meet an automation need in your organization. You paid nothing for the right to run the software (although you may be paying a service provider for their support of the software), so you have no obligation to the software itself, right? Arguably not. Healthy open source software is supported by a community of users, and the other participants in the open source project are counting on your support -- financial and talent -- to keep the project growing. This session outlines expectations that open source adopters should have when implementing an OSS project.

Prepared Talks

Seed Questions

Invitational Symposium, 24-25 April 2014, Atlanta

Last updated April 15, 2014.

April 24-April 25, 2014
Georgian Terrace Conference Center
659 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308 (Google Map)

On April 24-25, 2014, LYRASIS is convening the first meeting of Supporting Cultural Heritage Open Source Software (SCHOSS) Symposium with an invited group of community leaders from libraries, archives, museums and other cultural heritage organizations. This invitational symposium will consider issues that impact open source software support and sustainability, consider characteristics of successful strategies, and explore ways for projects and institutions to collaborate on sustainability. This is a working meeting where participant feedback and contribution will lead and form the discussion. LYRASIS will document the outputs of the discussion in a white paper and host a community-wide webinar in follow-up to foster broader discussion of topics that evolve from the symposium.

Symposium Invitation [PDF]

Local Arrangements

Last updated April 22, 2014.

Local Transportation

To the Hotel Indigo from Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International (ATL)
Distance: 13.0 MI/20.92 KM NORTH to Hotel

Travel by Taxi
Charge (one way):$32.00 USD
Time by Taxi:15-20 minutes
The ATL airport offers ground transportation via taxi directly outside both Terminals North and South.

Travel by UberX
Taxi like service, best for intown destinations. You can use the UberX mobile app to create an account. Pricing should be comparable to taxis.

Travel by Marta
Train Charge (one way):$2.50 USD buy $5.00 Breeze card at the station.
Time By Train:25 minutes
Subway Station Name:North Avenue MARTA Station
Distance: 0.1 MI/0.16 KM WEST to Hotel

FROM STATION TO HOTEL: Exit into AT&T Center and walk through the building directly ahead onto 3rd Street. Turn Right down 3rd Street to Peachtree St. Hotel is directly across Peachtree St.
Hotel is located across the street from the Fox Theatre, next to the Georgian Terrace Hotel between 3rd Street and Ponce de Leon Avenue on Peachtree Street: 683 Peachtree Street, NE Atlanta, GA 30308

FROM HOTEL TO STATION: Exit out front doors, take right on Peachtree Street to 3rd Street. Turn left on to 3rd Street and follow ½ block to AT&T Midtown Center mall entrance (on left side of street – two sliding steel doors). Go through the atrium to the opposite end, through the food court, following the MARTA signs, through another set of sliding doors to the MARTA station entrance.

Travel by Car
Take I-85 N. Take Exit #249D proceed through the first intersection (Spring St.). At the next intersection (West Peachtree), turn LEFT. Continue 1 block and turn RIGHT on North Ave. Next light turn LEFT on Peachtree St. Hotel Indigo is 0.25 mi on the right. There is a fee for parking.

Lodging

We have reserved rooms for each participant at Hotel Indigo in Midtown. The hotel is quaint and convenient to many Atlanta sites. It's located on Peachtree Street and across from the world famous Fox Theatre!

Hotel Indigo Midtown
683 Peachtree Street Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 874-9200
http://www.ihg.com/hotelindigo/hotels/us/en/atlanta/atlfx/hoteldetail

*Please note there are two Hotel Indigos. Specify to taxi and Uber drivers you need the Hotel Indigo Midtown on Peachtree Street.

LYRASIS Hosted Dine Arounds
Wednesday, April 23rd
6:30pm please meet in the Hotel Indigo Lobby at 6:15pm.
Takorea, http://mytakorea.com/, will be our destination. They specialize in Korean-Mexican fusion and have been featured on the Food Network. They can accommodate vegan, gluten-free and those who can eat it all!

Thursday, April 24th,
Each restaurant is holding a reservation for 8 for LYRASIS.

Escorpion: http://www.urestaurants.com/data/menu_escorpion.pdf
Gordon Biersch: http://www.gordonbiersch.com/
Mu Lan: http://mulanatlanta.net/ (no reservations but can handle up to 8)
Noodle: http://www.noodlehouse.net/midtown.htm (no reservations but can handle up to 8)
Tap: http://www.tapat1180.com/home.php
Villians Wicked Heroes: http://www.villains-atl.com/ (no reservations but can handle up to 8)

One or two more restaurants to be added to the list!

Please RSVP to Jennifer Bielewski, jennifer.bielewski@lyrasis.org, 800-999-8558 x2915

Area Information

Schedule and Agenda

Last updated April 23, 2014.

The symposium is structured around three topics, described below. Each topic will start with a panel of practitioners followed by breakout group discussion, then a time for reporting from the breakout groups and open dialog on the topic.

Suggested dress: business-casual.

Schedule

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

6:30pm - Optional Group Dinner. Please RSVP to Jennifer Bielewski.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

7:00am - Breakfast
8:15am - Welcome from Kate Nevins, LYRASIS Executive Director, and meeting logistics
8:30am - Topic 1: Support, Outreach, and Funding for Sustainability
   8:30 - Panel Presentations and Questions
   9:30 - Break
   9:45 - Breakouts
   10:45 - Break
   11:00 - Reporting from breakouts and group discussion
12:00pm - Lunch (provided)
1:30pm - Topic 2: Adopter Needs
   1:30 - Panel Presentations and Questions
   2:30 - Break
   2:45 - Breakouts
   3:45 - Break
   4:00 - Reporting from breakouts and group discussion
5:00pm - End of Day 1
6:30pm - Group Dinner, meet in lobby at 6:15pm

Friday, April 25, 2014

7:00am - Breakfast
8:15am - Recap from Day 1 and meeting logistics
8:30am - Topic 3: Governance Models
   8:30 - Panel Presentations and Questions
   9:30 - Break
   9:45 - Breakouts
   10:45 - Break
   11:00 - Reporting from breakouts and group discussion
12:00pm - End of Day 2. Box lunch provided for attendees

Agenda

Topic 1: Support, Outreach, and Funding for Sustainability

Panelists: Deanna Marcum, Ithaka S+R; Michele Kimpton, DuraSpace; Jack Reed, Stanford University

Topic 2: Adopter Needs

Panelists: Karl Fogel, Open Tech Strategies; John Brice, Meadville Public Library; Debra Hanken Kurtz, Texas Digital Library; David Proctor, National Science Foundation

Topic 3: Governance Models

Panelists: Robert H. McDonald, Indiana University; Mark Leggot, University of Prince Edward Isle; Chris Cormack, Catalyst IT Limited