Lehigh University
Lehigh University


Leading the march toward "Library 3.0"

Lehigh is one of the founding partners in the Kuali Open Library Environment (OLE) project to develop software that streamlines the operations of academic and research libraries. The partnership will create an alternative to an integrated library system that provides users easier access to the wealth of new digital materials, ties in seamlessly with university enterprise systems, brings together the best practices from other universities, and allows libraries to determine their own future. 

Kuali is a growing community of universities, colleges, businesses, and other organizations that have partnered to build and sustain open-source administrative software for higher education. Open source is a development method for software that leverages insight from peer review. It is free, maintained and improved constantly by participating members.

Integrated library systems are used to track materials in library collections, from ordering and paying for them to loaning them to library users. Freed from a print-only bias, the Kuali project will create more efficient workflows to manage and curate a varied digital collection that includes leased electronic journal content and owned special collections.

“The OLE open source library project  has the potential to bring about a long-term transformation of the overall access to and flow of library materials and scholarly communications in the educational library world,” says Bruce Taggart, vice provost for Library and Technology Services.

“Some of the best and brightest library professionals and systems people are envisioning what the next-generation library, or digital library 2.0 and even digital library 3.0, will look like. Lehigh’s partnership in this new endeavor demonstrates that, as an institution, it is in the forefront of those embracing significant change in the management of scholarly and research information resources.”

Lehigh was a key participant in the year-long design of the OLE product, which was supported by a planning grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and led by Duke University. Timothy McGeary, library technology team leader, and Doreen Herold, catalog librarian, served on the international design team, which was composed of 10 universities and two national libraries. That team gathered input from more than 300 libraries, educational institutions, professional organizations and businesses.

Other Kuali OLE partners include Indiana University (lead); the Florida Consortium (representing Florida academic institutions); the Triangle Research Libraries Network, representing Duke and North Carolina State Universities; the University of Chicago; the University of Maryland; the University of Michigan; and the University of Pennsylvania.

More information about the Kuali Foundation and the OLE project can be found here.

Posted on Friday, November 20, 2009

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