Institution: University of Prince Edward Island
Our project began when long-time open-source software promoter and University Librarian Mark Leggott envisioned a collaborative web environment for the creation and stewardship of core data assets, a type of repository that would support researchers by addressing their established workflows and providing them with new tools for research, while responsibly caring for that data and research on library servers. This idea has developed into the Islandora (DiscoverySpace) project. The goal of the project is to develop the open-source Islandora repository software as user-friendly third-generation repository software that provides multiple interactivity features alongside a strong data-stewardship platform. In order for the project to exist, and to succeed, patterns of work in the library, and the roles of library staff have had to transform, new revenue streams have had to be located, and the traditional relationships between library and IT staff have been invigorated.
To bring the project from idea to implementation, Mark united the systems team, developers, and librarians and developed a technical and managerial infrastructure to support the on-demand development of local repositories for UPEI researchers based on the Islandora system (these systems are called “Virtual Research Environments” or VREs). Islandora was also used in the development of a large number of community digitization projects. Every time a grant was received, or a service contract entered, the work furthered the development of the software, allowing new projects to take advantage of innovations funded by previous projects, and increasing demand for the software. By taking a leadership role in the digitization and research infrastructure development at our local institution, we were able to develop our own tools and extend our commitment to serving our patron communities. Interest in the VRE service continues to grow, and we find faculty members coming to us in ever larger numbers. To date, we have developed over 120 local projects using Islandora, and the project continues to grow with the recent acquisition of a 2.4 million dollar grant from the Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency, which will enable us to produce a series of “solution packs” designed to serve different types of researchers and data. This funding will also allow us to grow the larger open-source community surrounding the software, and develops new sustainability models for the project by fostering the development of a local Islandora services company. This company “DiscoveryGarden” generates revenue for the university, and ensures the continuance of the open-source software project into the future. You can visit our vre service pages at library.upei.ca/vre and learn more about the project at islandora.ca.
Project Type: Project in Progress
Budget: 2.4 Million Dollars
Mark Leggott – University Librarian at UPEI and CEO of DiscoveryGarden Inc
Kirsta Stapelfeldt – Islandora/Repository Manager, UPEI
Donald Moses – Digital Initiatives and Systems Librarian, UPEI
Alan Stanley – Programmer, UPEI
Gervais de Montbrun – Systems Administrator, UPEI
David Wilcox – Support /Training Coordinator, UPEI
DiscoveryGarden Incorporated Programmers
Systems and Library staff with UPEI’s VRE service