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Library software allows faster information systems





The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded The Kuali Open Library Environment a $750,000 grant to create a community-based software system.

“The software allows us (IU Libraries) to customize workflows on our campus in a way that we can’t with proprietary software,” IU Libraries Director of Communications Heather Edelblute said in an email.

Proprietary software, also known as closed source software, is licensed under exclusive legal right of a copyright holder. Other users cannot modify the program. Community-based software allows more collaboration.

Several universities will be involved in the project including Duke University, University of Chicago, North Carolina State University, University of Florida, University of Maryland and University of Michigan, according to the press release.

“The Kuali OLE project was launched in 2009 in part from a $2.3 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation,” Edelblute said.

The OLE project is benefitting from institutions on campus, Edulbute said.

“The Kuali OLE project is being served by a great partnership between the IU Libraries and UITS,” Edelblute added.

The award rounds out the system’s third year of development.

The press release noted that in the coming years, new releases of the software will bring more functionality in areas such as “print and electronic item delivery, self-check automation and high-density storage facilities.”

Kuali OLE is the first software system designed by and for academic and research libraries.

Students will mostly likely be positively affected by the software’s implementation, Edelblute said.

“The more automated the system, or the ‘back of the house’ operations of the Libraries, the faster the information is available to students and faculty,” Edelblute said.

— Molly Morgan

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