Library Consortia Partner on Innovative Institutional Repository Solutions

The Private Academic Library Network of Indiana, Inc. (PALNI) is developing collaborative instances of two open-source institutional repository platforms, Islandora and Hyku, via partnerships with the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) and the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc. (PALCI). The work will include analyzing and improving the functionality and capacity of the software to support collaboration. To benefit the wider community, all developments from the partnerships will be openly available for adaptation.

Both projects support PALNI’s collaborative and community approach on four levels by:

  1. Sharing scholarship and digital content from our institutions with the world
  2. Developing open-source, community-owned tools
  3. Collaborating to host and maintain tools in shared server space
  4. Sharing expertise in metadata, mapping, user experience design, workflow design, and collections across consortia participants

Institutional Repositories (IRs) perform a valuable function by creating open access to campus scholarship, and by doing so demonstrating library value and the value of the institution as a whole, however only fifteen percent of PALNI’s supported institutions currently have an IR system. Sixty-five percent of PALNI members indicated a desire to participate in a collaborative repository, highlighting a strong need for this service.

PALNI Executive Director Kirsten Leonard noted, “The ability to control costs and build scalable, collaborative workflows are two essential elements for a sustainable PALNI Institutional Repository service, and lead PALNI to develop the Hyku and Islandora partnerships. We aim to reduce IR costs to support all of the twenty-four PALNI institutions for roughly the same average cost of a single IR instance.” Leonard added, “Collaborative tools and partnerships can benefit institutions of all sizes by sharing infrastructure and administrative costs.”

PALNI Scholarly Communications Director Amanda Hurford conducted assessments and environmental scans to assess the needs of PALNI institutions:  “Ultimately we aim to create a consortial IR service individual libraries may use, customize, and brand as their own, while sharing underlying infrastructure costs and administration across consortia. We want a solution with a sustainable and controllable cost structure that functions as a true IR.”

These two IR softwares each have unique strengths, allowing PALNI to test different aspects of consortial partnership and service provision. Hyku and Islandora repository platforms have different foci, communities, and opportunities. Islandora is a mature product and PALNI will benefit from WRLC’s knowledge and optimization. Hyku is a native multi-tenancy architecture. With additional development the software will support multiple consortia and collaborative workflows. By exploring both platforms, PALNI is able to proactively ensure that the consortium can meet multiple priorities in the IR and digital collection management software spaces while doubly contributing to the open source and open access communities in a practical, innovative, and collaborative fashion.

PALNI and WRLC have completed the first phase of the Islandora implementation with a summer 2019 completion expected. PALNI will complete the initial Hyku pilot near the end of 2019.

Source: Library Consortia Partner on Innovative Institutional Repository Solutions