The NDL web service to be based on open-source software
The public interface of the National Digital Library will be based on open-source rather than off-the-shelf software. The National Library of Finland will gradually develop the public interface together with archives, libraries and museums. The web service will be launched in 2012.
A new software solution has been adopted in the National Digital Library (NDL) project: the public interface will be based on the VuFind open-source software. Although the National Library has overall responsibility for interface development, the use of open-source code will support national and international collaboration in developing the service.
Originally, the public interface was supposed to be based on the off-the-shelf software of the Ex Libris Group, selected through competitive negotiations. However, the software procurement contract between the National Library and Ex Libris was cancelled in January 2012 after piloting had revealed that the software did not meet the requirements set for the public interface.
A single public interface will make it easier for customers to use the services provided by archives, libraries and museums. The partner organisations will launch the NDL web service gradually, beginning in 2012. Interface users can search for information and materials and use digital services. The web service can be used to search for images, texts, documents, sound, videos and electronic publications. Thanks to the services integrated into the back-end systems of the partner organisations, users can also renew loans, purchase images and submit orders. The archive, library and museum materials provide a wide range of resources for teaching, research, creative activities and other information needs.
The National Digital Library is an inter-branch project of the Ministry of Education and Culture for content and service provision, which aims to promote access to the digital information resources of archives, libraries and museums and to develop the long-term preservation of digital cultural heritage objects. The steering group of the NDL project, led by the Ministry of Education and Culture, supports the National Library’s proposal for adopting open-source software. The Advisory Committee on Information Management in Public Administration has issued a recommendation (JHS-169) on the use of open-source software in public administration, and the National Library has experience in using such software in its core operations.
Further information about the public interface can be obtained from Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen, Director of Library Network Services, tel. +358 9 191 44118, email: kristiina.hormia(at)helsinki.fi. The NDL project website can be accessed at www.kdk.fi/en.Uutislistaus