Danish municipalities jointly…

Danish municipalities jointly develop open source library system

20/07/2012

Almost half (40) of Denmark's 98 municipalities are jointly developing an open source system to make most of the resources at the libraries available in the form of web services. The project, named Ting, supports libraries to bring their services online.

Users access the services of the Ting libraries via websites. These are based on the Drupal open source content management system. It helps to avoid web browser dependencies and allows services to be reformatted for different computer screens and smart phones.

Ting offers several methods for libraries to create new applications and services. Options include using JSON, XML and reusable widgets. These access a central data warehouse which takes its data from many different library databases and other data sources, including search engines and online multimedia services.

The Ting project was initiated by the libraries of Copenhagen and Aarhus, in 2008. "Ting is neither a project nor a product", says Rolf Hapel, working for the municipality of Aarhus and responsible for the libraries, in an interview published on Youtube. "It is a fusion of technology and new forms of cooperation that contains new perspectives for the entire public sector."

Central to Ting, explains Hapel, is that the software is open source. This has freed up great resources in the library sector. "Ting will form the basis for the Danish Digital Library."

According to Niels Schmidt Petersen, Ting's community manager and a project manager at Aarhus, collaborating on this open source system has several advantages. Libraries for starters no longer need to develop and manage their own website system. They keep their own site, but they share the content management system.

Ting also makes the library services independent from IT vendors. "Digital content and resources were in the past accessible through systems of IT vendors, which created dependencies and caused difficulties in integrating the services with websites. Those were also often not very easy to use."

"The Ting community is inspired by the Drupal and Ubuntu communities", says Schmidt Petersen. He and others are working on a book, aiming to take Ting to other libraries in the country and abroad.


More information:
Presentation on Ting at Youtube
DBC news item (in Danish)
Ting at the Danish Digital Library

Comments

Mon, 23/07/2012 - 15:06

Mr. Gijs HILLENIUS,

why are you not using KOHA ILS? It is the most advanved, fully featured Integrated Library System (ILS) in the world and it is open source!!! Why trying to develop another project when it is already here! The necessary human and other resources to develop another similar project could further develop the KOHA ILS and bring it to another level!

 

Some related links to KOHA ILS:

http://www.koha.org

http://koha-community.org

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koha_%28software%29

Giannis G

Wed, 25/07/2012 - 08:10

@Giannis G: The T!NG project aims at forming a community between the Danish Libraries, not to present the libraries with an ILS. The Danish libraries already have various ILS'es in place, choosen by the local authorities in coorporation with the regional offices. The T!NG project has several industry partners that provide input to the process, such as DBC, who provides the backend services of many of the products that the project uses. The basic idea of T!NG is not to construct a system aimed at a single library, but rather to leverage the information provided by libraries, web sources and other collections, in order to enhance the services that the libraries offer.

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