February 7, 2018
Andrew French, Ex Libris
Did you know that several customers in the Ex Libris community built their discovery systems from scratch? It’s true. For example, The University of South Australia decided to build their own discovery system—attached to Alma—and it’s live in production today. University of Wisconsin at Madison also built an open source discovery interface over Alma. This has provided their students with Linked Open Data records and accompanying URIs. At the same time, these open source discovery interfaces utilize the Primo Central Index for articles.
And last June, the University of Pennsylvania went live with Franklin, a discovery system they created using Blacklight and the Summon index. Ex Libris made our commitment to openness clear and these customers ran with it. Not only is a truly custom discovery system possible—it has become a reality.
Large academic libraries are collecting and exposing content that will never be part of a “commercial” index of articles and ebooks. But these resources must be made available.
While we’re not suggesting that all libraries build their own discovery system from scratch, this is a wake up call for all of us to reinvent how we view discovery and how we can best serve our users. Large academic libraries are collecting and exposing content that will never be part of a “commercial” index of articles and ebooks. But these resources must be made available. Ex Libris is responding to the need to stay away from the trend of one-size-fits-all discovery and address the technical needs of the academic market.
We didn’t choose one paradigm and the academic library market shouldn’t have to, either. Alma customers can now choose to move forward confidently with Primo VE, Summon, or implement a variety of open source services, such as Blacklight, VUFind, SOLR, Sufia, Hydra, and more, incorporating the Summon unified discovery index from ProQuest.
Josh Weisman, VP Development at Ex Libris and I are joining the Code4Lib conference next week to go through the vendor and customer developments that allowed Ex Libris to open up and make this reinvention possible.