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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.

Islandora logo

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
Hyku logo

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.

About the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC):

The Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) is a collaborative partnership providing proactive, responsive, innovative, and cost-effective access to shared information resources, services, and expertise. Through strategic priorities such as the creation of coordinated collections and a robust infrastructure for discovery and access, the WRLC is contributing to the success of learning and scholarship. The combined collections of the Washington Research Library Consortium total more than 17 million items. For more information, visit the WRLC website.

About the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc. (PALCI):
PALCI (legally named the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc.) was formed in 1996 as a grassroots federation of 35 academic libraries in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Today, the PALCI membership consists of nearly 70 academic and research libraries, private and public, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, and New York. PALCI's mission is to build access to our shared collections through collaboration among academic libraries in Pennsylvania and the neighboring states. PALCI Members serve over 800,000 students, faculty, and staff, through a variety of programs including the highly-regarded E-ZBorrow service. PALCI also serves as the home for PA Digital, the Pennsylvania hub of the Digital Public Library of America, and the new Affordable Learning PA program, creating a community of practice for open textbooks and related educational resources. Visit the PALCI website.

About the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI): 
PALNI is a non-profit organization supporting collaboration for library and information services to the libraries of its twenty-four supported institutions. The library deans and directors who sit on the PALNI board have expanded the organization's strategic direction as the internet and information services landscape have changed. PALNI shares systems and expertise in many areas including a resource management system, strategic planning, affordable education, instructional technology, collections, reference, information fluency, outreach, and data management.

PALNI Supported Institutions: Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary | Ancilla College | Anderson University | Bethel College | Butler University | Concordia Theological Seminary | Christian Theological Seminary | DePauw University | Earlham College | Franklin College | Goshen College | Grace College | Hanover College | Huntington University | Manchester University | Marian University | Oakland City University | University of Saint Francis | Saint Mary's College | Saint Meinrad's Seminary and School of Theology | Taylor University | Trine University | University of Indianapolis | Wabash College