University of Minnesota Libraries Software Release:

December 1, 2003

The University of Minnesota Libraries (Twin Cities) announces the open
source software release of LibData: Library Web Management System. LibData
is a library-oriented web-based application consisting of an integrated
database architecture and authoring environment for the publication of
subject pathfinders, course-related pages, and all purpose web pages. This
application was designed for, but is not limited to, academic and public
libraries. LibData was built with open source components (Apache, mySQL,
and PHP) and is being offered as open source to the library community under
the GNU Public License.  The software and its extensive documentation can
be downloaded from Plato, a test foundry for the Libraries' Digital Library
Development Laboratory ( and soon on SourceForge
(  For more information, please
contact John Butler ([log in to unmask]), Director, University Libraries Digital
Library Development Lab, or Paul Bramscher ([log in to unmask]), LibData Lead

Software Description:

The goal of publishing dynamically-generated library web pages through a
system that integrates easy-to-use web authoring tools with a large
database of information resources led the University of Minnesota Libraries
to build LibData. Like many large research libraries, Minnesota provides
access to thousands of resources, both licensed and freely available.
Access is presented to user in numerous ways, including through the
Libraries' web site, subject pathfinders, and course-customized library web
pages. LibData's master database -- which offers a framework for containing
records for resources, services, library locations, staff, and more -- was
designed to allow for easier management of these resources and their rapid
retrieval and incorporation into the variety of web presentations that
librarians create for users. LibData currently offers three distinct page
authoring tools useful to both novice and expert librarian users:

    * Research QuickStart Subject Builder (for subject pathfinders)
    * CourseLib (for customized course-related pages)
    * PageScribe (for free-form, all purpose pages)

These tools are tightly integrated with the main database, making resource
management easier to control, and ensuring that library users receive
well-managed, current information. LibData also features a robust staff
management system, user and page statistics, and complete customizability
and extensibility.

LibData was successfully moved into production at the University of
Minnesota Libraries during the summer and fall of 2003.  The Libraries'
instance uses a central authentication and security mechanism (campus-wide
.x500 directory), and has some additional functionality for enterprise
portal connectivity. LibData's thorough documentation and easily-understood
source code greatly enables this sort of localization and
integration.  Through this open source release, the development team
invites the library community to build on the foundation of LibData v.1.0
and share in its future growth and development.

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Eric Celeste / 612-624-4126 / [log in to unmask] /
Associate University Librarian for Information Technology
University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) Libraries