I have followed this thread with great interest. In 2011 Erin White and I
researched many of the issues the group has been hitting on, demonstrating
the popularity of LibGuides in ARL libraries, the locus of control outside
of systems' departments, and the state of content policies.
Our most challenging statement in the article to the library tech community
(which was watered down a bit in the peer review process) was "The
popularity of LibGuides, at its heart a specialized content management
system, also calls into question the vitality and/or adaptability of local
content management system implementations in libraries."
One of the biggest challenges I see toward creating a non-commercial
alternative is that the library code community is so dispersed in the
various institutions that it makes it difficult to get away from the
download tar.gz model. Are our institutions ready to collaborate across
themselves such that there could be a shared SaaS model (of anything
really) that libraries could subscribe/contribute to? The barriers here
certainly aren't technological, but more along the lines of policy,
As for Research Guides in general, I see a very clear divide in the
public/tech communities not only on platform but more philosophical. From
the tech side once it is all boiled down, heck why do you even need a third
party system; catalog the databases with some type of local genres and push
out an api/xml feeds to various disciplines. From the public side there is
a long lineage of individually curated guides that goes to the core of
value of professionally knowing one's community and serving it.
On Tue, Aug 13, 2013 at 11:13 AM, Galen Charlton <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 13, 2013 at 6:53 AM, Wilhelmina Randtke <[log in to unmask]
> > There's not a lock-in issue with LibGuides, because it's used to host
> > pathfinders. Those are supposed to be periodically revisited. One of
> > big problems is that librarians will start a guide and never finish, or
> > make one then never maintain it. Periodically deleting everything is a
> > good thing for pathfinders and subject guides, and people should do it
> > anyway. No one's talking about tools for digital archives, which have
> > in issues and are way more expensive.
> Lock-in doesn't have to be absolute to be effective, it just has to has
> raise the bar sufficiently high to make users think twice about migrating
> This applies even if the data to be moved is transitory and constantly
> changing. For example, if a library has been diligently updating their
> pathfinders, but wants to switch platforms, if there were no way to export
> them to load into the successor system, the effort of redoing them or doing
> a lot of copy-and-pasting could be prohibitive.
> As a general statement -- and I know that this battle has been bitterly
> fought in the ILS space -- I believe that *all* library software services,
> whether based on F/LOSS software or proprietary software, should provide a
> way for the library to obtain a full dump of their data, in an accessible
> format, at no additional charge.
> I see that LibGuides advertises the ability to make local backups of
> individual pages and also provides (via a paid add-on module) an XML export
> function. I don't know if SpringShare will also provide free one-time
> exports on request, but I would hope they do.
> Of course, even if one has the data in hand, data migrations can still take
> a lot of time, effort, and expertise.
> Galen Charlton
> Manager of Implementation
> Equinox Software, Inc. / The Open Source Experts
> email: [log in to unmask]
> direct: +1 770-709-5581
> cell: +1 404-984-4366
> skype: gmcharlt
> web: http://www.esilibrary.com/
> Supporting Koha and Evergreen: http://koha-community.org &
Head, Digital Technologies