Workshop on developing a services framework for libraries

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

The Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston, Massachusetts


During the past year, the DLF Services Framework Working Group (SFG) has worked through a number of issues in trying to define a basis for developing a services framework for libraries and digital libraries.  Throughout this process, it became clear to the working group members that the framework must capture the business logic of what people do in libraries and how users interact with libraries.  There is currently a lack of documentation in this area, but it is critical to understand if we are going to consider developing systems that are nimble and can easily adapt to the changing library environments in which we live.


Borrowing from principles that have been developed in Business Process Modeling (BPM) and in Service Oriented Architectures (SOA), the group has developed a light-weight approach for beginning to capture the business processes of the library and structuring them in a format that allows discreet business functions to be identified.  These functions, emerging from various business areas of the library, are key to identifying activities that occur in multiple areas.  Using a service oriented approach, it is then possible to look at a new way to develop systems to meet library needs.  As stand-alone units of functionality take shape and can be translated to software components, these components can be developed once and reused many times, creating a plug-and-play architecture where new or better software components can be introduced without significant disruption. 


This workshop will provide an overview of the work of the group to date and then focus on a hands-on approach to define various library/digital library activities.  The workshop attendees will break into three small groups to work through the business logic for three library areas: Digitization, Storage of digital assets, and Discovery of digital assets.  The output is expected to be a series of flow charts and a set of decomposed business processes and functions that will be included in the services framework.  These will provide a basis for further systems analysis in the future as a SOA-based approach to library automated services is considered. Workshop attendees are expected to have experience with library IT management and/or technical development of digital library projects.


The workshop is limited to 25 attendees and will be held on Tuesday, 7 November 2006 from 9am – 5pm, prior to the start of the DLF Fall Forum on 8 November 2006.   Lunch will be provided.  Interested attendees should register by 9 October at  Priority will be given to those at DLF member institutions and individuals who are members of the SFG. For more information about the SFG’s work, participants are encouraged to read