Columbus, Ohio, USA — 2 September, 2014 – As a founding sponsor, Zepheira's introduction of the Libhub Initiative creates an industry-wide focus on the collective visibility of libraries and their resources on the Web. Libraries and memory organizations have rich content and resources that the Web can not see or use. The Libhub Initiative aims to find common ground for libraries, providers, and partners to publish and use data with non-proprietary, web standards. Libraries can then communicate in a way Web applications understand and Web users can see through the use of enabling technology like Linked Data and shared vocabularies such as schema.org and BIBFRAME. The Libhub Initiative uniquely prioritizes the linking of these newly exposed library resources to each other and to other resources across the Web, a critical requirement of increased Web visibility.
Denver Public Library took an early leadership position in support the Libhub Initiative's introduction, and purchased Zepheira's solutions in education, assessment, and implementation to kickstart their organization's Linked Data transformation. Michelle Jeske, Director of Collections, Technology and Innovation at Denver Public Library said, "The Denver Public Library is excited to partner with Zepheira in this important collaborative endeavor. Libraries need to find new ways of reaching out and demonstrating that they truly are where their people need them, which includes Google and other search engines. Being able to showcase our rich collections and fabulous Western History and Genealogy resources more readily on the web is very exciting — and timely. This initiative will make these resources more discoverable and the library more relevant and accessible in the eyes of our community. We encourage other libraries to join soon, so we make impact quickly!"
Vailey Oehlke, Director of Libraries for Multnomah County Library, president-elect of the Public Library Association (PLA), and an early Libhub Initiative supporter stated, "Libraries have long been the greatest free source of information in this country. However, as people increasingly turn to Google and others for their information needs, we see that role diminishing. In part that is because our data is largely dark to the Internet, held in proprietary catalog systems that create barriers to discovery. The Libhub Initiative offers the possibility of making library holdings discoverable directly through search engines. That's an important step forward for libraries, and for our patrons' ability to readily find quality, curated information."
In 2012 the US Library of Congress selected Zepheira to architect BIBFRAME, a new, Web-friendly linked data format for library information, which will replace MARC, the 40-year old, technically-limiting data format. Upon completion of the foundational BIBFRAME work, Zepheira moved to establish the Libhub Initiative leading the investment, providing systems infrastructure, and building initial transformation tools and other resources to begin the process of creating Web-ready library data from legacy systems.
"We have only just begun and long term success will require active engagement from both libraries and partners. Based on the Libhub Initiative's common industry goal of increased visibility, we look forward to active collaboration with and support from library services providers," said Eric Miller, President of Zepheira. "Collaborative community participation will give this Initiative the greatest likelihood of meaningful impact. The Web really showcases that we are stronger together than we are apart."
Learn more about the Libhub Initiative at Libhub.org. Individuals and libraries can show their support of the Initiatives' goal of visibility of our cultural institutions. Organizations and providers can also learn more about how they can get involved as a partner or sponsor through the Libhub.org site or by contacting Zepheira directly.
Zepheira is a leading provider of software and services designed to help clients across industries make information available and more prominent on the Web. Founded in 2007, Zepheira has extensive experience creating products and solutions focused on the modernization of library information systems. Zepheira's founders and staff have played key roles in pioneering the next generation of the Web, including the semantic technology underlying most Web applications.
More on Zepheira's Linked Data Library Solutions
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About Denver Public Library:
Founded in 1889, the Denver Public Library connects people with information, ideas and experiences to provide enjoyment, enrich lives and strengthen our community. With 24 locations throughout the Denver, the Library provides essential resources to the community including early literacy programs, computer and Internet access and training, family and adult programs, and more. DPL is currently ranked in the top five library systems in the U.S.
About Multnomah County Library
Multnomah County Library is the oldest public library west of the Mississippi River, with a history that reaches back to 1864. Today, Central Library and the other 18 neighborhood libraries that make up the library system house nearly 900 computer search stations for the public and a collection of two million books and other library materials.
As Oregon's largest public library, Multnomah County Library serves nearly one-fifth of the state's population with a wide variety of programs and services.