BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Kuali Open Library Environment received a $750,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop an open, community-based library software system. OLE was launched in 2009 in part from a $2.3 million grant from the Mellon Foundation and is designed to help libraries manage and deliver an ever-increasing amount of digital resources and collections.
"In an environment of constant change, the OLE project is visionary in its efforts to produce not only an open, shared software solution to enhance the management systems of research libraries, but a community that provides the structure for collective action and influence that can impact educational institutions worldwide," said Brenda L. Johnson, Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries.
The OLE (pronounced Oh-LAY) project was founded by a partnership of research libraries, led by Indiana University, which includes Duke University, University of Chicago, North Carolina State University, University of Florida, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, Lehigh University and Villanova University. The partners have pooled resources and expertise along with generous investments from the Mellon Foundation to develop this next-generation system.
This latest award will help complete the system's third year of development, delivering enhanced functionality and flexible support to its primary users. Upcoming releases will provide the functionality required for multisite implementations, such as print and electronic item delivery, self-check automation and high-density storage facilities. The University of Chicago and Lehigh University will be the first schools to implement this new platform later this year.
"The University of Chicago is proud to be an OLE early implementer because we are eager to enhance our own library business processes by using the flexible framework that OLE provides while helping our OLE partnership develop a sure path to OLE implementation for like-size research libraries," said Judi Nadler, director and university librarian at the University of Chicago Library.
"Collaboration among universities is essential for this decade, and the libraries are leading with the Kuali OLE Project," said Brad Wheeler, Indiana University's vice president for information technology and CIO and chair of the Kuali Foundation Board. "We remain grateful to the Mellon Foundation for their first visionary investment in the Kuali Financial System in 2005 and yet again this investment for the libraries."
In March 2012, the Mellon Foundation also made a grant of $499,000 to North Carolina State University that allows Kuali OLE to partner with JISC Collections (United Kingdom) to create an open Web service that provides electronic resource information on a global scale.
The Kuali Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping educational and nonprofit institutions solve problems through approaches that benefit from collective action and coordination. Software offered via Kuali in addition to Kuali OLE include Kuali Finance, Kuali Coeus for Research Administration, Kuali Student, Kuali People Management, Kuali Mobility and Kuali Ready. Kuali software is available, without fee, for anyone to use or modify under the Educational Community License.