BOSTON — September 27, 2016 — The first FOLIO code is now available. FOLIO, which stands for the Future of Libraries is Open, is a community project to develop an open source library services platform (LSP). This first release of the base FOLIO code is a critical milestone to have reached since its announcement in June opening up the code to community review and comment.
FOLIO is an innovation platform created to improve current workflows and deliver new services to libraries and their patrons. The community welcomes developers interested in learning more, contributing to the project or building applications on top of the platform. Developers can access the code at: http://dev.folio.org. The site also has sample modules and documentation related to the project and Okapi, the central hub for applications and modules.
Sebastian Hammer, team lead for the FOLIO core developers and co-founder of Index Data, says opening the repositories is the first step in an aggressive plan to deliver a new open source library services platform to libraries and service providers as quickly as possible. "This is a critical juncture in the evolution of the platform. Everything we do in FOLIO is open and visible and now the code is available to the entire community."
Now that the base code has been released, code updates will follow a regular schedule as the community builds out the functional apps needed to operate a library, innovating around resource management and a modular approach to the architecture. Hammer says the technology preview follows the "release early, release often" philosophy. "In FOLIO, we look to follow the philosophies and practices of modern open source development. We are looking to engage a community that brings together libraries, service providers, and users. We want developers to get in there and send pull requests, file issues and contribute to the overall discussion as we move forward." Through this collaboration and engagement, FOLIO hopes to build out functional library management modules, as well as, spark conversation, understanding, and innovation around the full scope of library services.
The open source code produced by the FOLIO community is being made available under an Apache v2 license, allowing any individual, institution, collaboration or vendor to use the code for its purposes—commercial or otherwise— and to foster interesting partnerships between libraries, services providers and vendors.
EBSCO is providing the primary funding for the development of FOLIO with Index Data developing the initial platform and engaging deeply with the library developer community. The Open Library Environment (OLE) Partnership, a collaborative of academic and research libraries that seek, build and operate innovative and open source software for library management of services, is contributing developers to the project and leveraging its expertise in community building. FOLIO is the first project of the Open Library Foundation.
The latest FOLIO Forum provided a walkthrough of the developer's preview. A recording is available here: https://www.openlibraryenvironment.org/archives/216.
How to Join the Community
Since initial public conversations began about the open source LSP project at conferences such as Code4Lib in March, more than 1,000 members from vendors and libraries around the world have joined the community to participate and collaborate as:
- Functionalists—contribute their knowledge of specific workflows and functional areas.
- Strategists—contribute their vision of how library technology must evolve in the years to come.
- Developers—contribute code and help build out the applications for the new extensible platform.
In addition to accessing the code on GitHub, there are a variety of ways to get involved. Join in the discussion of the software and the community at https://discuss.folio.org or get an invitation to the FOLIO slack team at https://discuss.folio.org/slack-invitation.
By engaging, members will participate in, and even lead meetings and workshops at conferences, virtual meetings, online forums and discussion boards. Follow FOLIO on Twitter @FOLIO_LSP.
FOLIO is a collaborative effort between libraries, vendors, developers and consortia that leverages open source technology and a community-based effort to redefine library services and innovate based on library futures. By building on what libraries need and by leveraging library expertise as well as vendor capacity and velocity, FOLIO is designed to move libraries forward, build on the services they provide and redefine the role libraries play within their institution. FOLIO also levels the playing field and makes open source technology available to all institutions regardless of size or staffing. FOLIO brings vendors together to innovate and host services for customers and introduces open source as a service to libraries. To sign up to participate or receive more information go to www.folio.org.