code4lib Program Proposal

I’d be excited just to be a fly on the wall at code4lib, but I’m on a bit of a mission to change the architecture of our library software — to make it more hackable, and make those hacks more sharable — so I had to propose a talk.

Title: What Blog Applications Can Teach Us About Library Software Architecture

Description: The number of programmers in the library world is growing and our individual efforts have shown great promise, but they exist largely as a spectacle that few libraries can enjoy. We need better means to aggregate our efforts and share solutions that can be employed by libraries without programming staff.

We must look outside libraries. The blog world is rich with non-programmers using (maintaining and configuring) blog applications like WordPress or Moveable Type (or others) while thousands of developers are adding functionality via plugins and themes. What lessons can we learn from this and how might an OPAC built from those lessons work?

The idea here is that lots of people are blogging, and a good number of them have figured out how to install and maintain their blog management software — even installing plugins and tweaking templates. What lessons can we, as a community of library programmers, learn from that?

Yes, I’m working on a project along these lines, but it’s not yet ready for public consumption. You’ll see more about this in future posts, and if you’ve been watching, you might have picked up on it in previous posts.