Ever been to a "hackathon" -- a gathering of technologists committed to working on a short-term project, usually a couple of days? Imagine two dozen programmers, designers, and specialists locked in a room for 2 days with laptops, snacks, and caffeine, all focused on prototyping an innovative app for a good cause. Learning, sharing, and pure geekery ensue!
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The Galecia Group was hired by the California Library Association (CLA) to support implementation of the Great Reading Adventure (GRA) summer reading program software in Summer 2015. CLA had received a grant that would allow them to offer the program to approximately 25 California libraries to use for free but they needed help with the technical aspects of doing so. After that first year of supporting libraries on the GRA softrware,we advised CLA to rebuild the software on a non-Windows platform (Linux, Apache, PHP, Drupal). Using the GRA software as a model, we recreated the program (with some exceptions) in time to offer it to the libraries to use again the next summer. We named the new software Bookpoints. Most of the libraries stayed with the pilot project of Bookpoints and worked with us throughout the development and testing. They used the software successfully and have been excellent development partners. Throughout this time we have been working with the Library of Virginia who also used GRA and then moved with us to Bookpoints,providing critical development funding for our development efforts.They also hosted another group of libraries on their own VA server.
After summer 2017, we worked closely with the libraries that had used the software to identify the high priority features that they wanted us to focus upon. We also brought in additional development resources from BitSource and DevCollaborative to supplement our Galecia team led by Jim Craner. The 2017 version is being released in April, 2017 and libraries will be going live on their customized versions starting in May, 2017.
As soon as the 2017 season of summer reading is launched we will begin working on the 2018 version. We will continue to partner with the Library of Virginia, however, California libraries libraries have lost their grant funding and CLA will no longer be involved in the project. The Galecia Group will continue to work with Virginia and our development partners, and hopefully most of our California libraries to host and support them in 2018 but the service will be fee-based. We will also be seeking additional support to keep the development going.
My pals at ByWater Solutions invited me to talk about our open source summer reading software, Bookpoints. Jessamyn West has been working with us as we complete our 2017 version of the software so I invited her to join me so we could all have an open source love fest. Listen to the podcast here: http://libraryisopen.com/bookpoints-podcast/.
And if you've never heard of Bookpoints....well! It's the summer reading program software we created in partnership with California Library Association and Library of Virginia. It is inspired by the good work of Maricopa County's Great Reading Adventure (GRA). We are hosting around 25 libraries in California who will be using Bookpoints for the second year. Library of Virginia hosting another cohort that has also been working with us since the early GRA days. Our project page is readingbydesign.org.
The Galecia Group built "Crowdsource Your Vote," a Drupal-based application that allowed librarians to vote for their favorite sessions at this year's California Library Association annual conference.
Infopeople is a state-wide project that serves as the training arm of the California State Library, primarily serving libraries throughout the state. Infopeople's online and webinar students hail from libraries across the United States and several other countries, numbering in the thousands.
Built consultantsgiveback.org website to support the Consultants Give Back (CGB) project that connects library representatives with consultants who are offering some free consulting at one of the conferences. ASCLA now manages the CGB project and has decided to use the ALA websites.
Developed a new website for the State Library of California's Get Involved project. The objective of the project is to provide an easy-to-use website for library staff working with library volunteers. The concept was based another site built and maintained by the Group, the Rural Initiative's Resource Round-Up website, http://resourceroundup.net/.
Helped establish and managed the Open Source Open Libraries Consortium in cooperation with Peninsula Library System and Califa. The goal of the consortia was to "empower libraries and library consortia by encouraging participation and collaboration in software products generally, and encouraging them to consider an Open Source Library System such as Koha or Evergreen."
Over the course of the project we moved 9 library systems to Koha and helped three library systems begin evaluating Evergreen and Fulfillment. The project was concluded in October, 2013.