Why Project ReShare?
Current resource sharing solutions leave much to be desired. The resource sharing technology market has been characterized by a consolidation of commercial options, and companies becoming less responsive to customer needs and requests. Libraries and consortia regularly experience pricing concerns and service level issues. Most importantly, existing technology solutions represent closed environments, restricting innovation, experimentation, and cross-system communication around this strategic library service. The ReShare Community is coming together to take action on this strategic concern to bolster libraries’ agency in the provision of resource sharing services.
Project ReShare offers libraries and commercial partners alike a fundamentally different approach to library technology solutions. Project ReShare’s key differentiator is its development as a community-owned solution.
How does it work?
The software produced by the ReShare community will be owned by the community. For practical purposes, the project has been working as a community of the Open Library Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit. The intellectual property will be retained by ReShare Members and made available under an Apache 2.0 license, meaning anyone may use, alter, or offer the software as a service. This license gives libraries the freedom to partner with their preferred service providers and influence software development in meaningful ways. It also gives commercial providers incentive to respond to customer needs, and offer excellent customer service to be competitive. Most importantly, everyone in the community may innovate with fewer barriers, while working together with the community to enhance services libraries are able to offer patrons. The ReShare Steering Committee will ensure the software’s codebase is sustainable as it meets the vision for the community.
How is this project funded?
ReShare’s partner organizations are contributing time, staff, expertise, and funding to resource the development of this project. Initial financial contributions and commitments have been made by the PALCI consortium, Index Data, and Knowledge Integration. PALCI has also applied for an IMLS National Leadership Grant for Libraries on behalf of this project to help fund software and community development. Though the project has a strong start, more funding and resources are needed to achieve this community’s vision – please consider becoming involved!
What is the business model after the software is produced? Why would commercial developers produce open source software and invest in this project? Won’t the code be open to everyone?
ReShare partners have concluded investment in this software is necessary and the preferred future for the provision of resource sharing services. Total project cost estimates are available upon request. On-going library-related costs for use of this software are expected to be on par with, or less than currently available solutions, with the added flexibility to select service providers best-suited to local needs, or the capability of hosting the software locally, if desired.
Commercial and library partners involved in this project come to the table as equal partners in the community. These partners have the benefit of understanding the project’s goals and setting the roadmap, while each bringing their own unique strengths to the project. Commercial partners have opportunities to develop early relationships and potential future customers. Library partners have the opportunity to design the solution that meets their needs.
The ReShare community is working with its commercial partners to develop provisional service agreements, which will advantage early commercial investors in this community by allowing them to recoup investments and technical debt. These agreements secure business for early investors once the software is produced, and give libraries and consortia a plan for hosted service solutions.
Why should my organization get involved?
Though we have initial commitments from several partners, additional contributions are needed to enable Project ReShare to meet its ambitious timeline. Partners have the opportunity to engage in the project’s vision, influence the ReShare roadmap and governance, and change the library technology landscape positively for library patrons. Please review opportunities to Get Involved. Please contact us if you’re interested in becoming a partner!