News

Introducing Reservoir, the module behind ReShare’s Shared Inventory

Clara Fehrenbach spoke with Sebastian Hammer, Co-founder and President of Index Data, to learn more about Reservoir.

ReShare Shared Inventory

A shared inventory and consortial discovery has been a foundational piece of the Project ReShare vision since the beginning.  The 2021 ReShare Returnables launches at PALCI and ConnectNY went live with FOLIO’s Inventory module (dubbed “mod-inventory” in FOLIO-speak) as the basis for ReShare’s Shared Inventory storage, which in turn feeds into discovery layers, such as VuFind. Mod-inventory worked for its purpose, but it became clear that the way ReShare needs to ingest and use bibliographic data calls for a more flexible shared inventory infrastructure that is designed to ingest data from many different sources (i.e. individual member libraries in a consortium.)

Because ReShare was intended to be modular from the start, it was possible for Project ReShare and Index Data to be responsive to the needs of the community and update the infrastructure behind the Shared Inventory.

What is Reservoir?

Originally coined mod-meta-storage, Reservoir is the new underlying infrastructure of ReShare Shared Inventory.  Based primarily on PostgreSQL, Reservoir was envisioned and realized due to community need, both to address inefficiencies discovered in the live environments at PALCI and ConnectNY and to support the onboarding of IPLC onto ReShare Returnables using their Platform for Open Data (POD) infrastructure. Reservoir is designed to be both fast (quickly handling a very large number of records) and flexible (poised to reuse its contents for future purposes.)

In order to accomplish speed and flexibility, Reservoir does not merge records as they’re imported in the same way that mod-inventory was designed to do.  According to Sebastian, Reservoir works instead by “storing incoming bibliographic records separately and ‘clustering’ them using a match algorithm.” Then the records can be “merged” later for use in a consortial discovery layer or for other purposes. This method of clustering now, merging later was designed to allow much easier experimentation with different matching algorithms, since clusters can be reconfigured or rebuilt without needing a full data reload. It’s even possible to use more than one different matching algorithm at the same time with Reservoir.

Want to know how much faster Reservoir is?  Consider this: Using Reservoir, it takes less than a week to ingest, merge, and process a collection of about 80 million bibliographic records. Before Reservoir, it would have taken approximately five months to complete the same process.

Why “reservoir”?

A reservoir is “a large natural or artificial lake used as a source of water supply.”

Taking inspiration from “data lake” terminology and imagery, Reservoir was named because it is envisioned as a data lake that ingests data from sources “upstream” and provides a supply of “clean” data to any service positioned “downstream.”  Currently, the primary use of this data is in consortial discovery using VuFind, but it could be adapted for many different purposes, including consortial collection analysis.

News Release – MOBIUS to Implement ReShare Returnables for Resource Sharing

August 31, 2022

MOBIUS has announced that it will be implementing ReShare Returnables as its new resource sharing system, joining PALCI, ConnectNY, and the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation who all have launched ReShare Returnables in recent months. The MOBIUS implementation will coincide with its launch of EBSCO FOLIO from EBSCO Information Services as its new library services platform. The MOBIUS migration, from Innovative’s INN-Reach and Sierra to ReShare Returnables and FOLIO, will begin in late 2022 with plans to be fully operational by the spring of 2024. Knowledge Integration will be leading the development of ReShare Returnables with MOBIUS.

Donna Bacon, Executive Director of MOBIUS, says that ReShare and FOLIO present an opportunity for MOBIUS members to move to open source resources with expert support. “Being part of an open-source community for our first library services platform is a significant move forward that will streamline processes, manage resources and leverage modern technologies,” Bacon noted. “We are eager to collaborate with the FOLIO and Project ReShare communities and hope to contribute to both projects’ future developments.” 

Knowledge Integration will partner with MOBIUS to develop features in ReShare Returnables that support direct consortial borrowing. Ian Ibbotson of Knowledge Integration, technical architect for Project ReShare, is keen to build on the relationship to expand the functionality with ReShare and promote interoperability with FOLIO.  “Being a small UK-based company with a solid commitment to developing open source solutions for libraries, we are excited by this partnership between Project ReShare, EBSCO, and MOBIUS,” Ibbotson said. “The leadership shown by MOBIUS in supporting the development of direct consortial borrowing functionality will benefit libraries worldwide and grow the wider resource-sharing capabilities of the project well beyond its traditional ILL roots.”

Project ReShare is a user-centered, community-owned resource sharing platform that will allow for the connection of disparate ILS platforms. MOBIUS has been an active, contributing member of the ReShare community since December of 2020. Adopting ReShare allows other libraries on disparate ILS systems to join MOBIUS. MOBIUS believes that ReShare offers more flexible opportunities to include a wider variety of platforms as the consortium continues to grow and evolve. 

About MOBIUS

Since its founding in July 1998, MOBIUS has transformed library services for the citizens of Missouri.  Formerly a part of the University of Missouri System, on July 1, 2010 MOBIUS became a Missouri not-for-profit corporation with 501 (C)(3) tax-exempt status.  Thanks to the hard work and dedication of its members, the organization has grown from 50 founding charter members to 80 members which include 64 academic libraries,11 public libraries, 4 special libraries, and the Missouri State Library, serving more than 230 physical branches.

The consortium’s purpose is to share library materials, information, and services using accessible, cost effective methods.  It is our goal to create equal access to materials and information for all of our users.  Today, the MOBIUS Union Catalog has expanded to include more than 29 million items, serving users in Missouri and into Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas and Texas.  A courier service delivers library materials to member libraries across Missouri and Iowa and connects us to libraries via the CLiC (Colorado) and TransAmigos courier networks.

About Project ReShare

The ReShare Community is a group of libraries, consortia, information organizations and developers, with both commercial and non-commercial interests, who came together in 2018 to create Project ReShare – a new and open approach to library resource sharing. The ReShare Community has a bold vision for building a user-centered, app-based, community-owned resource sharing platform for libraries to set a new standard for how we connect library patrons to the resources and information they require. 

For more information, contact info@projectreshare.org.

To receive email updates from Project ReShare, please sign up for the Project ReShare news list at https://projectreshare.org/contact.

Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation (IPLC) to Implement ReShare Returnables

The Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation (IPLC) recently announced their intention to implement ReShare Returnables in Summer 2022. IPLC also intends to become a member of the ReShare Community.

IPLC writes “The new software will create more efficient staff workflows, eliminating some of the time and complicated steps needed to deliver items to patrons.”

Project ReShare Welcomes Boston Library Consortium

December 22, 2021

Project ReShare closes out the year by welcoming the Boston Library Consortium (BLC) to the ReShare Community. In addition to contributing leadership and engagement to the Project, BLC will be making a significant financial contribution. Founded in 1970, the BLC is an academic library consortium serving 21 public and private universities, liberal arts colleges, state and special research libraries in the northeastern United States.

The BLC’s collective collection has been a cornerstone throughout its history, and the consortium has always sought creative ways to leverage the collection for the benefit of member institutions. With the transformative opportunity of controlled digital lending (CDL), BLC is once again seeking an opportunity to make resource sharing more valuable and effective for its members. 

BLC’s recent efforts to develop a path forward for consortial controlled digital lending (CDL) have illuminated the significant need for alternative resource sharing technologies to those currently available from vendors, in particular the need for community-led and community-governed alternatives such as Project ReShare. “The current library technology market has left libraries to cobble together solutions that meet local needs that fail to truly capitalize on the transformative potential that CDL offers,” said Charlie Barlow, BLC’s executive director. “The possibilities for an interoperable solution developed collaboratively by and for libraries and consortia hold great promise.”

The initial $100,000 financial commitment from the BLC is intended to accelerate the development path for CDL functionality within the ReShare client. 

For Dorothy Meaney, president of the BLC and director of the Tisch Library at Tufts University, joining Project ReShare offers the BLC the opportunity to magnify its impact by collaborating with other libraries to collectively shape the future of both CDL and resource sharing more broadly. “Our goals for resource sharing align with those of other libraries and consortia,” said Meaney. “Through Project ReShare we see the chance to contribute our expertise and leadership in this space, for the long-term benefit of libraries.” 

The BLC’s CDL Steering Committee, which is guiding the consortium’s implementation of CDL, is prepared to work directly with Project ReShare community members and developers on the development of CDL functionality. As a result of the work that the BLC has done thus far, coupled with its previous discussions with other Project ReShare members and staff from Index Data, the consortium has a great deal of expertise and vision for CDL, and how this can manifest in practical, impactful solutions for libraries and consortia.

Tim McGeary, chair of the Project ReShare Steering Committee, praised BLC’s investment in Project ReShare. “We recognize that such a large financial commitment isn’t possible for everyone, but we hope BLC’s investment will serve as a model for other potential members,” McGeary noted. “Interest in Project ReShare is increasing rapidly, and the financial investments are crucial to our being able to meet the development expectations of the community.”

The decision to join Project ReShare was approved unanimously by the BLC Board of Directors. 

About Project ReShare

The ReShare Community is a group of libraries, consortia, information organizations and developers, with both commercial and non-commercial interests, who came together in 2018 to create Project ReShare – a new and open approach to library resource sharing. The ReShare Community has a bold vision for building a user-centered, app-based, community-owned resource sharing platform for libraries to set a new standard for how we connect library patrons to the resources and information they require. 

For more information, contact info@projectreshare.org.

To receive email updates from Project ReShare, please sign up for the Project ReShare news list at https://projectreshare.org/contact.

​​About the Boston Library Consortium

Founded in 1970, the Boston Library Consortium (BLC) is an academic library consortium serving public and private universities, liberal arts colleges, state and special research libraries in the northeastern United States. The BLC members collaborate to deliver innovative and cost-effective sharing of print and digital content, professional development initiatives, and projects across a wide range of library practice areas. For more information, visit blc.org.

Questions about ReShare? Our documentation wiki is here to help!

While many library staffers are already using ReShare everyday, they may not know that the project has been working to create a comprehensive documentation hub.

The ReShare documentation wiki features detailed descriptions of core software features, such as request states, processing actions, and external integrations. It also includes workflow guides designed by librarians that bring together groups of functions commonly used together.

You can find a link to the documentation wiki at https://projectreshare.org or access it directly at https://openlibraryenvironment.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/PR.

In the coming months, ReShare will continue to expand this documentation with the help of the project community. If you are interested in helping to support the documentation effort, please contact us at info@projectreshare.org.

November 2021 Community Meeting Recap

On November 15, Project ReShare held a Community Meeting that gave members the opportunity to focus on community-building and sustainability. Attendees had the opportunity to connect with each other in small breakout rooms to discuss the state of the Project and to brainstorm how to help ensure the sustainability of the Project for the future. Members were encouraged to reflect on opportunities and challenges and think about how to increase participation and welcome new members to the community.

In the breakout rooms, members shared that they particularly value the community-focus of Project ReShare and appreciate how ReShare Returnables is able to interoperate with a wide variety of other systems. There was an appreciation for the diversity in library types and sizes involved, and it was noted that there are lots of opportunities for future development as well as enhancements to existing functionality.

The participants also discussed how to ensure the financial and community sustainability of Project ReShare. Attendees provided input on financial and development contributions of members and how to onboard new members with a focus on integrating new and existing voices into the organizational structure of Project ReShare.

Three New Members Join Project ReShare Steering Committee

The Project ReShare Steering Committee welcomes its three newest members after our latest round of elections for at-large members. The newly elected members are Kristen Calvert (Western Carolina University), Pamela Jones (ConnectNY), and Zheng Ye (Lan) Yang (Texas A&M).

Kristen Calvert is currently the Department Head for Discovery and Technology Services at Western Carolina University. For the past 10 years, Kristen has worked with e-resources, collections, technology, and resource sharing. Kristen has been an active member of the UNC Shared ILS task force and serve on the Consortium of Shared UNC Print steering committee. As the past Content Organization and Management Department Head, Kristen was responsible for WCU’s ILL unit and migrated WCU from ILLiad to Tipasa in 2018. Kristen’s new responsibilities include Project Management for technology projects, including our migration to a new content management system for digital collections.

Pamela Jones is the Executive Director of ConnectNY, a consortium of independent academic institutions in New York State. Pam has over 37 years of experience in public, academic, and special libraries in addition to her work with ConnectNY. Pam currently serves on the CC-PLUS Steering Committee, the Partnership for Shared Book Collections Operations Committee, the Empire Library Delivery Advisory Committee, and the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative Advisory Committee.  She is an experienced editor, writer, presenter, communicator, and consultant, as well as an avid gardener.

Zheng Ye (Lan) Yang is the Director of Document Delivery Services at Texas A&M University Libraries. She was responsible for planning and implementing the popular Get It service, and has developed innovative and responsive services for faculty and students that have become models for other institutions worldwide.  Because of her pioneering work, she is frequently consulted by peer institutions and invited to give presentations across the nation about interlibrary loan/document delivery services.  As the interim Associate Dean for Document Delivery/Interlibrary Services, Collection Development, Electronic Resources, Acquisition, Cataloging, and Stacks Maintenance, she worked with collections and technical services to coordinate alignment of library services with current campus research and teaching needs.  She is an advocate for the resource evaluation, delivery and discovery processes that connect the TAMU community members to information resources.

ReShare Implementation: An Interview with Jill Morris, Executive Director at PALCI

PALCI went live with ReShare Returnables in August 2021. Clara Fehrenbach, Document Delivery Services Librarian at the University of Chicago and ReShare Communication Team member, interviewed PALCI Executive Director Jill Morris about the implementation.

Photograph of Jill Morris

Project ReShare: When did PALCI go live with ReShare Returnables?
Jill Morris: PALCI went live with ReShare powering its well-known EZBorrow consortial interlibrary loan service on August 12th, 2021. Within just a few short days, we were already seeing requests being generated through our patron search/browse interface (the shared VuFind ReShare discovery layer) and books being delivered to borrowing PALCI institutions. The first patron-initiated ReShare book request to make its way into the hands of a library patron originated at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. The item was supplied and delivered by Drexel University in Philadelphia in less than 48 hours. The system correctly identified Drexel University as a supplier for the item, and the staff at Drexel processed the request in ReShare, getting the book to the user even more quickly than most Amazon Prime purchases.

Kacey Feduke holds up the first book received through ReShare
Kacey Feduke of Dickinson College receives the first book for a patron less than 30 hours after going live with ReShare.

PR: What features of ReShare are most exciting for PALCI?
JM: From the consortium office perspective, we’re thrilled to have the means to support library configurations with a central directory and other staff-facing tools that support easy problem solving and troubleshooting. We can see what’s happening with each request from the moment the patron clicks a button, and while it’s hidden from patron-view, staff can use that information to ensure the system is working properly behind the scenes. We also love the new shared index that was developed as a part of this system to support the sharing of collections. At a glance, we can search and understand what’s held collectively within the PALCI community. 

PR: What are you hearing from member libraries about ReShare?
JM: Library staff are telling us that they like the opportunity to communicate back and forth with each other, right at the point of need. A message feature allows you to connect with the individual working on a specific request without the need for separate email chains and reference back to other systems. We’re also hearing that many faculty users enjoy the discovery interface where they can browse for and filter searches to identify the materials they’re seeking at our 50+ participating EZBorrow libraries.

PR: What has your experience been like leading up to your implementation?
JM: PALCI decided to join the ReShare community prior to it having the name ReShare. For two years prior to ReShare’s official start, a working group within PALCI made up of resource sharing experts, library developers, systems staff, and consortial leadership had put a great deal of effort into identifying and defining a preferred future for next generation resource sharing. In early 2017, it was determined that threats of market consolidation were increasing, and that there was no existing system that would meet the needs of the future defined by that group, so we began seeking out partners to create solutions. The group agreed that it was essential for our choice to include an investment in open and interoperable library infrastructure so as not to repeat the same issues of the past, and so that the end result would remain under the control of the community that developed it. After making our initial contribution to help co-fund the UX design and development work, the decision to implement ReShare was an easy one. We had played a role in designing the system’s requirements, and ReShare represented the potential for innovation and the future our community had defined several years earlier.

The implementation of the system itself was mostly front-loaded with steps to ensure we could properly map the holdings of each library’s collections into our shared index so they could act as suppliers in the system. Setting up the cloud-based tenants for each library was a relatively straightforward process. Our service provider, Index Data, hosts and maintains the implementation. Each library received its own distinct URL and login to set up its staff users. Once set-up, libraries were able to configure their institution’s pickup locations and prioritize various locations and branches as suppliers. The ReShare interface gives our consortium staff tools to help configure the settings for each library, and because most of our libraries already had standard NCIP functionality in place (a set of protocols that allows a central system to talk to disparate ILS systems), we were primarily working through an iterative process of configuration and testing.  We have at least 12 different types of ILS systems in use by PALCI libraries, plus a variety of discovery tools.  ReShare’s use of standards, like NCIP, and open APIs, allowed us to connect to each ILS seamlessly, and in the future, the system will be capable of discovery integrations with local systems too.  

 We were determined to go live with our implementation just prior to the start of the Fall semester to ensure we’d have enough staff back in the office. The launch also coincided with many staff returning to on-site work after more than a year of COVID-related disruptions. We also waited to make sure that ReShare integrations with other tools, like ILLiad, were well on their way to completion. Our biggest hurdle was the sheer volume of institutions we needed to connect, and the many system configuration combinations those libraries represented.The implementation was fast and furious as we approached our target date — PALCI was the very first implementer to go live, and as we went along, we identified some configuration issues that needed resolution prior to implementation. Fortunately, the ReShare development team delivered on solutions each time we encountered a problem, and none of the issues prevented us from using the system. We managed the implementation largely in cohorts, and relied on our community to help support each other in developing system documentation and user guides that will benefit other consortia in future. Today, we have 53 libraries actively using ReShare, and we expect to bring on 15-20 additional libraries in the next 6-12 months. 

PR: What advice do you have for others considering ReShare?
JM: With most proprietary platforms, libraries have to expect that commercial business interests will ultimately win out in all product roadmap decisions, driving further vertical vendor integrations and less choice in the marketplace overall. After all, commercial entities offering proprietary solutions are set-up to operate for profit, whether or not the solutions that drive that profit are actually benefiting users of the service to the fullest extent desired by consumers. ReShare represents an important opportunity to break that cycle and give libraries a real voice in the process. It’s a chance for libraries to co-invest in and shape the future of sharing collections by providing choice and potential for innovation — keeping libraries’ and patrons’ needs front and center through a shared vision and governance model. ReShare is a brand new software – and there are some growing pains that come with that choice. The software is not yet as mature as others out there on the market. Yet the system is breaking new ground with its implementation of ISO18626 — the newest ILL standards, and it’s laying a foundation for greater system interoperability in the future.  It’s an investment that all libraries should be thinking hard about making when faced with the choice. Along those same lines, I think perhaps ReShare’s most important asset is its community. The team of developers from Index Data and Knowledge Integration together in partnership with a group of consortia and individual libraries is unlike most library community projects in that we have a deep wealth of expertise, transparency, shared interests and alignment around vision. 

Recording and Slides from the October 2021 Project ReShare Open Community Meeting

We’re pleased to share the recording and slides from Project ReShare’s October 14th open Community Meeting.

In this meeting, Pam Jones (Connect New York) and Jill Morris (PALCI) explained their decisions to adopt ReShare Returnables for their consortia. From a practitioner point of view, Maureen O’Brien Dermott (Dickinson College), Liz King (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,) and Michele Matthews (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) talked about their experiencing implementing and using ReShare Returnables.

Graphic showing relationship between active users, project community and prospective implementers.  They overlap and join in the middle.

Kristin Wilson (Index Data) talked about the relationship between ReShare service providers and libraries/consortia implementing and using ReShare Returnables.

Finally, Kelly Farrell (TRLN) shared ways that Project ReShare community members can get involved with the project.

ReShare Implementation: An Interview with Pam Jones, Executive Director at ConnectNY

Photo of Pam Jones

ConnectNY implemented ReShare Returnables in September 2021. Jon Jeffryes, Interim Associate Dean at Grand Valley State University and ReShare Communication Team member, talked with ConnectNY Executive Director Pam Jones about the implementation.

Project ReShare: When did ConnectNY go live with ReShare Returnables?
Pam Jones: September 1. It’s been a little over two weeks.

PR: What features of ReShare are most exciting for ConnectNY?
PJ: The fact that it’s open source and we can have some agency in the development of it going forward. That was huge for us.

PR: What are you hearing from member libraries about ReShare?
PJ: So far, so good. Of course, any time you do implementation you can test all you want in a testing environment and when you go to production it’s always different. Originally, we were going to implement and go live in mid-August but when PALCI [Partnership for Academic Library Collaboration & Innovation] went live the week before us, there were issues that came out. So, we put ours off for two weeks while those bugs were fixed and those issues were addressed. Then when we went live.

The first week or so, there were a lot of messages about “This isn’t working,” and “I don’t know how to do that.” We got through those and it’s — knock on wood – it’s calmed down this week. But I just saw two emails asking questions, so we’ll see. But we’re getting through it and it seems to be working. Patrons are using it. That’s the bottom line, that that’s working.

PR: What has your experience been like leading up to your implementation?
PJ: Well we were on INN-Reach, Innovative’s product, for the last twenty years, and we needed to exit that, so we did that. We talked with Index Data, the board approved moving to ReShare in late 2020, and I got contracts signed in late December/early January. Then we started the implementation process with Index Data while we were exiting from INN-Reach. So, it was a little hairy for a while, exiting one product and starting to implement another. There is a process to exiting INN-Reach; we wound down circulation and exited. That went very smoothly.

In the implementation, the biggest hurdle for us, was our Sierra and Millennium libraries did not have the NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP) API added, so they all decided to do implement that. You don’t have to, but it does make things work with your system. It took us a while but the Director of Support Services at Innovative helped us get all of NCIP APIs up and running. That was probably our biggest hurdle, getting all the NCIP set up.

And then getting SSO set up for everybody took a bit of work for the Index Data staff. At most institutions you have to work with your IT department and the library, and in our case, Index Data. They did it and we’re all up and running. We have resolved all but one NCIP issue, which actually had been resolved and now it’s not working again. So, we’re working on that one between Innovative and Index Data and it will get resolved. We’ll figure it out. “It’s brand new,” that’s what I tell everybody. It’s not going to be perfect and we will figure it out.

PR: Other than the NCIP APIs were there any other things you had to deal with around working with different libraries?
PJ: What was nice for us was that we use Basecamp for all of our committees and projects. So, I set up a Basecamp for the systems folks and then I set one up for, what we call the trainers – your practitioners, front line folks. When we were getting everything set up the implementers, the systems Basecamp was super busy. We have staff from Index Data on the Basecamp projects and when there were questions, they helped answer them. We’re going to move away from that pretty soon, but for implementing it worked. There were a lot questions and it was nice because my crew — there’s a lot who are on Alma, and some on Sierra, there’s one on Millennium, there’s one WMS — the Sierra folks would ping and help each other. The same with the ALMA users. They were sharing their settings and knowledge and we got everything figured out. The nice thing is that it actually does work with all the different systems. It gives everybody the same experience.

PR: What advice do you have for others considering ReShare?
PJ: Plan your support for after implementation. Talk to your service provider if you’re not going to be your own host and make sure that you’re able to handle it. Know that it is different and there are going to be a lot more issues maybe than you’re used to. We increased the hours for our members service coordinator recently just to help us going forward with that, because we’re just two part-time people, we’re a small shop.