Project ReShare Launches: Community-owned Library Resource Sharing Platform Attracts Significant Contributions

A group of leading library and information organizations has come together to create Project ReShare - a new and open approach to library resource sharing systems. ReShare aims to inject new life into this space by developing a community-owned resource sharing platform.

ReShare’s open source software will be built with a modular architecture focused on user-centric design. Organizations can adapt the system to their specific needs and experiment with new service models. Users will have the option to install the platform locally or select a preferred vendor for hosting and support. ReShare’s Apache 2.0 software license will allow libraries, developers, and vendors to innovate freely. Project ReShare is currently seeking membership in the Open Library Foundation, which will own the project’s intellectual property.

The greatest asset of Project ReShare is its robust community. Libraries, consortia, developers, vendors, and open information advocates are collaborating with a shared vision of strengthening the health of libraries’ resource sharing ecosystem. The community’s structure and governance minimizes barriers hindering innovation in current resource sharing solutions, and gives equal voice to all stakeholder groups.

Project ReShare’s Steering Committee includes representatives from Duke University Libraries, the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA), Index Data, Ivy Plus Libraries, Knowledge Integration, the Mozilla Foundation, the National Széchényi Library (Hungary), North Carolina State University Libraries, Northwestern University Libraries, the Open Library Environment, the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc. (PALCI), the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN), the University of Chicago Library, the University of Houston, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Members of the community are contributing leadership, expertise, and resources to the ReShare project. PALCI is providing $100,000 to kickstart UX design and development. Index Data adds several staff to lead project planning and software development. Other partnering organizations are dedicating developer time, infrastructure support, and in-kind contributions. The Steering Committee will soon announce ways for other organizations to contribute toward ReShare’s vision.

To all involved, ReShare represents a unique opportunity to solve today’s problems and tomorrow’s challenges. “The only way libraries can address all our patrons’ information needs is through partnerships with each other,” says Jill Morris, Associate Director of PALCI and Project ReShare’s Steering Committee Chair. “This partnership is about re-imagining how we work together. ReShare opens up channels for strategic collaboration among libraries, across consortia, and with vendors and other organizations, which simply didn’t exist before.”

“A community-based, open platform for library resource sharing – and for deep collaboration around collections and discovery – has been the Holy Grail of interlibrary lending for well over a decade,” shares Joe Lucia, Dean of Libraries at Temple University and member of PALCI’s Board of Directors. “ReShare carries the promise of becoming that system, and of engaging the library community broadly, both in technical innovation and in opening up the wealth of our holdings to students and scholars in powerful ways.”

That enthusiasm is shared by Index Data co-founder Sebastian Hammer. “Resource sharing is central to the future of libraries, both in terms of managing access to print, and in new models for digital services. Project ReShare is bringing together a dream team of partners in a mutual commitment to open innovation and collaboration. We are thrilled to be a part of it.”

Work on Project ReShare is underway. The Steering Committee has outlined the functional requirements for ReShare’s software, and defined the community’s expectations and structure. Software development will continue through the next year with plans for implementation and the first round of testing in the fall of 2019.

For more information about Project Reshare, please contact Jill Morris, Project ReShare Steering Committee Chair at info@projectreshare.org.

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Media Contact: 
Jill Morris
Associate Director, PALCI