Innovations for Access in Alabama: 1) Testing VuFind as an Index for AlabamaMosaic; 2) New Membership Structure for Alabama Digital Preservation Network
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In the last decade, the Network of Alabama Academic Libraries (NAAL) has launched two statewide initiatives dealing with digitized cultural heritage materials. The first, AlabamaMosaic, is a digital library of materials from 21 institutions. Up until now, it has been necessary that all participants publish their materials using the same content management software (CMS). Most recently, this CMS has been CONTENTdm, with OCLC’s Multi-Site Server (MSS) software being used to index the collections and provide the search interface. Although members have been exploring the use of alternative CMSs, these non-CONTENTdm collections cannot be indexed by MSS and thus could not be included in AlabamaMosaic before now. This past year, we have been testing the use of VuFind, an open-source next-generation catalog software, to index AlabamaMosaic collections. VuFind index records are created from OAI metadata harvesting feeds. Thus far, collections in three CMSs -- CONTENTdm, dSpace, and Acumen -- have been harvested into the VuFind index. Like MSS, VuFind allows searching across all indexed collections. Unlike MSS, VuFind facets then allow these search results to be narrowed by institution, collection, author, and/or subject term. NAAL’s second statewide digital initiative is the Alabama Digital Preservation Network (ADPNet), a Private LOCKSS Network (PLN). Many of the digital collections indexed by AlabamaMosaic are also preserved in ADPNet. The original configuration for ADPNet involved seven server nodes, one each at the state archives and at six colleges and universities scattered around the state. Recently, a new membership model (presented here by Tom Wilson in 2011) was established with four tiers of membership. This new model allows smaller institutions to join without being required to host a server node and has resulted in the addition of two new ADPNet members, both public libraries.