The Islandora Foundation has been very fortunate to welcome six new Partner-level members in the past few months, due in large part to enthusiasm over our ongoing Fedora 4/Islandora 7.x upgration project. I'd like to take some time in this week's blog to highlight those new members, and all of the Foundation supporters who have helped us to get where we are today. Which is a pretty good spot for a non-profit of less than two years: we are on the verge of our third community-led release, upgrading to support the latest in Fedora, holding Camps all over the world, and planning our first conference.
So let's take a look at the Partners who are helping the Islandora Foundation to thrive:
When we launched in July 2013, it was with the backing of two initial partners who have always been a part of Islandora's story: UPEI and discoverygarden, Inc. Islandora was born at UPEI under the guidance of University Librarian Mark Leggott, who continues on at the current Chairman of our Board of Directors.
Discoverygarden, in this context, is sort of like the Foundation's older sibling who went to work in the private sector. By providing services to install and customize an open source software platform and donating many of their developments right back for public use, it developed alongside Islandora while making huge contributions to the codebase, and developers at dgi continue to produce and refine a lot of the core functions that make Islandora work.
The next institution to step up to the plate as a Partner is LYRASIS. One of the Foundation's first Collaborator members, LYRASIS is a non-profit membership organization committed to the success of libraries and cultural heritage organizations. It partners with members create, access, and manage information with an emphasis on digital content. In the Islandora community, LYRASIS has had an active presence on the Roadmap Committee, the Board of Directors, a number of Interest Groups, and most Islandora Camps (to the point where we feel a little bereft when there's no one from LYRASIS in attendance).
When they renewed their membership this year, LYRASIS decided to bump up to Partner to help support the upgration. This is a common theme with our new Partners. Fedora 4 is a great step forward and it is awesome how many in the community have committed to seeing it happen.
Their Assistant Director for Digital Technology Services, Peter Murray, was already a member of the Islandora Foundation Board at our request, and will be continuing in this role.
The University of Manitoba is a public university in Winnipeg, Manitoba. A founding Member in the Islandora Foundation, they also bumped up to Partner to help the Fedora 4 upgration. Their Web Application Developer, Jared Whiklo, has been an active participant on the front lines of the project, working with Nick and Danny to get the prototype off the ground. The library's Head of Discovery & Delivery Services, Lisa O'Hara, is joining the Foundation's Board of Directors.
McMaster University is another long-time Collaborator in the Foundation. Like LYRASIS and the University of Manitoba, their new Partnership helps to support the future of Islandora with Fedora 4. Already a a big help to the community through member's participating in Interest Groups and the Roadmap Committee, we are looking forward to having McMaster represented on our Board of Directors by Dale Askey.
York University makes the move to Partner from Collaborator through their very generous in-kind donation of a resource that has proven absolutely vital to the Fedora 4 upgration: Nick Ruest's time. They are also piloting a migration from Fedora 3 to 4 that will most likely serve as the framework on which the entire community can base such migrations in the future.
Adam Taves, Acting Associate University Librarian for Collections & Research, will be joining the Board of Directors on York's behalf.
Simon Fraser University is one of two new Partners who are joining the Foundation for the first time this year - although it has long been an active contributor to the Islandora community through the efforts of members like Mark Jordan and Alex Garnett. Indeed, Mark Jordan was already a member of the Islandora Foundation Board of Directors and will be staying on with us.
We were very fortunate to be able to first announce SFU's Partnership right on their downtown campus at Islandora Camp BC last February.
Our very newest Partner is not quite our first European member (that distinction belongs to to digiBESS group in Italy), but it is our first European Partner. The University of Limerick joins us in part to support the Fedora 4 upgration and will be represented on the Board by Caleb Derven. And maybe, if we are very lucky, we'll get to invite you all to an Islandora Camp in their fair city. Because this:
Photo by: William Murphy