The Latest Survey Results Are In!

Our first community poll on what features folks want was a huge success, with 76 people responding.  Our second poll just wrapped up, and we managed to beat that number with a total of 80 responses.  For having approximately 320 Islandora installations out there, 80 responses means we got input from roughly one quarter our users.  Not too shabby!

We changed up how we presented the questions and also asked for a bit more info, so we have a little more to report on than just a ranked list of features this time around.  We've published the anonymized data here if you're curious or want to follow along with this summary.  Without further ado, here's what the community has told us.


We asked folks to provide details like their job title and what solution(s) they are currently using. Most people kindly answered these questions even though they were optional, and from that we've categorized them broadly into the following groups.

  • Users
    • Librarians (35.4%)
    • Archivists (10.8%)
    • Managers (18.5%)
  • Developers
    • Programmers (24.6%)
    • Dev / Ops (10.8%)

Added together, the users make up 64.6% of those who responded, heavily outweighing the 35.4% of developers who answered.  This is an encouraging sign, as open source software is overwhelmingly developer oriented by nature.  So it's good to know that the lion's share of feedback is coming from our user base.

With regard to the solutions people are currently using, we received the following details:

  • Islandora 8 (17.2%)
  • Islandora 7 (63.4%)
  • Islandora 6 (1.1%)
  • Other (18.3%)

The clear majority here is Islandora 7, which is great to see.  Helping people transition from 7 to 8 is a high priority for the Islandora Foundation, so it's good to know that we're capturing feedback from those who have yet to make the switch.  Interestingly, we received a total of 16 responses for Islandora 8, which means there's more out there in the wild than we're aware of!


Here's all the features that were voted on, ranked by the amount of "I need this feature" responses that were received.

Batch editing of metadata 54 22 2 2
Better documentation for migrating into Islandora 8 53 19 6 2
Better documentation for customizing metadata 49 25 4 2
Embargoes 47 20 10 3
Collection based access controls 45 30 2 3
Islandora 8 Accessibility Audit and Improvements 41 31 3 5
Pre-installation documentation on everything you'd want to know before making a production environment 38 34 3 5
Advanced boolean search as in Islandora 7 38 33 5 4
Make migrating from 7.x more manageable 36 20 18 6
A batch uploader that does not require terminal usage 35 32 9 4
Auditing functions to ensure all background jobs completed successfully 34 40 3 3
Documentation on upgrading each piece of software in Islandora 8 34 36 2 8
More written documentation for users 34 34 9 3
Collection management interface 33 33 1 13
Focus on the Drupal 9 upgrade 32 35 6 7
Integration for Google Scholar indexing 32 32 13 3
Improved ingest experience 31 41 5 3
Making migration from 7x more manageable 31 40 7 2
Documentation on pushing changes from development to staging to production environments 30 40 7 3
IP Restricted Access 28 36 12 4
Improved update process between versions 26 37 5 12
Import metadata from an XML record using the GUI 26 33 14 7
Fixity Auditing 25 47 4 4
Minimize resources needed to deploy Islandora 8 25 34 11 10
Multisite search and namespacing 25 21 28 6
Expand and improve preservation functionality 24 44 6 6
Views bulk operations to perform actions on more objects that the current UI allows 24 28 4 24
Linked data lookup (autocomplete subjects from LOC and more) 23 48 7 2
Dynamic Citation Generation 23 41 10 6
Provide a user interface for configuring RDF mappings 22 44 6 8
Examples of using Drupal's workflows to create editorial workflows. 22 38 8 12
Repository reporting/dashboarding 21 48 2 9
Better documentation for deploying Islandora 8 in the cloud 21 42 15 2
More intuitive default form 21 39 7 13
Multisite administration 20 24 30 6
Export metadata into an XML record using the GUI 19 40 15 6
Integrations with other library systems 18 56 3 3
Provide a GUI for migrations 18 46 13 3
More IIIF viewer options 18 45 6 11
Dashboard for background operations and their status 16 56 3 5
Enhance/Replace Carapace Theme 15 34 20 11
PDF to PDF/A conversion upon ingest 14 50 13 3
Multilingual OCR 13 49 15 3
Faster speed when provisioning an environment 13 40 18 9
Model uploaded file and all derivatives as a single media 13 31 3 33
More video documentation for users 10 47 21 2
Documentation for using the Learning-to-rank (LTR) module for Solr 7 24 6 43
Build default splash page with Layout Builder 6 34 22 18

Unsurprisingly, documentation is all over the top of that list.  Certainly there will be a documentation sprint in our near future. There's also a few features that already have existing solutions out there that we can utilize.  Batch editing has a few Drupal modules that work very well, and Bryan Brown from Florida State University has already developed an embargo module that is starting to get uptake in our community.  In addition to embargoes, other Institutional Repository features ranked high, particuarly IP restricted access and Google Scholar integration.

One feature that has been in the top ten for both surveys but hasn't seen much love is accessibility.  Living with someone who has a physical disability, I know all too well that the norm is for things to be inaccessible.  Being accessible means going out of your way to take extra steps that most people don't prioritize because it doesn't affect them personally.  In my opinion, an accessible Islandora isn't likely to happen without a concerted effort from the top to push the issue.  It would be prudent for us to start taking steps towards improving accessibility, starting first with an audit of the software as it is now so that we can find out where we need to improve.

Next Steps

The Islandora Foundation will be organizing community sprints around these features.  We'll try and get as many of these in that we can before the next release of Islandora 8.  So be on the lookout for further announcements if you're interested in these features or want to help us build them.

On top of that, the Technical Advisory Group has is using the survey results to formulate a Technical Roadmap for the software. The roadmap will include things like our version support timeline, as well as strategic initiatives to give folks a sense of where the software is headed in the future.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to fill out this survey. It's not much effort, and it really helps give us a solid understanding of what the community needs so we can best serve you.  As always, we couldn't do this without you!




Free Event: Building the maintenance-mindset into Islandora lifecycle

Reposted from the Islandora mailing list:

Join us anytime on Sept. 22 (between 11am-3pm EDT) for our first ISLE 7 Release Party! This informal Zoom drop in session offers a supportive and shared learning environment where you can ask questions as you install the newest version of ISLE. This pilot will help determine if offering a regularly scheduled ISLE Release Party would be beneficial for our community to update together while creating a practice of maintenance and accountability in a supportive environment. (Future release parties will include ISLE 8, too.)

Come pop in and receive a warm hello from Danny Lamb, Gavin Morris, Melissa Anez, Joanna Dipasquale, Paul Wentzell, Cary Gordon, Mark McFate, David Keiser-Clark, and other friendly faces :)

When: Sept 22, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM EDT


Add this event to your calendar: Email + request a calendar invitation for "ISLE Release Party"


  1. May I show up if I do not have ISLE installed? Of course!
  2. Several versions behind? No problem. Come get yourself caught up.
  3. Curious about ISLE and what it takes to upgrade? No problem. Join us.
  4. Want to listen without any commitment or expectations? Join us in this pressure-free zone.
  5. Not sure where to start? Join us - we are all trying this for the first time.  
  6. And... ISLE 7 version 1.5.2 will be released just prior to this event. (TY Gavin!!)

Want more information? Please see: Maintenance-Mindset: ISLE Release Party!

David Keiser-Clark

(With much gratitude to a small team within the ICG who developed this as an ICG Incubator idea.)

Islandora Online: All Recordings Now Online

Thank you so much to all of our speakers, moderators, and guests, who made the past month of Islandora Online such a smashing success. And a special thank you to those who donated to support the event so that we could offer free registration.

If you missed out on Islandora Online, or just want to revisit some of the talks, we have put all recordings up on our YouTube channel:



Updated Support Timeline for Islandora

With the Drupal community’s decision to extend Drupal 7’s end of life until November 28, 2022, as well as the release of Drupal 9, the Islandora Foundation has revised its version support timeline. We will be extending the period of security fixes for Islandora 7 to November 2022 to match Drupal 7’s end of life.  

  • Drupal 7 EOL (end of life) - November, 2022    
    • Islandora 7.x EOL - November, 2022
      • Last release with new features: November, 2020
      • Final release, bug fixes only: November, 2021
      • No new security fixes will be made: November 2022

There will be two more scheduled Islandora 7 releases. These releases are scheduled yearly and target release in November. The release in November, 2020 will be the last release to include any new features. The release in November, 2021 will only include bug and security fixes (no new features). 

Security fixes may prompt unscheduled releases, to fix any critical security bugs found in the system. These releases will be done on an ad-hoc basis, as needed, until November 2022. After November 2022 Islandora 7 will be considered EOL (end of life) by the Islandora foundation and will not receive any further security updates.

Also, due to Islandora 8’s dependencies on several Drupal contributed modules, we cannot release Islandora 9 until all of its dependencies are Drupal 9 ready.  To that effect, although we cannot give an exact release date, we pledge that all of the code we maintain will be ready for Drupal 9 by 2021.

  • Drupal 8 EOL - November, 2021    
    • Islandora 8.x EOS: No formal end of support is planned. Islandora 8 will transition into Islandora 9 as a relatively minor upgrade, not a migration.
  • Drupal 9 Release: June, 2020    
    • Islandora 9.x Ready: January 2021


Islandora Version Support Timeline

Islandora Online: Three Down, One to Go!

This year marks the first time we have attempted this kind of large, online-only conference event, and so far we have been thrilled by the response from our community. Thank you very much to all of our guests and speakers!

The first three Islandora Online events are complete, with one more, "Islandora as an Institutional Repository," left to go on August 11th. Registration is still open, and completely free, if you would like to sign up and join us:

Wherever possible, we have linked to the slides from earlier events in their respective schedules, and we are adding recordings to our YouTube channel as we get them processed:



Tell us what you want for Islandora 8 v1.2.0!

After releasing Islandora 8 1.0.0, we at the Islandora Foundation surveyed the community for what features folks wanted next.  We were pleasantly surprised to see a total of 76 responses, which is a large chunk of the 300+ Islandora instances that we know of.  In fact, it was a new record for one of our community surveys.  Because of such an amazing response, the community came together and delivered on several features from the survey, including 5 out of the top 10 most requested!  Now that those features have been released as version 1.1.0, we're back again to ask what you need from Islandora.

The format this time is similar, except we've added one more possible response per feature.  We're asking you to tell us one of four responses for each feature.

  1. My organization needs this feature to consider/continue using Islandora 8
  2. This feature is nice to have, but is not neccessary for my organization's current needs
  3. My organization do not care about this feature at all
  4. It's not exactly clear what this feature is

We've tried to group related features and describe them with as little tech speak as possible. And for each section of the survey, there's also a text area for you to suggest any other features we may have neglected. The poll will close on Friday, August 14th.  Once we've tallied the results, we'll publish an anonymized version of them here for the sake of transparency.   

The community's input is extremely important to us, so please take the time to fill it out if you can.  The responses to this survey will set development priorities for community sprints and build out our road map for the future.  If you are a user of Islandora 8, this is a chance to make your voice heard.  If you are evaluating Islandora 8, this is a chance to let us know what you would need before migrating. Please share this survey with your colleagues!  The more responses we get, the more accurate view we'll get of everyone's common needs.

You can fill out the survey here.  And thanks as always for being involved with our awesome community.  I know I say this every time, but we literally could not do this without you. 

We're going to DrupalCon Global!

DrupalCon LogoOn July 14, the Islandora Foundation will be presenting the session "Drupal as a Digital Asset Management System" at DrupalCon Global, and joining the Libraries Summit for a lightning talk and Q&A session. We had been planning to give this same session as a live presentation at DrupalCon Minneapolis in May, so we're thrilled to still have an opportunity to connect with the broader Drupal community, now on an even more global scale.

DrupalCon Global will unite an international community for three days of live events hosted daily July 14 - 16, 2020. If you'd like to join us, and expand your own Drupal network and knowledge base, tickets are $249 USD and include:

  • Full access to all conference events July 14 - 17
  • Live events including interactive sessions, mini summits, and professional development sessions
  • On-demand access to the video library
  • Special attendee-only offers from sponsors

Islandora Online: First event now open for registration!

We are very pleased to announce that the first of our four Islandora Online event has a full schedule and is ready for your registration:

Islandora Online is a series of four online events, each around five hours long (including breaks), focused on a specific topic of interest to the Islandora community. Each event contains a mix of presentations, panel discussions, and small group discussions, with optional social events during breaks. Some sessions will be recorded and you are welcome to determine your own level of participation and join/leave the event as needed.

Registration is free, but we are asking that you consider a small donation if you can. Donations will be used to offset the cost of the platform we're using for the events, with any profit above that going to fund the Islandora Foundation and its mission to steward the Islandora platform and community. The Islandora Foundation does not rely on events for our operational funding, but we operate on very small margins and our usual calendar of face-to-face events provides a small safety net that we'll be doing without for a while. 

No donation? No problem! We made registration free because we want to throw open the doors and welcome as much of our community as possible.


Islandora Online: Topics and Call for Proposals

Thank you very much to everyone who took part in our topics survey for Islandora Online. The topics will be:

Islandora 8 - General information and training

Metadata - Moving it, cleaning it up, and translating it into Islandora 8

Migrations - Moving into Islandora 8 from Islandora 7 and more

Institutional Repositories - Meeting IR needs with Islandora 8


Have something cool to share under these headings? Please send it in to our Call for Proposals: The CFP will be open until June 10.

Islandora Online will take the form of four online events, around four hours each, focused on a specific topic of interest to the islandora community, Each event will have a mix of presentations, panel discussion, and small group discussion, with some optional “social” components to break up the time. Regular sessions should be roughly 20 minutes (plus time for questions), Panels run for around 40 minutes, and Lightning Talks are five minutes each.

Islandora Online will be held over July 2020.

What's New

Our website has been overhauled in a big way. We have moved to Drupal 8, changed our look, and shifted content around to make it easier to find the Islandora information and resources that you need. Can't find something you expect from the old site? Let us know and we'll get it fixed.


A screenshot of the old