The Internet Archive is the newest library to join Project ReShare, a group of organizations coming together to develop an open source resource sharing platform for libraries.
“Internet Archive is pleased to partner with Project ReShare and its member libraries and consortia to build the next generation of library resource sharing tools,” says Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive. “We believe in community-developed software and support library efforts to build systems that address the ever-present challenges of connecting readers and learners with books.”
The project was formed in 2018 in response to concern about market consolidation and the pace of innovation among vendors serving libraries. Rather than rely solely on commercial providers, members wanted to be able to set their own priorities.
“We felt we needed to introduce some additional alternatives,” says Jill Morris, chair of the Project ReShare steering committee and executive director of the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium Inc. (PALCI). “Libraries need to be able to share ideas and resources with each other to best support their patron bases.”
As a Project ReShare member, the Internet Archive will have a voice in the project’s direction as it works directly with libraries, consortia, and other organizations to improve the value and impact of resource sharing networks and the tools used to support them.
“We are thrilled to have the Internet Archive share their expertise and contribute to the vision of ReShare,” says Morris.
The project is resulting in productive competition and a new suite of options unavailable in the past. Creating space to devise technology and system agnostic approaches, Project ReShare enables libraries to make decisions in the best interest of good patron service rather than forced into an ecosystem with limited choice, adds Morris.
“From my own experience working in an academic library, managing a print collection is a major undertaking,” says Chris Freeland, director of Open Libraries at the Internet Archive. “We’re excited to join Project ReShare and the community that is developing new ways of connecting library patrons to the resources they need.”
Other ReShare members include library consortia (ConnectNY, GWLA, MCLS, PALCI, TAL, and TRLN), commercial entities (Knowledge Integration and Index Data) and university libraries (Grand Valley State University, Louisiana State University, Michigan State, Millersville University, Texas A&M, University of Alabama, and University of Chicago).