Thursday, 28 May 2009

Innovation at the National Library of Australia

This is partly to draw your attention to a new resource discovery interface prototype that the NLA have developed and made public (, have a look.

I wouldn't normally blog here about an individual development like this, it looks like a very promising development for libraries or museums who have a lot of resources of different types to display and promote online, but it may not change the world.
It is however, just another example of the great work that the National Library have been doing.
They have been the only national library using VuFind (a great open source resource discovery interface product), when only a few, generally small academic libraries in the US are using it.
They have developed a handful of experimental interfaces for their resources and made them available to everyone to look at and experiment with.
They have also been actively involved in the OLE project (, along with a select group of large North American Academic libraries. This is a very interesting project for anyone interested in library management systems or open source software.
They have also started an amazing newspaper digitisation project, which uses 'the wisdom of the crowd' to help create an archive of fully searchable newspapers (I blogged about this here earlier). I'm sure there is more.

I think we should recognise the excellent leadership that the NLA is showing internationally. A good example of Australians "Punching above our weight".

If you are interested in this, have a look at Warwick Cathro's presentation from the Horizon Libraries meeting held at UTAS earlier this year(