SOPAC rocks!

For months now I’ve been seeing hints that something amazing was in the works at DPL. Today my feeds were buzzin with news and insights regarding John Blyberg’s latest unveiling – a new Darian Public Library’s new website (built on Drupal) and the SOPAC layer (a J. Blyberg original) that makes the user experience seemless between the website and catalog.

Outside of John’s big Labor Day announcement, I think Kathryn Greenhill says it well… John has indeed delivered yet another library gift wrapped in a shiny “catalogue discovery layer” for Drupal.
So, what does it do?
It will provide a discovery (search and display) layer that is independent of the Library Management System. As long as there is a connector written, it can sit over any LMS. The look can be customised to fit any theme or template used by the rest of the library website. As well as search and display of catalogue items, it allows social data like tagging, ratings and reviews.

Why should libraryland care about what is happening at Darien?
  1. The module is designed and licensed so that it can be bundled up and spread over the top of any Library Management System, with no cost for the software or license.
  2. SOPAC is a module for Drupal 6, a free Open Source content management system that has been adopted by many libraries to run their websites already.
  3. SOPAC can be themed and templated to look however the library wants.
  4. When the code is released it will be extensively documented (once the dust has settled)
  5. A community of librarians interested in Open Source is already watching the project and ready to start playing and working with it
  6. The “social” elements like tagging, reviews and ratings can be pooled and shared across library systems through the use of the Insurge software library.

Nice work John & DPL. Congrats to all!

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