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Islandora for All: Community Sustainability and Lessons Learned

David Keiser-Clark
Open Repositories 2019(SoSe 19)

Open source development is subject to challenges and failures that can negatively affect participation, adoption or sustainability. The Islandora Collaboration Group (ICG) has developed an iterative project lifecycle that supports sustainable open-source development based on: (1) building community, outreach, listening to community needs; (2) gathering and spending funds on rapid vendor development, resulting in (3) a product that the community can refine and improve. This is cyclical, not linear, and always returns to building community.

This self-reinforcing cycle has provided the ICG with feedback and impetus to radically change our consortium’s focus from that of a small insular group to one seeking to bring all institutions together to collaborate in welcoming and inclusive participation. This path, from our first mission statement, has led us out of our comfort zones, but results in an increased alignment within our development community, with the goal of increasing the sustainability of Islandora within the larger community.

The ICG would like to share specific lessons learned from our Islandora for All project, including techniques used in the ISLE and LASIR technical projects for: listening to the needs of the community; the importance of timing; crowdsourcing funds; structuring successful grant applications; and building community and coalitions.

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