Linked Open Data Working Group

About the Linked Open Data Community of Practice Working Group

The Linked Open Data Community of Practice is open to library staff from any library that is a customer of Ex Libris. The Community of Practice is for sharing knowledge, information, and expertise around Linked Open Data (LOD) across Ex Libris software offerings.

The Community of Practice is guided by a Working Group. The Working Group’s membership is a combination of interested volunteers and liaisons from other Ex Libris Product Working Groups.

The Linked Open Data Community of Practice Working Group’s objectives are to achieve essential LOD features in all Ex Libris products where appropriate, both from the data publishing, the data consuming and the data integration perspective. Our group’s main activities include:

  • Encourage both customers and Ex Libris representatives to actively participate and engage in discussions and information exchange around Linked Open Data
  • Promote the implementation of linked data features in Ex Libris key products and services
  • Actively solicit linked open data use cases, ideas and examples from the community for sharing through multiple channels, such as conference presentations, online meetings, presentation and discussion sessions, email, forums, etc.
  • Communicate and collaborate with the IGeLU/ELUNA Product and Special Interest Working Groups in order to develop common strategies
  • Provide feedback on customers’ linked data related projects in Ex Libris products.
  • Monitor and report on external developments and projects related to linked data implementations in libraries within the COP and with other IGELU and ELUNA groups.

What is Linked Open Data?

Linked Data is a set of best practices for publishing and connecting machine-readable interlinked data on the Web. When combined with Open Data (data that can be freely used and distributed), it is called Linked Open Data (LOD). 

LOD is not just about standards, technologies, or practices such as BIBFRAME conversion, cataloging with URIs, SEO with JSON-LD, etc. The combination of all these things enables people to discover, visualize, and access information in new ways, building on the rich cataloging information and other data that libraries have created over decades. 

If you want more of an introduction, visit the Resources page

What is Ex Libris Doing in the Linked Open Data Arena?

The application of LOD in libraries is heavily dependent on the software Ex Libris provides. The objective of the Linked Open Data Community of Practice Working Group is to examine LOD technologies in the context of the Ex Libris product suite and to advise Ex Libris on the implementation of basic LOD features, enhanced data-services functionality, and APIs in all products as appropriate. It will do so by focusing on the three major areas of publication, consumption, and integration of LOD. Publication refers to the process of creating and presenting data in compliance with LD principles, which, for instance, demand the use of URIs in place of other identifiers. Consumption refers to the ability to process external data sources to use them in the library’s own context. Finally, the LOD principles should be integrated in the workflows and systems that are used by libraries to avoid the long-term maintenance of two separate systems.

We’ve helped them do a lot. See the dashboard for Linked Data Development in Ex Libris Products for details.

Members of the Linked Open Data Community of Practice Working Group

MembersRole
Xiaoli Li (University of California, Davis)Coordinator
Ebe Kartus (University of New England)Deputy Coordinator
Laura Akerman (Emory University)
David Bucknum (Library of Congress)
Lihong Zhu (Washington State University)
Amanda Xu (National Agricultural Library)
Greta Heng (San Diego State University)
Catherine Grove (Northwestern University)Alma Liaison
Mark Kluzek (University of Westminster)Primo Liaison
Ken Varnum (University of Michigan)Summon Liaison
Maribel Alvirado (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)IGeLU Steering Committee Liaison
Hong Ma (Loyola University)ELUNA Steering Committee Liaison

Origins of the Linked Open Data Community of Practice

At the IGeLU 2011 annual conference in Haifa, on September 12, 2011 a session “Linked Open Data and Ex Libris Products” took place. The purpose of this session was drawing attention to the subject of linked open data in libraries using existing Ex Libris library systems. A list of recommendations for library systems vendors and Ex Libris in particular was delivered asking Ex Libris for their vision. Ex Libris articulated and demonstrated their interest at that session and the Linked Open Data Working Group was established thereafter. In 2021, the group was renamed as a Community of Practice.

How to Contribute and Contact Us?

LOD Working Group now seeking User Stories/Use cases for linked data from Ex Libris customers. Instructions include a link to an online form for submitting and other methods. Help shape the future. We need your input! If you want to contribute LOD ideas, examples, or have any questions or want to get involved, contact us at lod@igelu.org, or better still, join the general LOD mailing list or LOD Slack channel for Ex Libris customers.