Building Digital Libraries Made Easy: Toward Open Digital Libraries
Fox, Edward A.
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Digital libraries (DLs) promote a sharing culture among those who contribute and those who use resources. This same approach works when building Open Digital Libraries (ODLs). Leveraging the intellectual and practical investment made in the Open Archives Initiative through an eXtended Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (XPMH), one can build lightweight protocols to tie together key components that together make up the core of a DL. DL developers in various settings have learned how to apply this framework in a few hours. The ODL approach has been effective with the Computer Science Teaching Center (www.cstc.org), the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (www.ndltd.org), and AmericanSouth.org. Hence, to support our Computing and Information Technology Interactive Digital Educational Library (www.citidel.org) and to provide a generic capability for other parts of the US National Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education Digital Library (www.nsdl.org), we are developing a "DL-in-a-box" toolkit. When lightweight protocols, pools of components, and open standard reference mod-els are combined carefully, as suggested in the OCKHAM discussions, both the DL user and developer communities can benefit from the principle of sharing.