EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is providing grants to four academic libraries as part of the EBSCO FOLIO Innovation Challenge. The grant program is awarding up to $100,000 in grants to libraries to develop innovative technology solutions that address the challenges academic libraries face. The second round’s winning proposals came from the University of Alabama, the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, the Johns Hopkins University and Lehigh University.
The University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign (UIUC) will share the innovative work they have done with their kiosk-based wayfinding mobile app with the FOLIO community. The Technology Prototyping Service team at UIUC Library developed a mobile app for both iOS and Android that works with the library’s collections to help users navigate both a library’s physical and electronic collection. This team will work to improve and deliver this mobile app to the FOLIO platform.
Jim Hahn, Associate Professor and Orientation Services & Environments Librarian at the University of Illinois Library, says the library will continue to integrate portions of its Minrva mobile app into the FOLIO codebase. “We are grateful for the support EBSCO has provided to making the FOLIO open-source platform available to the academic library community. The software design of FOLIO, particularly its microservice patterns, dovetails nicely with the architecture of our mobile applications, and we are thrilled to be able to support the integration of FOLIO into more libraries worldwide.”
EBSCO Information Services Director of SaaS Innovation Andrew Nagy says the winning universities meet the most important criteria — to deliver interesting features that benefit library users and that complete or augment the core functionality of FOLIO. “We created the EBSCO FOLIO Innovation Challenge to do just that: challenge universities to solve the problems they and other institutions face, and bring those solutions to the FOLIO Community which has come together around creating a future of libraries that is open.”
FOLIO is a community effort EBSCO is helping to fund and provide development and project management resources for, designed to create an open source library services platform that can also be used as a platform for innovation. Libraries of all sizes will be able to take advantage of the open source code, and companies including EBSCO will be available to provide hosting and services for libraries without a large technical services staff. The FOLIO Platform is being designed for extensibility to help libraries increase their on-campus footprint through innovation and new services to faculty and students alike. The FOLIO Community is also working together to solve the challenges libraries face today and in the future using microservices and a platform built for change.
Previous EBSCO FOLIO Innovation Challenge winners include University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign and Villanova University. Second-time winner University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign is already integrating its homegrown hardware circulation module with FOLIO. Villanova University is working to develop the integration of VuFind with FOLIO.
Read more about the original grant awarded:
Hahn Receives EBSCO Folio Innovation Challenge Grant
Some information in this post adapted from the official EBSCO press release.