It Takes a Village: Open Source Software Models and Sustainability

This presentation was given by Laurie Arp and Megan Forbes, both of LYRASIS, during a recent NISO event on Community Owned Infrastructure. Laurie and Megan provided this as the abstract for their talk:

Why do some open-source software programs seem more successful than others? Why do some live on grants while others achieve community sustainability? What can we learn from other programs? In 2017, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) provided grant funding to LYRASIS for the It Takes a Village project, designed to assess how open-source software programs serving cultural and scientific heritage organizations attain long-term sustainability. The project assumed that while there is no single approach to sustainability, there may be common threads among programs that would lead to common needs and strategies for meeting those needs.

The core output of the 2017 project was a Guidebook designed to serve as a practical reference source for OSS communities, ensuring that commitment and resources will be available at levels sufficient for the software they steward to remain viable and effective as long as it is needed.

In 2020, IMLS funded a new phase of It Takes a Village work, ITAV In Practice, which will create and pilot an adaptable set of tools for practical use in planning and managing sustainability. The project will strengthen the ability of libraries, archives, and museums to sustain community supported OSS programs, which are critical to managing and growing local and national digital infrastructures.

This session will provide an overview of the It Takes a Village framework, the overall themes that have emerged from our work, and provide an update on the ongoing ITAV in Practice work.

Click on the arrow above to watch the embedded video or click through here to view the recorded presentation on Youtube.