[Openglam_members] OpenGLAM working group (+ job at Europeana)

Estermann Beat beat.estermann at bfh.ch
Sat Mar 4 14:43:58 UTC 2017

Dear Joris, dear all,

Thanks for raising these questions, Joris.

I see several areas, where international coordination and/or exchange is or has been useful:

1)      The OpenGLAM Principles: The OpenGLAM principles are an important reference for the propagation of OpenGLAM. In the medium term, we should start thinking about how the OpenGLAM principles should evolve in the future. For this, we need some kind of international OpenGLAM community.

2)      Exchange of best practices with regard to outreach to heritage institutions and promotion of OpenGLAM: Personally, I have found that very useful in the build-up phase of activities in my own country. Right now, I would probably rather be on the “giving” end, but if there is no one on the “receiving” end, there is not much use to the exchange. Also, I think if we want to further grow the international OpenGLAM community to include further countries, we would need to organize meet-ups with face-to-face encounters. Thus, we would require funding, both for the organization of the meet-ups (possibly not that much if it can be organized in connection with an existing conference or hackathon) and to cover travel expenses of volunteers. – I guess, the impulse for such international propagation of OpenGLAM would need to come from one of the existing organizations (Open Knowledge, Europeana, Wikimedia, CreativeCommons, …) – so far, I haven’t seen this happening and I don’t see how this will change in the near future unless one of us takes the initiative and looks for funding.

3)      OpenGLAM Benchmark Survey: After the initial phase where many countries joined within a short period of time, right now I’m adding about one country per year to the survey. This means that it makes sense to bring this first phase of the survey to a close. Maybe I will try to look for funding options for a second phase (either the same survey for more countries, but with a central funding mechanism, or a follow-up survey, possibly with a different questionnaire). But here again, without substantial funding, this is not going to happen.

4)      Exchange of best practices in the area of GLAM-Wiki cooperation: This happens through Wikimedia-channels and events.

5)      Exchange of best practices and common development of data models in the area of linked data: For this, there is the LODLAM community and the LODLAM summit. All major international umbrella organizations (ICOM, IFLA, ICA) and Europeana are engaged in this area.

6)      Creation of an international database of heritage data in the context of Wikidata (also available as linked data through a SPARQL endpoint). I’ve started to focus energy on this area in the course of the last year, and I think it is an area that we will see evolving quite a lot over the next couple of years (see for example: Wikidata:WikiProject Heritage institutions<https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Wikidata:WikiProject_Heritage_institutions>). From my point of view, the topic of Wikidata+GLAM is strongly related to 4) and 5) and can eventually be dealt with within the corresponding communities.

Regarding your second question: As long as there is someone to administer and moderate the mailing lists and as long as there is a contact person for enquiries from the outside (e.g. new members who want to join the international working group), we can leave everything as it is now. Don’t worry too much if the community is slowly dying; if someone sees a need to revive it, it won’t be too hard to do it.


From: openglam_members [mailto:openglam_members-bounces at lists.okfn.org] On Behalf Of Joris Pekel
Sent: Freitag, 3. März 2017 08:56
To: <openglam_members at lists.okfn.org>
Subject: [Openglam_members] OpenGLAM working group (+ job at Europeana)

Hi all,

Hope you are all doing great.
We haven't really spoken for a while which is too bad, but I am sure we all have been active doing important stuff :). The reason I am contacting you again is because I'd like to discuss the future of the OpenGLAM working group with you. The group has been largely dormant for the past year and even though many OpenGLAM activities have been set up and organised, it has been without this particular group.

Direct reason for contacting you is because from the 1st of April I will be leaving Europeana to travel the world for a bit. I expect to be gone for about a year, but who knows. I was therefore wondering what you as some of the founding members think we should do with the group? I am also asking this because the OKFN no longer has GLAM as a priority. Lieke was able to do some (paid) work on GLAM stuff last year but that is now over and I don't think there are any other GLAM related projects running at the moment (correct me if I'm wrong). The last blogpost on OpenGLAM.org is from over a year ago.

At the same time there is a mailing list with a couple of hundred people interested in OpenGLAM and a twitter account with nearly 5000 followers. And as said before a lot of people talk about OpenGLAM stuff, but just not on the OpenGLAM.org channels.

So my questions basically are:

- Do you think it is still worth it to keep the OpenGLAM working group, if so, how should it go forward?
- Does it make sense to keep the working group within the OKFN? Is there an organisation where it would better sit, or is it not really a relevant question as the website is currently hosted there and it is fine like that?

Looking forward hearing your thoughts.
And also, my job at Europeana is now available and I think you guys fit the description quite nicely. If you are interested in it have a look at: http://pro.europeana.eu/job/collections-editor. You can of course contact me if you have questions about the job.


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