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I argued a while ago that libraries’ integration challenge was not so much to integrate information resources with each other as it was to integrate them with emerging user environments. Examples I gave were the campus portal and the learning management system. I have just got an email from a former colleague commenting on this:

You might be interested to know that at XXX we no longer use the ‘p’ word in relation to a library portal. ‘The Portal’ is the University uPortal installation, now released for all taught students, soon to be released for staff and research students. We call our MetaLib offering the ‘eLibrary Gateway’ – not terribly satisfactory but…

Uportal is an open source portal framework, now widely used in higher education. I notice that it figures in InfoWorld’s 2003 top 100.

The software, which can be downloaded free from JA-SIG or purchased as part of third-party products, is similar to commercial portal products in that it includes single sign-on authentication, administrative functionality, role- and device-based presentation, and portlet capabilities. Typical applications delivered via the portal include campus administrative systems, library information systems, learning management systems, even the cafeteria lunch menu. [InfoWorld: Portal to higher learning: November 07, 2003: By David L. Margulius: Application Development]


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