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DuraSpace at Innovatics—The Fifth International Congress on Technological Innovation

A Chilean academic library community comes together to share information and best practices.

A view of the Andes Mountains over Santiago by Debra Hanken Kurtz.

Winchester, MA  The 2015 Innovatics Fifth International Congress on Technological Innovation ( held in Santiago, Chile August 25-26 was an opportunity for nearly 200 South American academic librarians and interested participants to share best practices and current information with colleagues interested in extending and improving library services.

The Innovatics Congress is offered free of charge by collaborating organizers DUOC (Departamento Universitario Obrero y Campesino–University Department Workers and Peasants serving 90,000 students on 16 campuses with professional and technical courses of study), The Library of Santiago (a primary cultural institution serving a population of six million), and CU Libraries, Catholic University of Chile (10 libraries on 5 campuses). Conference organizers offered sessions that brought scientists and interdisciplinary experts together to share issues and concerns related to advances in information science.

DuraSpace CEO Debra Hanken Kurtz was invited to give the keynote address for Innovatics 5. She offered her views on “Building a Global Open Source Community and Implications for Open Access”. Kurtz began with an overview of DuraSpace-supported open technology projects and their roles in enabling long-term, durable access to and discovery of digital assets. Sustaining DSpace and Fedora, two of the most widely used open source repository solutions in the world and VIVO, a semantic web platform that enables research discovery, is integral to continuing to expand open access to knowledge resources around the world. Collaborating with DuraSpace members who support the development of open source software benefits the more than eighteen hundred institutions that use DuraSpace software, and makes it possible for everyone to share in preservation and discovery technological advances.

Hanken Kurtz is not new to Chile. In 2012 she participated in an exchange “Intercambio” program between Duke University and Chilean libraries to share ideas and best practices. Dr. Deborah Jakubs, Director of Duke University Libraries, was inspired to create the Intercambio program as a result of the devastating 2010 earthquake centered southwest of Santiago, Chile that destroyed several libraries and brought the community together around efforts to rebuild and strengthen knowledge institutions. Since then Innovation Congress organizers have hosted the annual conference free of charge.  Other north american library experts including Marshall Breeding, Founder, Editor at Library Technology Guides, Bess Sadler, Manager for Application Development, Digital Library Systems at Stanford University Library, and Carl Grant, Associate Dean for Knowledge Services and Chief Technology Officer, University of Oklahoma Libraries have participated in Innovatics conferences.

Ms. Hanken Kurtz also met with Pontificia Católica Universidad de Chile library representatives and campus stakeholders to talk about best practices and repository services. They currently operate a DSpace repository and are interested in developing a service that combines DSpace and Converis, using VIVO as a visualization tool to make profile pages discoverable and reusable by academic department web pages.

Presentations from Innovatics 2015 sessions are available here: