Danish Public Libraries Unite Around Open Source

Sharing of content infrastructure inspires schools, museum and cultural organizations

Open source has united Denmark’s public libraries, working together on an ‘open system of tools for cultural innovation, collaboration, and sharing of results in a digital society’. The TING community, in which libraries are developing open source solutions to help bring their services online, includes 50 of the country’s 98 municipalities.

In the past six years, TING has gone beyond libraries, its mindset attracting other public administrations in the country, says community manager Niels Schmidt Petersen. The community has now been superseded by OS2, the Danish community for public administrations and open source.

The 50 TING libraries together reach almost 70 percent of Denmark’s population. The TING community is supported by 15 IT service providers. “TING changed its focus from libraries to the wider public sector, including schools, museums and cultural organizations, says Petersen, project manager at the city of Aarhus. The community has changed the way libraries, IT vendors and others work together and how they pay for development projects. The community helped to spread the open source mindset”, he says. “TING became a catalyst for innovation, for new solutions and services.”

Last week, Schidt Petersen looked back at TING achievement, in a presentation at the LibreOffice conference, organized in Aarhus.


TING started in 2009, when the DBC, a government owned provider of library services, and the Aarhus and Copenhagen public libraries began building initial services on Drupal, an open source content management system. Now, as part of OS2, the community delivers a country-wide webservices infrastructure, including a data repository and tools for indexing, managing and distributing digital library resources, as well as books and other library objects.

In 2013, the library community was selected for the Danish Digital Library project, where local governments and The Ministry of Culture work together on for sharing and communicating e-books and other public library products and services.

TING was inspired by open source communities such as Drupal and Ubuntu, says Schmidt Petersen. TING libraries continue to work together on projects such as the bibOS project, about the use of open source software on public library PCs. The TING members continue to advocate open data, supporting for example the Open Data Aarhus project.

More information:

LibreOffice 2015 conference
OSOR 2012 news item

Danish Public Libraries Unite Around Open Source was authored by Gijs Hillenius and published in Open Source Observatory. It is reprinted by Open Health News with permission. The original post can be found here.