At the Co-op, we use open source software and technologies everywhere we possibly can. As a way to thank the communities that help build and maintain the software we use, we invite Co-op staff to nominate projects as recipients of small grants from our Open Source Contribution Fund. This year, the projects receiving those funds are:
- Piwik, an analytics platform we use for our Sitka, LibPress, and NNELS projects;
- CiviCRM, software that powers the BC Library Association website; and
- Calibre, ebook software used by NNELS to produce accessible digital books.
Thank you to the Co-op staff members who nominated this year’s recipients, and to the Co-op board and members for supporting the open source ecosystem.
About the Open Source Contribition Fund
The BC Libraries Co-op has a commitment to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Our core service, Sitka, is built on the FOSS application, Evergreen. We contribute back code and resources to this project as much as possible, as well as on other projects whenever feasible.
However, the Co-op absolutely depends on hundreds of other FOSS projects, big and small, for our daily operations. Many of these are critical and yet can be severely under-resourced projects run solely on volunteer time. An example of the impacts of this underfunding is the Heartbleed bug in the OpenSSL library that was publicly revealed in March 2014. This software library, which secured the traffic on hundreds of thousands of websites globally, was supported by three part-time, unfunded volunteers.
The intent of creating an Open Source Contribution Fund is to allow the Coop to support software development and other supporting activities (legal, travel, promotion) of the wider FOSS ecosystem. It is self-interested in that we derive benefit for ourselves and members from a stronger ecosystem and more robust software, and because of the nature of FOSS, it will also end up benefiting the wider community too.
For more information, please see the Policy on FOSS Contribution Fund.