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ITAV in Practice Overview

In 2020, IMLS funded a second phase of It Takes a Village work, ITAV In Practice, which will create and pilot an adaptable set of tools for practical use in planning and managing sustainability for open source software (OSS) initiatives serving cultural and scientific heritage organizations. The project will strengthen the ability of libraries, archives, and museums to sustain community supported OSS programs, which are critical to managing and growing local and national digital infrastructures.

NB: The tools we will develop for ITAV in Practice are not software tools, but things like templates, checklists, discussion guides, etc., that will help projects develop plans for long-term sustainability.

ITAV in Practice Activities

Workshops: For each of the four sustainability facets in the ITAV Model (Governance, Technology, Resources, and Community Engagement), program staff will host a practitioner workshop, with invitees representing different OSS programs and stakeholder perspectives relevant to the chosen facet. The core goal of the workshops is to map the ITAV Guidebook content with participant expertise into a practical set of exercises and tools that can be used by any OSS program working on sustainability planning. Tools and resources tested by the ITAV team over the past year will be provided for review and feedback, additional tools and resources will be identified, and input will be sought to create new resources to address gaps.

The workshops will be held in November 2020 (Governance), February 2021 (Technology), May 2021 (Community Engagement), and Sept 2021 (Resources).

Toolbox development: Following the workshops, program staff will work to adapt, build, or improve tools identified during the meeting. This process is expected to take 2-3 months through an iterative process of research, writing, design, review, and editing. In addition to creating specific tools and connecting to existing, useful resources, program staff will design the contextual framework for each facet (e.g., definitions, phase descriptions, etc.) and content to guide users in their interaction with the tools.

Beta testing: When the draft version of the facet toolbox is ready, two or more OSS programs will review, test, and provide feedback to program staff. "Official" best testers submitted an expression of interest to program staff and will submit feedback via a survey instrument and a 1:1 phone call with program staff. Other interested programs are welcome to test the draft toolkit materials and submit feedback via the survey instrument.

Pilot testing: Once the beta version of all four facets of ITAV in Practice is complete, two additional OSS programs will pilot the entire set of tools in consultation with program staff. Results of the pilot testing and other community feedback will be incorporated into the final toolkit design.

Release and evaluation: The final version of the toolbox will be released in August 2022. Program staff will introduce the toolbox to the community through a series of webinars and conference presentations. A final evaluation will take place from November 2022 through January 2023.

ITAV in Practice Outputs

Toolbox: The core output of ITAV in Practice is an adaptable set of tools (e.g. templates, checklists, exercises, discussion guides) for practical use in planning and managing sustainability for open source software (OSS) initiatives serving cultural and scientific heritage organizations. The toolbox will be freely available via the It Takes a Village wiki.

ITAV in Practice: Workshop Attendee Resources

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