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Access 2002 - Hackfest -Results
  Typically hackfests are gatherings of programmers who compete against or collaborate with each other for prizes, fame, or even notoriety. The Access 2002 Hackfest was a somewhat informal and completely collaborative effort to solve real world library problems using freely available tools.

We were particularly interested in finding ways that existing software tools might be combined to address in tandem the problems described below. There are, for example, many mature and developing free software projects for libraries and otherwise that might be used to quickly prototype responses to these problems, and where that may be the case a hackfest activity might be a group process of choosing tools and implementing them. Whether existing tools are used or new ones designed and created, we are hoping that everyone participating will learn much from each other and the process, including how we each think through problems, the skills we each use, and the state of the art of tools available to all of us for use at our home instititutions
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 Problem descriptions:
Results:
  
Here are the problems that were worked on at the Access 2002 Hackfest, and links to the results.
 

1. There is a need for a system to disseminate HIV/AIDS information and Learning Materials to health care workers in southern Africa. K-Net <http://knet.ca> is one possible model for the type of system that could be used for this. The system will include a map of southern Africa with HIV/AIDS statistics on it, research documents, HIV/AIDS legislation for every southern african country, list of organizations and pharmaceutical companies, country profiles, publications, word and pdf documents, medical associations and research councils, treatment and care information, library catalogue, CD-ROM searches, other programmes that the organization is involved in, etc. The system will also have a password-protected section for members to access organization-specific information. [Note: this system would assist the South Africa regional office of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC).]
   
link to the report
 

2. Patrons are often interested in receiving e-mail lists in digest format, but it would be useful if the library could offer a service to create digests from several listservs, possibly based on subject areas, and maybe offering an option to scan message text for certain keywords. The listservs could be requested/selected from a central point, and patrons could choose to connect or disconnect from the service at any time.
   
link to application
(tar.gz format)
 

3. Virtual Reference systems seem to become very expensive when they offer any kind of co-browser technology (a co-browser is a browser mechanism where a remote patron and library staff can view the same web page at the same time and see the same results). The chat technology of Virtual Reference Systems is easy to find in Open Source options, why not come up with a working co-browser? [Note: I haven't done any research to confirm whether Virtual Reference systems are really that expensive when co-browsing technology is offered, or exhausted all open source repositories to verify that a working co-browser does not exist, though there are several that haven't seemed to get off the ground. Perhaps someone more familiar with virtual reference can chime in on how useful co-browsers are?]
   
link to prototype
 

4. EZproxy is one of the most popular and useful systems for working with IP-authenticated resources, yet is quite cumbersome to add entries for new services and requires starting and stopping the system for changes to take effect. Building on some existing tools for working with EZproxy, it would be useful to a large number of libraries to define an Open Source management system for maintaining EZproxy.
   
link to system
 
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Access 2002 > hackfest > results
Last Updated: 05/29/2017
For more information, please send e-mail to arhyno@uwindsor.ca