The second annual Blacklight Summit was held this year at Princeton University on November 2-4. Blacklight is an open source discovery interface used in libraries, museums, and other public institutions. At Yale we use Blacklight both for our Quicksearch discovery service and for the public interface of our Findit Digital Collections repository.
The summit included representatives from 24 institutions from the U.S. and Canada. Two people attended from the Yale Library, Kalee Sprague and Tracy MacMath. The first day of the conference consisted of a morning round-robin of presentations from each institution, followed by an afternoon workshop on best practices for localizing Blacklight. The afternoon workshop was led by Blacklight core developers Chris Beer and Justin Coyne from Stanford. The workshop was also on opportunity to get hands on experience with Blacklight 7.1, a new release of Blacklight expected sometime in late Spring of 2017.
The second day of the conference featured informative presentations on different Solr configurations, the Traject MARC record indexing tool, Blacklight plugins, and other topics, followed by several break-out sessions. One break-out session focused on upgrading to the latest production release of Blacklight, version 6.7. As part of the break-out session, the group worked together to upgrade Yale’s Quicksearch code to release 6.7, which was an exciting and very practical outcome of the Summit. Although the upgrade isn’t completely finished, the workshop resulted in very real progress on the upgrade work currently happening at Yale.
Yale also participated in a breakout session on UX and Blacklight. Many members of the Hydra UX interest group were present, so it was decided that Blacklight-specific UX issues would be discussed by the Hydra UX group rather than a separate Blacklight interest group. Methods of group communication were discussed, including the creation of a GitHub repository for sharing of documents, usability testing results and findings, and anything else of interest.