The second goal for the MMC is providing comparable services to those found in a typical school library using only Open Source Software (OSS). The MMC would be equipped with 4 laptops and 3 desktop computers all running on Ubuntu 15.04, a Debian based Linux Operating system. Ubuntu provides compatible OSS for setting up our own servers and cloud service through Open Stack. Students who use the MMC will be offered free cloud storage so they can save and access their work from school, home or the public library. Basic software included will be the Firefox Browser, Apache OpenOffice and Etherpad for student collaborations. Out goal is to offer similar resources and structure that might be found in a Library Digital Media Lab, but using only open source materials.
The benefit to using only OSS is it costs the program nothing to add new softwares based on student interest. If students are interested in audio editing, Audacity can be installed. Those interested in producing their own videos can use OSS for video editing (Kdenlive) and 3D animation (Blender). There is also OSS for image editing (GIMP) and many other possible areas of interest. We can immediately address an individual student’s interest without having to consult the budget. Students with the resources at home can also install these softwares for free to continue their exploration outside of school. The MMC would also introduce students to the behind the scenes development of OSS projects through sites like GitHub. They will be exposed to programming languages and software development and those who are interested can even learn to contribute to future OSS projects.
A survey of Digital Media Labs (DML) in one academic and four public libraries that describes the types of technology they provide and their funding sources. It also includes how each institute educated their staff and patrons on the many uses of the DML. The MMC would provide a spatially condensed version of the services offered by these other DMLs.
OSS Watch provides informative resources for all aspects of OSS and Open Source Hardware. OSS watch provides an extensive list of useful educational OSS and their proprietary counterparts. These resources can help students and librarians working with the MMC on finding new and useful OSS projects to explore as well as inspiration for students to start their own list of projects that they use and support.
Image Credit: OSI, Open Stack, Blender