7 Open Source Library Software to Consider…07.22.09

22 07 2009

Here is an excerpt from a very useful post by Brett Bonfield on In the Library With a Lead Pipe titled W-E-B-S-I-T-E, Find Out What It Means To Me:

It’s interesting how many people don’t really understand the concept of open source. People often describe freeware as open source, or they’ll describe free web-based applications as open source, or applications with APIs that allow for mashups. There are articles all the time, on some of the most popular websites, that recommend free software but don’t distinguish programs the authors gives away for free from software that is actually open source.

For a program to be open source, it has to meet two basic qualifications

  1. The author has to provide full access to its source code
  2. The software has to be accompanied by a license that protects the contributions and rights of the community…

In my opinion, there are seven open source software projects worth considering

There’s some apples-and-oranges going on here, in that some of these packages are just components of a website and require other software in order to do everything a library website needs to do (such as inventory management). Other packages cover the entire process…”


OCLC’s Cloud Computing for Libraries – Ramifications…06.10.09

10 06 2009


OCLC seems to jump from one pan on the fire to the next this year. Let me point out below the Library 2.0 gang post Library System Suppliers View of OCLC Web-Scale about their most recent interesting podcast about another recent and potentially controversial announcement. It is worth a listen when you find the time.

“In last month’s show there was some speculation as to what reaction there would be from the organisations that supply ‘traditional’ library systems to the OCLC announcement of their web-scale, cloud computing, library system initiative.

In an attempt to answer that speculation I took the unusual step of bringing together a specific set of Library 2.0 Gang members from that community as against our usual open house of whoever is available.  The result was an interesting conversation between Ex Libris’ Carl Grant, Nicole Engard from LibLime, Talis’ Rob Styles and newcomer from Axiell, Boris Zetterlund…”

Library 2.0 Gang 06/09: Library System Suppliers view of OCLC Web-scale [00:50:35m]: Download

FREE Webcast “Consider the Source: The Integrated Library System Marketplace”…06.02.09

2 06 2009


Consider the Source: The Integrated Library System Marketplace

Sponsored by Polaris Library Systems. Starts June 16, 2009, Tuesday, 2:00-3:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

When it comes to selecting an Integrated Library System (ILS), there are many factors to be considered with respect to both commercial and open source solutions. Customer support, third party integration, consortia concerns, underlying platform, and institutional stability are key parts of the equation. More than ever, libraries must consider the source of the software applications that keep all library resources accessible, manageable, and affordable, with the ILS at the center of its operations.


Ross McLachlan, Deputy Director, Technical Services, Phoenix Public Library (AZ) – McLachlan will discuss the library’s recent integrated library system conversion, and how Phoenix Public Library reached their selection decision. Phoenix Public Library is using application programming interfaces (API) to foster a Web 2.0 friendly environment for both its staff and patrons. In this environment, PPL is able to take advantage of open source applications and discovery level search tools such as Endeca which can enhance the library’s service and content management.

Jim Duncan, Director, Networking and Resource Sharing, Colorado State Library – Duncan will discuss the process being used by the state of Colorado in its investigation of the feasibility of a state-wide integrated library system. Categories of concern include support issues and funding sources. Concerns of existing consortia must also be considered. Proprietary/licensed and open source solutions are being reviewed, as is the success of several hybrid systems currently in operation.

Scott Reinhart, Assistant Director, Carroll County Public Library (MD) – Carroll County Public Library is currently in the process of reviewing both proprietary and open source integrated library system solutions. Reinhart will report on the findings, present an overview of ILS options for libraries today, and how to identify the right technology partners for your library.

Moderator: Josh Hadro, Technology Editor, Library Journal

The inaugural showing of Considering the Source: Integrating Library Systems, sponsored by Polaris Library Systems, is on Tuesday, June 16, 2:00-3:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time. If you can’t join us on June 16, register now and we’ll send you an email when the archive is ready to be viewed, at your convenience.

“Implementing a Next Gen OPAC”…05.17.09

17 05 2009
Implementing a Next Gen OPAC
  with Jeff Wisniewski  
Technology, Social Networking
Audio Conference
  Tuesday, May 19, 2009
1:00 pm ET
One Hour
  Member: $54.00
Non-Member: $74.00
Interested in wading into the next generation OPAC waters? From selection to implementation to federated search integration to evaluation, learn valuable information on the state of the market and get tips on everything from integrating cool free content to promoting your new system to ways to insure your implementation runs smoothly. Find out what you should know, what your vendors aren’t telling you, and get insights into all that is Next Gen OPAC.

The Benefits

  • Learn about the next generation OPAC marketplace
  • Get insight into how to select, implement, and promote a new system easily and effectively
  • Take away valuable tips on everything from how to compare products to enhancing your new catalog with free content

Who Should Participate
Any staff interested in this exploding area of library technology will benefit from this session. If your library is thinking about investigating this landscape or is in the process of selecting or implementing one of these tools then this program will be of particular use.

Key Topics You Will Explore

  • What current products can, and can’t, do
  • How to implement a next gen OPAC with a minimum of time and effort
  • How to promote and encourage buy-in from both staff and users
  • Ways to enhance your catalog data and to make your content mixable and movable

Jeff Wisniewski
Jeff Wisniewski received his MLS from the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences. He is the Web Services Librarian for the University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh, where he maintains the Library System’s public Web site, staff intranet, coordinates technical support for Pitt’s University-wide ETD program, and project manages new technology initiatives.

Developed for the Education Institute by Darlene Fichter’s Northern Lights Internet Solutions, Inc., in Saskatchewan

FREE Online Discussion April 21, 22- Open Source Integrated Library Systems…04.15.09

15 04 2009

Thanks to Rick Mason on Libology:

For those interested in Open Source Integrated Library Systems such as Koha, Evergreen, Open Library Environment Project (OLE), OpenBiblio, etc., the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) will be holding an e-forum on April 21st and 22nd. From the announcement:

Please join us for a free ALCTS e-forum discussion!   Participation is open to all.

April 21-22, 2009:  Open Source ILS and Technical Services:   High Risk or High Reward?

Moderated by Clint Chamberlain, University of Texas Libraries, and Rob Van Rennes, University of Iowa Libraries, members of the ALCTS CRS Acquisitions Committee.

Over the past few years, many librarians have expressed dissatisfaction with our current ILS, citing inflexible systems, high costs, and lackluster vendor service.  Some libraries have consequently pursued Open Source ILS such as OLE, Koha, and Evergreen.  Join this e-forum to share your experiences with and your questions about Open Source ILS and your thoughts on the future of the traditional, proprietary ILS.   We are particularly interested in hearing about experiences with the technical services aspects of Open Source ILS:  acquisitions, management of continuing resources, and cataloging.

Discussion will start Tuesday, April 21, 9AM EST and will conclude Wednesday, April 22, 5PM EST.

You can sign up at http://lists.ala.org/sympa/, go to the ALCTS section, then select alcts-eforum@ala.org…”

Library Catalog OPAC “Juice Project”…04.09.09

9 04 2009

defaultlogoThe Juice Project

Here is an excerpt of a post titled Juice Up Your OPAC bt Richard Wallis on the Panlibus blog today about adding “juice” to your library catalog’s OPAC which I find very interesting and potentially helpful:

“…The Juice Project is an open source initiative, which I launched at the recent Code4lib conference, with the specific objectives of making it easy to create extensions for web interfaces such as OPACs and then make it even easier to share those extensions in an open community of those who want to enhance their interfaces but do not have the skill or experience to do so.

Open and easy are two key facets of the approach used for this project.  JavaScript code gurus may find the way Juice is implemented a little over complex, but it is that approach which should make it simple for the non-gurus to adopt and use.

Duke_icons_screenshotThe design of the extension framework, which is Juice, separates the extension itself from the code that interfaces to a particular web application.  The result being that an extension created to be used on say a VuFind OPAC can be re used to extend a Talis, or a Horizon, or any other OPAC or indeed any other suitable interface.

Obviously if you are going to make changes to your interface, you need some ability to access and change the mark-up that creates the web pages.  Many libraries have staff that are capable and confident enough to make a simple change to an interface – adding a link to another site in the footer, changing a bit of text on the home page etc.  Juice is targeted at exactly those staff.  On the Juice Project site there are simple ‘How-to’ documents, that step you through how to add the couple of lines of code to introduce Juice in to your interface, and then how to copy & paste examples into your version of Juice to add shared extensions…

So, calling all those that want to add value to library and other web interfaces, take a look at and join the Juice Project.   It is early days and we haven’t as yet got many interface types identified and supportable in Juice, but the more that join in and share what they know the sooner we will be able to share the innovation between all libraries.”

Read the Latest Edition of The International Survey of Library Automation…04.05.09

5 04 2009


(Image:  ihome.ust.hk/…/diploma/libauto/libauto.html)

Here is Marshall Breedings 2009 summary of his latests “International Survey of Library Automation “…regarding the perceptions of libraries toward their automation systems, the organizations that provide support, and the quality of support they receive. It also aims to gauge interest in open source library automation systems”…


Most Positive Perceptions

Polaris emerged this year as the ILS product with the highest positive ratings in the categories of product and company satisfaction. Libraries using AGent VERSO from Auto-Graphics gave the highest rankings for customer support and loyalty to the company for future business. Library.Solution from The Library Corporation received highly positive marks from its customer libraries in all categories. Libraries using Polaris, AGent VERSO, and Library.Solution showed the least interest in open source ILS products. These three companies received extremely high satisfaction ratings from their libraries, with average scores separated by very thin margins.

Negative Perceptions

The survey results reveal high levels of dissatisfaction by libraries running legacy ILS products. Athena and Winnebago Spectrum, both systems acquired by Follett Software Company that will not receive ongoing development, received the lowest ILS satisfaction scores and indicated the least likelihood that they would purchase an ILS in the future from this company. Libraries using Dynix gave low marks regarding their satisfaction with the product (5.14) and for SirsiDynix as a company (4.81), but rated support more moderately (5.76). Horizon libraries gave SirsiDynix very low marks as a company (4.32) but registered moderate satisfaction for the product itself (5.68).

The number of negative comments provided on the survey forms overwhelmingly exceeded positive ones.

ILS Satisfaction

Polaris ranked as the product that received the highest score in response to the question probing satisfaction with the library’s Integrated Library System with a median rating of 7.73. Fifty-one libraries using Polaris responded to this question. Last year a total of 59 responders rated Polaris 7.78, reflecting remarkable consistency across the two years. AGent VERSO earned second highest marks in this category (7.26), with Library.Solution from The Library Corporation only a fraction lower (7.20). Millennium from Innovative Interfaces, Inc. also attracted highly positive ratings (7.09).

Company Satisfaction

Polaris Library Systems also won the highest score for company satisfaction (7.76) with Auto-Graphics (7.68) and The Library Corporation (7.33) only slightly less favored. Libraries using Millennium gave Innovative Interfaces solidly positive ratings (6.44), though a notch below the top three companies. Libraries using legacy products not surprisingly noted their vendors as least satisfactory, including those using Athena (3.92), Horizon (4.32), Winnebago Spectrum (4.52), and Dynix (4.81). The middle tier of company satisfaction included those using Koha supported by LibLime (5.84), Virtua from VTLS (5.79), Voyager (5.59) and ALEPH 500 (5.20) from Ex Libris, and Unicorn from SirsiDynix (5.05).

Satisfaction with Customer Support

Libraries using AGent VERSO rated Auto-Graphics as the company providing the most satisfactory support (7.81). Polaris (7.41) and The Library Corporation (7.07) also earned highly positive ratings for customer support, just below that of Auto-Graphics. Innovative received strong marks in this category (6.46), though again just a notch below the top tier. Users of Athena (3.63) and Winnebago Spectrum (4.57) gave Follett low ratings for support.

Company Loyalty

In response to the question probing the likelihood that the library would purchase future ILS products from their current vendor, Auto-Graphics received the highest marks for customer loyalty (7.64) only slightly edging above The Library Corporation (7.50) and Polaris Library Systems (7.33). Libraries using Millennium gave mixed results, but overall indicated strong loyalty to Innovative Interfaces, Inc. (6.54). Libraries using Athena (4.32), Winnebago Spectrum (3.95), and Horizon (4.37) seem on average not inclined to purchase their next system from their incumbent vendors.

Open Source Perceptions

It’s not surprising that the libraries already using an open source ILS registered the strongest interest in future consideration of an open source ILS, with Koha as supported by LibLime toping the list (8.05). Other than these open source true believers, libraries running proprietary systems submitted responses reflecting much lower interest, with even those most dissatisfied with their current product such as Winnebago Spectrum (4.95) indicated relatively weak interest. We also observe that libraries most satisfied with their current situation, including Polaris (2.29), AGent VERSO (2.63), Library.Solution (3.00) showed little interest in open source alternatives…”