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…”


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…”

Coming April 1, 2009 Library Automation Systems Marketplace Report…03.23.09

23 03 2009

Marshall Breeding posted the following on Library Technology Guides about the release of his latest automation report in Gathering library automation Data which is excerpted here:

“I’ve recently finished my eighth version of the ‘Automation Systems Marketplace which will appear in the April 1 issue of Library Journal. This article provides a great opportunity for me to get detailed data from the companies involved in the library automation industry regarding their activities over the last year. Each year companies respond to a survey where they are asked to respond to specific questions regarding the numbers of systems sold, the personnel employed, and the like. In general, the companies involved cooperate very nicely in responding with information that seems accurate and complete.

In addition to the self-reported information provided by the companies involved in the industry, I aim to gather data from other perspectives. The “Perceptions 2008: An international Survey of Library Automation” aims to gather information from the libraries’ perspective. While the data from this survey isn’t comprehensive, it has been helpful in identifying or confirming broad trends…”


Image: “…the history of mergers and acquisitions in the library automation industry”

Marshall Breeding

Jean and Alexander Heard LibraryVanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Copyright 2007

Library Automation Perceptions Survey…11.03.08

3 11 2008

Nicole Engard’s post [http://sla-divisions.typepad.com/itbloggingsection/2008/11/library-automat.html]  on surveying the latest in library automation is worth the participation:

“It’s that time of year again.  Marshall Breeding has posted information on how to participate in his Perceptions 2008 International Library Automation Survey:

We live in interesting times when it comes to automation strategies in libraries.  Competition intensifies between traditional companies licensing their products and a new wave of open source challengers.  I think that it is important to pursue research that gauges the effectiveness of the various approaches to help other libraries make decisions regarding their automation strategy.

Last year, I conducted the inaugural version of this survey, which resulted in the report titled “Perceptions 2007: an international survey of Library Automation.”  The 2007 survey included responses from 1,779 libraries.

This survey is well known and highly regarded – so make sure your opinion is heard!!  Read Marshall’s instructions and participate ASAP”