Open Source Software

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Success Stories

  • The Howard County Library System uses Linux on all public and (almost all) staff machines.
  • ASU West Library successfully migrates everything to Linux (2003)
  • Georgia Public Library Service is the original developer of the Evergreen Open Source ILS
    • The community has a blog to track development
  • Coquitlam Public Library uses Linux to manage all their Public PCs.
  • Nelsonville public library system running Koha Version 3
    • press release about Nelsonville's Koha system after they went live
  • Special Collection Libraries Choose Koha
  • West Liberty Public Library Migrates to Koha
  • WALDO Consortium Selects Koha ZOOM
  • MassCat Consortium Chooses Koha ZOOM
  • Library a la Carte Oregon State University is the developer of an open-source course and subject guide web publishing tool for and by librarians.
  • The King's Fund Library goes live with Koha (Jan 2010)
  • Marlboro College's Rice-Aron Library has gone live with the Koha ILS (as of June 2010) and CUFTS Open Source Serial Management System (as of September 2010).

Great Free/Open Source Tools for Libraries

  • Alfresco Labs (now Alfresco Community) -- A Free Open Source Content Management System. Customisable.
  • Audacity -- Free (GPL) audio recording and editing software. Oral history and audio reserves projects; Audacity provides features normally only found in pro commercial audio software. Effects filters remove static, hiss, hum, or other constant background noises from your analog recordings.
  • ClamWin -- open source anti-virus program
  • CUFTS Open Source Serials Management System: CUFTS includes Electronic Resource Management services, an integrated journal A-Z database, link resolving, and MARC records.
  • DansGuardian -- open source web content filtering
  • ht://Dig -- Free (GPL) search engine software. Spider and search your website(s). Configurable and extendable search algorithms, templates, file types, etc. Live implementation: J. Murrey Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
  • Dimdim -- Free web-based web-meeting software. Can be used for virtual reference service, ask a librarian, virtual information literacy. Co-browsing ability. Free for 20 participants.
  • Drupal -- Free (GPL) [[Content Management Systems (CMS)|Content Management System] framework with lots of features out of the box and tons of third party modules. Ideal to build a library website, some modules allowing to provide an OPAC 2.0 front-end for your ILS. PHP MySQL based.
  • Evergreen Open Source ILS originally created by the Georgia Public Library Service.
  • GIMP GNU Image Manipulation Program. A free image editor, similar in function to Adobe Photoshop.
  • Google Docs & Spreadsheets A web browser-based word processor & spreadsheet application based on the Writely beta product that Google acquired in 2006. With this application, you can publish a document or spreadsheet online. It also allows you to collaborate with anyone who has access to a web browser. You can invite other people to read or edit your document by entering their e-mail addresses on a form.
  • Groovix PAC open source Public Access Computing software with SIP2 authentication, time management, reservations; a complete solution for library public computers
  • Instant Instruction Feedback Forms Instant Instruction Feedback Forms are web-based surveys that are designed to offer librarians a simple way to evaluate their information literacy/bibliographic instruction sessions. These forms are open source software and are available for free download under the GNU General Public License.
  • Joomla A free open source content management system for publishing content on the World Wide Web and intranets. Joomla is licensed under the GPL.
  • Kete - Open source digital library solution.
  • Koha Open Source ILS -- Full-featured Library Automation System, including OPAC, Circulation/Borrower Management, Budget-based Acquisitions, Serials Management, and Reporting/Administrative modules. MARC21 and UNIMARC are supported. Advanced search capabilities, integrated Z39.50 server and client, and self-checkout. Commercial Installation and Support available worldwide from many vendors. Hundreds of libraries of all sizes and types are using Koha worldwide. The system can support very large collection sizes (tens of millions of records) and is very easy to customize as it's written in Perl, MySQL and uses the Zebra indexing engine for searching.
  • Kompozer web authoring tool, similar in function to Adobe Dreamweaver.
  • Label Templates in OpenDocument Format for
  • Library a la Carte is an open-source course and subject guide web publishing tool for and by librarians.
  • LORLS Open Source Reading List Management System (Loughborough University).
  • Open Journals System OJS assists with every stage of the refereed publishing process, from submissions through to online publication and indexing.
  • Full suite of productivity software that competes with Microsoft Office.
  • Pre-Book: An Open Source PC Reservation System which includes both a Linux server and GPL'd Windows PC Reservation Client Software commercial installation and support available from Userful
  • PHP Form Solution to ensure easy valuable communication for all types of web projects.
  • PMB Open Source Integrated Library System (ILS) -- Web-based , using PHP, MySQL and ajax. Includes cataloging module (UNIMARC import, Z39.50 connector), circulation , acquisitions, Serials Management and Reporting. OPAC with Simple or Advanced search, category browsing, RSS feeds, web 2.0 functionalities. Available in French, English, Spanish, Dutch. Commercial support available.
  • Prospero An Open Source Internet Document Delivery (IDD) System (The Ohio State University). [NOTE: Development ceased in 2004, although the last release is still available for download and modification.]
  • The Reference Portal The Reference Portal is a departmental intranet that is designed to consolidate web resources, services, and assessment tools for reference librarians. It uses DHTML layers to give librarians instant access to frequently used web resources and allows librarians to record information about reference interactions, workshops, and instruction sessions for evaluation.
  • Scriblio (formerly WPopac) is an award winning, free, open source CMS and OPAC with faceted searching and browsing features based on WordPress.
  • Sphinx A free full-text search engine, distributed under GPL version 2. A standalone search engine, meant to provide fast, size-efficient and relevant full-text search functions to other applications. Sphinx was specially designed to integrate well with SQL databases and scripting languages. Currently built-in data sources support fetching data either via direct connection to MySQL or PostgreSQL, or using XML pipe mechanism (a pipe to indexer in special XML-based format which Sphinx recognizes).
  • Squid Squid is a caching proxy for the Web supporting HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, and more. It reduces bandwidth and improves response times by caching and reusing frequently-requested web pages.
  • SquidGuard is a combined filter, redirector and access controller plugin for Squid.
  • SubjectsPlus is a free and open source tool to help you manage several interrelated parts of your library website: Subject or Course Guides; A-Z List of Databases; FAQs; Suggestion Box (aka TalkBack); Staff List.
  • Turn 1 PC into 10 -- open source Groovix SLIM multi-user software from Open Sense Solutions which enables you to run multiple screens, keyboards, and users from a single PC.
  • Turn 1 PC into 2 -- Free (not open source) 2 user version of Userful's Desktop Multiplier software which enables you to run multiple screens, keyboards, and users from a single PC.
  • VLC -- Free (GPL) cross-platform media player/streamer with support for a large number of formats and more.
  • WordPress is a free and open source blog publishing/CMS application
  • WUBS Open Source Resource Booking System (Loughborough University).

Blogs/Websites to Watch

  • OSS4Lib
  • OSS Watch Open Source Software Advisory Service in the UK
  • Open Source Software and Libraries Bibliography
  • Koha Support Support for the Koha ILS
  • Open Source Support A list of companies supporting open source in libraries
  • Katipo Communications, Ltd. Developers of Kete and other Open Source software. Web development and other support services.

Specific Blog Posts/Articles to Check out

  • Centralized PC management and control designed specifically for libraries (Blog Product Review)
  • Review of Koha ZOOM
  • The Cathedral and the Bazaar
  • Open Source Software Libraries
  • Producing Open Source Software