OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE IN LIBRARIES: PROS AND CONSS. Yuga Priya , Assistant Librarian,Hindustan University, PadurDr. R. Prabu, Librarian,Hindustan University, PadurK. Poongodi Librarian,JSN School of Management, 1Kanchipuram
INTRODUCTION In the digital environment of ―Open Access‖ is very essential for library and information science professionals. Open Source Software covers a wide spectrum of activities in Library automation, Institutional Repository Development, Content Management System, Reference Management System, E-learning initiatives. This paper presents a brief overview of the concept, the potential pros and cons in library.
Open Source Software (OSS):An Overview In 1998, a group of individuals advocated that the term free software should be replaced by open source software (OSS) Open Source promote software reliability and quality by supporting independent peer review and rapid evaluation of source code. Open-source software (OSS) is computer software that is available in source code form. Open-source license that permits users to study, change, improve and at times also to distribute the software and further defines the terms of usage, modification , redistribution and use it freely is open source software.
Open Source Initiative (OSI) The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a non-profit corporation. Advocate for the benefits of open source. Build bridges among different constituencies in the open- source community.
Open Source Licenses Open source license doesnt just mean access to the source code – it has to meet other criteria as well. The important issue is that the source code should available; there should be permission to modify the source code and further distribute it.DIFFERENT OPEN SOURCE LICENSES: GNU GPL( General Public License) GNU Lesser GPL BSD License Mozilla Public License IU Open Source License and more
AREAS OF OSS INLIBRARIES Open Source Library Software Integrated Library Management System (ILMS) Open Source Digital Library Software Open Source Content Management System (CMS) Open Source Learning Management Systems (LMS)
APPLICATION OF OSS INCONTEMPORARY LIBRARIESOpen Source Software are using in the Library application for the following such as: Integrated Library Management Systems Content Management System Digital Library Learning Management System E-publishing etc.
Cont.. Application of Open Source Integrated Library Software in Libraries: Open source software came into existence to fulfill the need of the Library shrinking budget Library Automation and Management is indeed for the library to maintain the records, Commercial automation software are too expensive and not bearable within the budget. Koha is the first open source integrated library system in world.
Cont.. Application of Open Source Content Management Software in Libraries: Library is one of the main centre point to develop content management system to do it in a perfect manner OSS are very helpful such as DRUPAL and JOOMLA. Joomla is a award winning content management systems which enable library to build their own website with powerful online application.
Cont.. Application of Open source Digital Library Software: Implementation of Digital library Software helps the user mainly in the retrieval of needed information such as faculty publication, Question papers, Newspaper clippings, Video Lecture and so on, this all together called as Institutional Repository. DSPACE is one of the widely used software
PROS OF OSS IN LIBRARIES Reduced Software Cost: o Open source solutions generally require no licensing fees. The logical extension is no maintenance fees. o The only expenditures are for media, documentation, and support, if required. Budget is continued as a great crisis in Library. o OSS not only has a lower acquisition cost than proprietary software, but also it often has lower implementation and support costs as well.
PROS OF OSS IN LIBRARIES Ease of licensing restrictions: o Obtain the software once and install it as many times and in as many locations as you need. o There’s no need to count, track, or monitor for license compliance. o This will helps the Library to install and work with the software in user friendly environment. Better Quality Control: o Users with access to the source code not only report problems but also pinpoint the exact cause. o This greatly reduces development and quality control. o Availability of source code helps the user to rectify the error and to fix the problem faster and with great reliability.
PROS OF OSS IN LIBRARIES Localization: Localization is one of the areas where OSS shines because of its open nature. Libraries are able to modify OSS to suit the unique requirements of a particular cultural region, regardless of its economic status and size. Ample support: Support is available for open source—often superior to proprietary solutions. First, open source support is freely available and accessible through the online community via the Internet. And second, many tech companies (not the least of which is Novell) are now supporting open source with free online and multiple levels of paid support. All open source solutions distributed by Novell are included in support and maintenance contracts.
PROS OF OSS IN LIBRARIES Quality software: Evidence and research indicate that open source software is good stuff. The peer review process and community standards, plus the fact that source code is out there for the world to see, tend to drive excellence in design and efficiency in coding. Evolution: Open source software usually has a number of programmers and companies involved, which means as new technological advances are made. The fast evolution of open source software is very exciting.
PROS OF OSS IN LIBRARIES Easy Evaluation: It is easier to evaluate open source software then proprietary software. Since open source software is typically freely available to download, Libraries and systems Administrator can install complete production- ready versions of software and can evaluate the competing packages. Platform Independent: Open source software usually has its versions for all popular operating systems – Linux, Windows or Mac. Flexibility in Choosing Support: Open Source Software is backed by online forums and support groups. Established open source software is even backed by paid support services and training programmes.
CONS OF OSS IN LIBRARIES No or less personal support: Less customer friendly ie, all the features expected by the user may not be available. Lack of training: Due to lack of training and expertise on OSS may lead to ineffective utilization of the software. Maintenance and trouble shooting OSS needs specialized skills and knowledge about that software.
CONS OF OSS IN LIBRARIES Need for technological sophistication Higher labor costs Lack of scalability Fewer advanced features Nobody is really responsible (by contract) Open source may be incompatible with other deployed software Proprietary software is often more feature rich Documentation quality is variable
Conclusion It is Suitable for long term library use. Need to carefully analyze the various advantages and disadvantages of open source software to ensure this is what you really want and need. Some definite pros and cons to be consider. The solution might be that use of open source software along with standard software, finding the perfect balance. Many exciting possibilities associated with open source software but it is imperative to do all your homework before choosing the right application for Library use.
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