Open Source in Libraries: Freedom and Community


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Open Source in Libraries: Freedom and Community

  1. 1. Open Source for Libraries Nicole C. Engard Vice President of Education ByWater Solutions nengard@bywatersolutions.comTuesday, April 10, 12
  2. 2. What isn’t Open Source? Common  Open  Source  FUD  (Fear,  Uncertainty  &  Doubt) • “Isn’t  that  insecure?” • “I  don’t  want  to  share  my  data!” • “How  can  it  be  any  good  if  it’s  free?” • “We  don’t  have  the  staff  to  handle   open  source.” Comic: Author: Unknown | Year: Unknown | Source: UnknownTuesday, April 10, 12
  3. 3. What is Open Source? Open  source  soCware  is  soCware  that  users  have  the  ability  to   run,  distribute,  study  and  modify  for  any  purpose. Open  source  is  a  collaboraEve  soCware-­‐development   method  that  harnesses  the  power  of  peer  review  and   transparency  of  process  to  develop  code  that  is  freely   accessible.1   Open  source  draws  on  an  ecosystem  of  thousands  of   developers  and  customers  all  over  the  world  to  drive   innovaEon.2                                                 1,2  h<p://, April 10, 12
  4. 4. What is Free Software? • OCen  you  will  hear  Free  &  Open  Source  SoCware  (F/OSS)  in   conjuncEon.   • The  Free  SoCware  DefiniEon  (hQp:// free-­‐sw.html)    is  similar  to,  but  not  idenEcal  to  the  Open  Source   DefiniEon  (hQp://   • Free  does  not  mean  free  of  cost  -­‐  it  means  Free  as  in  FreedomTuesday, April 10, 12
  5. 5. 4 Freedoms of Free Software • You  need  all  four  of  these  freedoms  to  have  free   soCware   • Freedom  of  use • Freedom  to  copy • Freedom  to  modify • Freedom  to  contribute hQp://, April 10, 12
  6. 6. Sharing of ideas "If  you  have  an  apple  and  I  have  an  apple  and   we  exchange  apples,  then  you  and  I  will  sEll   each  have  one  apple.  But  if  you  have  an  idea   and  I  have  an  idea  and  we  exchange  these   ideas,  then  each  of  us  will  have  two  ideas." AQributed  to  Bernard  Shaw, April 10, 12
  7. 7. The Cathedral & The Bazaar The  Cathedral   The  Bazaar     (proprietary  so4ware) (open  source  so4ware) • Development  occurs   • Code  developed  over   behind  walls   the  Internet  with   • Source  code  is   several  others  in   usually  not  provided   public  view -­‐  kept  locked  up • Source  code  open  to   • Corporate  hierarchy all  users • “Given  enough   h<p:// /cathedral-­‐bazaar/cathedral-­‐bazaar/ eyeballs,  all  bugs  are   shallow”Tuesday, April 10, 12
  8. 8. Open Source Governance What  kind  of  quality  control  is  there? • Most  open  source  projects  have  a  release  manager  or  a  manager  of  some  sort   who  reviews  the  code  and  approves  it  before  adding  it  to  the  final  release What  is  the  role  of  the  community? • The  community  looks  out  for  the  best  interests  of  the  soSware.    They  work  as   the  governing  body  behind  all  decisions  related  to  the  soSware.  The   community  decides  what  features  to  develop  next  and  who  the  managers  are.      Tuesday, April 10, 12
  9. 9. Open Source Community • Open  source  is  about  more  than  free  soCware • Community  is  crucial  to  the  growth  of  open  source • Without  shared  knowledge  and  collaboraEon  the  project  will  not   grow • “CriEquing  the  community  is  a  right  reserved  for  those  who  have   proved  themselves  by  making  valuable  contribuEons”1 • People  who  use  open  source  can  collaborate  and  contribute  in  many   ways  with  the  community • Write  code • Write  documentaEon • Debug • Educate  others 1. Tapscott, Don, and Anthony D. Williams. “Embracing open source culture and strategy.” In Wikinomics: How mass collaboration changes everything, 82-83. Expanded Edition. New York, NY: Penguin USA, 2008.  Tuesday, April 10, 12
  10. 10. Open Source Crowdsourcing “Crowdsourcing  has  it  genesis  in  the  open  source  movement  in   soCware.  The  development  of  the  Linux  operaEng  system  proved  that   a  community  of  like-­‐minded  peers  was  capable  of  creaEng  a  beQer   product  than  a  corporate  behemoth  like  MicrosoC.    Open  source   revealed  a  fundamental  truth  about  humans  that  had  gone  largely   unnoEced  unEl  the  connecEvely  of  the  Internet  brought  it  into  high   relief:  labor  can  oCen  be  organized  more  efficiently  in  the  context  of   a  community  than  it  can  in  the  context  of  the  corporaEon.    The  best   person  to  do  a  job  is  the  one  who  most  wants  to  do  that  job;  and  the   best  people  to  evaluate  their  performance  are  their  friends  and  peers   who,  by  the  way,  will  enthusiasEcally  pitch  in  to  improve  the  final   product,  simply  for  the  sheer  pleasure  of  helping  one  another  and   creaEng  something  beauEful  from  which  they  all  will  benefit.” Howe, J. (2008). Crowdsourcing: Why the power of the crowd is driving the future of business. New York: Crown Business. p.8Tuesday, April 10, 12
  11. 11. Believing in Openness If  you  dont  know  why  you  do  what  you  do  then  how  will  you  ever   get  people  to  be  loyal  and  want  to  be  a  part  of  what  you  do?     The  goal  is  not  just  to  sell  to  people  what  you  have,  its  to  sell   people  on  what  you  believe  -­‐  the  goal  is  not  to  hire  people  who   want  a  job  its  to  hire  people  who  believe  what  you  believe.  If  you   hire  people  just  because  they  can  do  a  job  they  will  work  for  your   money  -­‐  if  you  hire  people  who  believe  what  you  believe  they   work  for  you  with  blood  and  sweat  and  tears. Simon  Sinek:  How  great  leaders  inspire  acEon   hQp:// how_great_leaders_inspire_acEon.html  Tuesday, April 10, 12
  12. 12. Open Source is Easy! “The  hard  drive  on  one  of  our  reference  desk  PCs  died  today.    I  threw  in  a  new  one,  but  I   didnt  feel  like  spending  the  day  siing  through  Windows  updates,  so  I  loaded  Ubuntu  11.04   on  it  instead.    The  install,  as  Im  sure  you  know,  only  took  about  15  minutes.    Now,  before  I   add  my  next  point,  keep  in  mind  that  I  manage  a  staff  whose  average  age  is  about  63.    No   joke.    Most  of  them  have  been  working  at  my  facility  longer  than  Ive  been  alive.    SEll,  once  I   had  Ubuntu  up  and  running,  they  were  literally  fighEng  over  who  got  to  use  the  new   operaEng  system.    They  loved  it  that  much.     Now  I  agree,  Linux  kicks  buQ.    I  use  it  about  80%  of  the  Eme.    Typing  to  you  on  Mint  right   now!    However,  I  never  expected  novice  users  to  take  to  it  so  quickly.    Please,  next  Eme  you   do  an  open  source  webinar,  impress  on  your  aQendees  that  libraries  arent  sacrificing  a  thing   by  switching  over  to  open  source  soCware.    If  anything,  open  source  operaEng  systems  and   applicaEons  can  be  far  more  user  friendly  for  the  novice  user  than  Windows  will  ever  be...” -­‐-­‐  Mark  at  the  The  Rahway  Public  LibraryTuesday, April 10, 12
  13. 13. Who’s Using Open Source? •Government  Agencies •Schools  (K-­‐colleges) •All  Kinds  of  Businesses •LibrariansTuesday, April 10, 12
  14. 14. Open Source in Business 2007  Survey  Results, April 10, 12
  15. 15. Open Source in Business • In  2010  a  survey  of  300  large  organizaEons  in  both  the  private  and  public   sector  found: • 50%  are  fully  commiQed  to  open  source  in  their  business   • 28%  say  they  are  experimenEng  with  open  source  and  keeping  an  open   mind  to  using  it • 38%  expecEng  to  migrate  mission-­‐criEcal  soCware  to  open  source  in  next   12  months • The  cost  was  no  longer  viewed  as  the  key  benefit,  instead: • 76%  cited  quality  as  a  key  benefit  of  open  source • 70%  cited  improved  reliability • 69%  said  beQer  security/bug  fixing h<p:// arIcle_display.cfm?arIcle_id=5045Tuesday, April 10, 12
  16. 16. Making money on open source • “IBM  not  only  accepted  open  source  soCware  products  and  processes  but  also   its  philosophy,  which  is  to  spur  quality  and  fast  growth  rather  than  just  profits   based  on  proprietary  ownership  of  intellectual  property.” • “Giving  up  so  much  control  is  unconvenEonal  to  say  the  least,  but  the  rewards   for  doing  so  have  been  handsome.    IBM  spends  about  $100  million  per  year   on  Linux  development.    If  the  Linux  community  puts  in  $1  billion  of  effort,  and   even  half  of  that  is  useful  to  IBM  customers,  the  company  gets  $500  million  of   soCware  development  for  an  investment  of  $100  million.” Tapsco<,  Don,  and  Anthony  D.  Williams.  “Joining  Linux.”  In   Wikinomics:  How  mass  collaboraIon  changes  everything,   79-­‐82.  Expanded  EdiIon.  New  York,  NY:  Penguin  USA,  2008.   h<p://, April 10, 12
  17. 17. Open Source On the Web Total  AcEve  Sites:  6/2000  to  3/2012 h<p://­‐2012-­‐web-­‐server-­‐survey.html  Tuesday, April 10, 12
  18. 18. Why so Popular? •Reliability  through  Peer  Review •Freedom  to  Innovate •No  Vendor  Lock-­‐in •User-­‐centric  Development •CollaboraEve  Environment •Zero  License  FeesTuesday, April 10, 12
  19. 19. Why Should Libraries Care?Tuesday, April 10, 12
  20. 20. Open Source & Libraries Libraries  and  Open  Source  Both... • Believe  that  informaIon  should  be  freely  accessible  to  everyone • Give  away  stuff • Benefit  from  the  generosity  of  others • Are  about  communiIes • Make  the  world  a  be<er  place -­‐-­‐  Horton,  G.  h<p://, April 10, 12
  21. 21. Open Source & Libraries Libraries  and  Open  Source  make   the  perfect  pair [Librarians]  "are  almost  ethically   required  to  use  and  develop  open   source  soCware."   Crawford,  R.  S.  h<p:// presentaIons/oss4lib.pdf hQp:// 151687944/Tuesday, April 10, 12
  22. 22. Open Source & Libraries Libraries  and  Open  Source  make  the  perfect  pair “Libraries  are  commiQed  to  the  noEon  of  the  ‘commons.’  Libraries  are  in   fact  one  of  the  last  best  hopes  for  the  preservaEon  of  the  intellectual   commons.  That  value  system  should  extend  to  the  intellectual  work  we   do  on  our  access  systems.  We  should  reclaim  the  domain  of  library   technology  from  the  commercial  and  proprietary  realms  and  actualize  is   as  part  of  our  vision  of  the  commons.   ... We  are  also  congenital  collaborators.  Can  you  think  of  any  other  group  of   insEtuEons  that  share  their  stuff  the  way  we  do  through  ILL?                                 -­‐-­‐  Lucia,  J.Tuesday, April 10, 12
  23. 23. Open Source & Libraries 2007  Survey  Results h<p://  Tuesday, April 10, 12
  24. 24. Open Source & Libraries Common  quesEons  libraries  have: • Is  there  support?  Do  I  have  to  know   how  to  program? • Do  I  have  to  skimp  on  features? • Isn’t  Open  Source  risky? • Can  I  do  it  myself?Tuesday, April 10, 12
  25. 25. Support for Open Source Is  there  support? Do  I  have  to  know  how  to  program? • ByWater  SoluEons • If  you  want  to  contribute   • Catalyst to  the  code  -­‐  Yes • Equinox • If  not  you  can  use: • YourLibrarySite • Support  Providers • And  more! • Local  Students • Freelance  DevelopersTuesday, April 10, 12
  26. 26. Do I have to skimp on features? • Open  Source  developers  follow  the   rule  of  “Release  early  and  release   oCen” • Users  vote  with  their  dollars  and  Eme • Freedom  to  develop  on  your  own • Developers  love  their  products hQp:// 2505184887/Tuesday, April 10, 12
  27. 27. Isn’t Open Source Risky? • Casey  Coleman,  chief  informaEon  officer  for  the   • US  Department  of  Defense  memo   GSA  (U.S.  General  Services  AdministraEon),  said   encourages  the  use  of  open  source  with   in  a  speech  ...  that  the  GSA  heavily  relies  on   many  reasons  “including  cost  advantages,   open  source  to  drive  down  costs,  increase   reduced  risk  of  vendor  lock-­‐in,  beQer   flexibility  of  IT  dollars,  and  reduce  risk.  ‘You  get   security,  and  increased  flexibility.  It  says   much  more  transparency  and  interoperability,   that  the  posiEve  aspects  of  open  source   and  that  reduces  your  risk,’  she  said. soCware  should  be  given  consideraEon   • h<p:// during  procurement  research. 8301-­‐13505_3-­‐9921115-­‐16.html • h<p://­‐source/news/ 2009/10/dod-­‐military-­‐needs-­‐to-­‐think-­‐harder-­‐ about-­‐using-­‐open-­‐source.ars  Tuesday, April 10, 12
  28. 28. Isn’t Open Source Risky? For  a  total  284  days  in  2006  (or  more  than  nine  months  out  of  the  year),  exploit  code  for  known,   unpatched  criEcal  flaws  in  pre-­‐IE7  versions  of  the  browser  was  publicly  available  on  the  Internet.   Likewise,  there  were  at  least  98  days  last  year  in  which  no  soCware  fixes  from  MicrosoC  were   available  to  fix  IE  flaws  that  criminals  were  acEvely  using  to  steal  personal  and  financial  data  from   users. In  a  total  of  ten  cases  last  year,  instrucEons  detailing  how  to  leverage  "criEcal"  vulnerabiliEes  in  IE   were  published  online  before  MicrosoC  had  a  patch  to  fix  them. In  contrast,  Internet  Explorers  closest  compeEtor  in  terms  of  market  share  -­‐-­‐  Mozillas  Firefox   browser  -­‐-­‐  experienced  a  single  period  lasEng  just  nine  days last  year  in  which  exploit  code  for  a  serious  security  hole  was  posted   online  before  Mozilla  shipped  a  patch  to  remedy  the  problem. h<p:// internet_explorer_unsafe_for_2.html  Tuesday, April 10, 12
  29. 29. Risk of Proprietary Software • “Closed-­‐source  efforts  oCen  suffer  from  flaws   and  problems  which  the  original  development   team  never  anEcipated.    Lack  of  inspecEon  of   the  code  by  other  programmers  can  mean  that   inappropriate  design  constraints  and  other   errors  might  not  be  discovered  unEl  the  code  is   already  in  use.” Pavlicek,  Russell.  Embracing   insanity  :  open  source  soSware   development.  Indianapolis    IN:   SAMS,  2000.  p.  33.Tuesday, April 10, 12
  30. 30. Risk of Proprietary Software • “In  its  2011  Coverity  Scan  Open  Source  Integrity   Report,  which  was  released  on  Thursday,   Coverity  actually  found  that  open  source  code   has  fewer  defects  per  thousand  lines  of  code   than  proprietary  soCware  code  does.” Noyes,  Katherine.  “Actually,  Open  Source  Code  Is  Be<er:   Report.”  PCWorld  Business  Center,  February  23,  2012.   h<p:// actually_open_source_code_is_be<er_report.html.Tuesday, April 10, 12
  31. 31. Software is Risky! All  soSware  has  risks,  you  need  to  evaluate  open  source  the  same  way  you  do   proprietary  systems. Several  Levels  of  Risk  to  consider: • SoSware  security  issues • Open  source  is  just  as  secure  if  not  more  secure  than  proprietary  systems   because  of  its  transparency • Evaluate  open  source  soSware  no  differently  than  you  do  other  soSware! • Company  mergers  and  acquisiIons • Because  you  own  the  code  to  your  system  you  are  not  Ied  to  one  support   source  and  will  never  be  leS  without  support  Tuesday, April 10, 12
  32. 32. Can I do it Myself? • Absolutely,  with  the  right  in-­‐house  skills • Systems  knowledge • Linux  server  management • Web  programming • Perl  /  PHP  /  MySQLTuesday, April 10, 12
  33. 33. Some NumbersTuesday, April 10, 12
  34. 34. Open Source & Libraries When  asked  what  Open  Source  apps  they  use  at  work,  977   librarians  and  library  workers  answered  as  follows hQp://­‐ resultsTuesday, April 10, 12
  35. 35. Open Source & Libraries When  asked  why  they  chose  and  open  source  app,  977   librarians  and  library  workers  answered  as  follows hQp://­‐ resultsTuesday, April 10, 12
  36. 36. Now What?Tuesday, April 10, 12
  37. 37. Play Time • Start  downloading  and   installing  applicaEons   that  will  make  things   more  efficient  (and   possibly  affordable)  for   you. hQp:// 3253133986/Tuesday, April 10, 12
  38. 38. Portable Play •Can’t  install  soCware  on  your  work   computer? •Try  PortableApps: •Install  on  your  USB  drive  and  use   many  of  these  open  source   applicaEons  without  installing  to  the   hard  drive hQp://  Tuesday, April 10, 12
  39. 39. Local Play •Don’t  have  access  to  a  web  server? •Try  BitNami: •Free,  easy  to  setup  wikis,  blogs,   forums  and  many  other  web   applicaEons  that  you  can  run   locally  or  in  the  cloud.  BitNami   makes  deploying  server  soCware   a  simple  and  enjoyable  process. h<p://, April 10, 12
  40. 40. Additional Links •Open Source Living •OSS Watch, open source software advisory service: •Open Source as Alternative •Nicole’s Delicious bookmarks:, April 10, 12
  41. 41. OSS & Libraries Links • Open  Source  SoCware  in  Libraries hQp://   • Open  Source  SoCware  and  Libraries  Bibliography freelibre_and_open_source_soCware_and_libraries_bibliography   • PracEcal  Open  Source  SoCware  for  Libraries hQp:// • Open  Network  Libraries   hQp://   • FOSS4Lib hQp://  Tuesday, April 10, 12
  42. 42. Open Source Blogs • The  Open  Road • New  York  Times  -­‐  Open hQp:// hQp://   • Open  Ended  from  Ars  Technica • hQp://­‐source hQp://   • The  H  Open  Source • Open  Source  at  DatamaEon hQp://www.h-­‐   • ZDNet  Open  Source hQp://­‐sourceTuesday, April 10, 12
  43. 43. Online Reading List • Open  Source:  Narrowing  the  Divides  between  EducaEon,  Business,  and  Community hQp:// • The  concepts  of  Free  SoCware  &  Open  Standards:  IntroducEon  to  Free  SoCware   hQp://     • We  Love  Open  Source  SoCware.  No,  You  Can’t  Have  Our  Code hQp://   • Open  Source  SoCware  Tools  And  Directories:  Where  To  Find  Them,  How  To  Evaluate  Them hQp://­‐source-­‐soCware-­‐tools-­‐and-­‐directories-­‐where-­‐to-­‐find-­‐them-­‐ how-­‐to-­‐evaluate-­‐them/ • Open  Source  Security  Bibliography hQp://   • Nicole’s  Zotero  Library hQp://, April 10, 12
  44. 44. Print Reading List • Prac?cal  Open  Source  SoAware  in  Libraries  by  Nicole  C.  Engard   • The  Cathedral  and  the  Bazaar:  Musings  on  Linux  and  Open  Source  by  an  Accidental   Revolu?onary  by  Eric  S.  Raymond • Embracing  Insanity:  Open  Source  SoAware  Development  by  Russell  Pavlicek • The  success  of  open  source  by  Steve  Weber • The  open  source  alterna?ve:  Understanding  risks  and  leveraging  opportuni?es  by   Heather  J.  Meeker • Open  Sources  2.0:  The  Con?nuing  Evolu?on  by  Chris  DiBona,  Mark  Stone,  and  Danese   CooperTuesday, April 10, 12
  45. 45. Thank You! Nicole C. Engard Vice President of Education ByWater Solutions nengard@bywatersolutions.comTuesday, April 10, 12