Eight things you should know about Open Source ILS


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Open source library management systems are free alternative to costly commercial
library systems. It helps to automate library functions and give a tremendous savings on library automation expenses. User ’s participation in all stages of software project ensures the development of the features that the library really wants. Lack of awareness and knowledge in open source technology among library professionals restrict wide adoption of open source library management system. This article gives an insight into the use and maintenance of open source
library management systems.

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Eight things you should know about Open Source ILS

  1. 1. Eight things you should know about Open Source ILS Vimal Kumar V. Thomas Abraham Asian School of Business Open Knowledge Society UGC Sponsored National Seminar on Open Source Software in Libraries. November 24-25, 2009 Cochin University of Science & Technology
  2. 2. What is ILS? <ul><li>ILS is an enterprise resource planning system for a library </li></ul><ul><li>It helps to coordinate and automate library functions: Cataloguing, circulation, acquisition, serial control and online catalogue. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Open Source ILS <ul><li>Free alternative against commercial ILS </li></ul><ul><li>Open Source ILS projects licensed under GNU General Public License . </li></ul><ul><li>Koha, NewGenLib, PMB, Evergreen, OpenBiblio. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Who is doing it? <ul><li>Community owned projects. </li></ul><ul><li>It ensures openness and cooperation. </li></ul><ul><li>Community members share their ( money, technology and skill ) resources for software development. </li></ul><ul><li>It can save significant amount of money for library automation. </li></ul>
  5. 5. How does it work? <ul><li>Programmers, libraries and funding agencies involved in ILS development. </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion forums, wiki, blogs are using for project communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Error reporting, suggestions, problem solving, code development, documentation. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why is it significant? <ul><li>No license fee. </li></ul><ul><li>Library get full control over the software and data. </li></ul><ul><li>Local technical support available. </li></ul><ul><li>Open standards and tools ( Z39.50, OpenNCIP, SRU/W, XML, MySQL, Apache, PHP ) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Where it is going? <ul><li>Open Source ILS are improving day by day with the help of users and innovative technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Tries to manifest user requirements in each new software releases. </li></ul><ul><li>OS ILS projects are on the way to take place in the list of enterprise class library automation systems. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Selection of OS ILS <ul><li>Information helpful for software selection available: documentation, bugs info, review etc </li></ul><ul><li>No trial version, try full version </li></ul><ul><li>Release notes and known issues </li></ul><ul><li>Software road map </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure the availability of standards for data exchange. </li></ul>
  9. 9. What are downsides? <ul><li>Open Source ILS are not ready to use. </li></ul><ul><li>Customization before use is necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>Open Source ILS are not free from initial investment and ongoing expenses. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of awareness and knowledge about open source ILS. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of commercial support for OS ILS in India. </li></ul>
  10. 10. What is your commitment? <ul><li>To find bugs, </li></ul><ul><li>To find usability problems, </li></ul><ul><li>To suggest new features </li></ul><ul><li>To review and inspect source code </li></ul><ul><li>To submit source code </li></ul><ul><li>To offer project administration assistance and for documentation. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Conclusion <ul><li>Open Source culture empowers libraries to try innovative technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Help to solve technology related problems within the walls of library </li></ul><ul><li>OS ILS provide access to library owned data and give more flexibility than commercial ILS. </li></ul><ul><li>It also give tremendous savings on library automation. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Thank You <ul><li>Vimal Kumar V. </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas Abraham </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>