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Open Source Solutions for Libraries?

Cliff posted more than 11 years ago | from the for-your-friendly-neighborhood-librarian dept.

Technology 20

rscrawford asks: "I'm a former web developer who's been playing with open source solutions wherever possible for just over a year, and now I'm on that obsessive track toward becoming a librarian. Now, I've seen a lot of library websites and catalog software packages that are MS-based; what open-source solutions are there for libraries, and where have you seen libraries using open-source technologies (like Linux) to solve problems?"

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Mac OS X (2, Offtopic)

CokeBear (16811) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024145)

Its not quite open source, but its the next best thing. Use Mac OS X, and strike a blow at evil.

Re:Mac OS X (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024355)

a freeBSD rip off? That is why BSD was used by Apple, because they couldn't rip off GPL software.

It's why M$ used the BSD TCP/IP Stack etc......

BSD=feel free to rip me off, I don't care.
GPL= Give and take.

Library systems (5, Informative)

bencc99 (100555) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024172)

I work in the systems office of a fairly large UK university library, so I tend to keep a close eye on these things. Check out koha [koha.org] , a complete open source library catalogue system, which appears to be growing in popularity.
Also worth a look are the perl4lib [rice.edu] and oss4lib [sourceforge.net] mailing lists.

Re:Library systems (2, Informative)

Trelane (16124) | more than 11 years ago | (#5026595)

There's an article on Koha in the most recent Linux Journal. Doesn't offer a whole lot of info, but it's an interesting look at the project.

Greenstone. (2, Informative)

Stillman (185591) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024269)

A different approach, but highly adaptable.

Greenstone [greenstone.org] .

Another Maori related project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5024300)

Koha [koha.org]

OFFTOPIC??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5031291)

Offtopic??? What the...?
So what exactly is off topic aout the parent?
I swear they let chimps moderate around here...

another question (2, Interesting)

Mike_R (21485) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024373)

I have another, related question to pose :

Are there any small-scale library systems : standalone, run on a 486/Pentium90...

In my case it would be used for the small library of an astronomy club, but other assocications surely have similar needs.

Anyone?

Distro Libraries (0, Offtopic)

DA-MAN (17442) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024707)

There are tons of libraries available for free, everything from GNU's awesome libc, to libpcap, to libpng are available in most distro's. If you need a library that isn't included in your distro, just download and compile. That usually works.

UC San Diego (3, Informative)

esme (17526) | more than 11 years ago | (#5024934)

where have you seen libraries using open-source technologies (like Linux) to solve problems?

UC (University of California) San Diego has started moving towards open-source software. We were a Solaris/Sybase/Netscape shop a few years back. But the cost just isn't practical, especially for places with tight budgets like libraries. So we've been moving (albeit slowly) to commodity hardware, Linux, Apache, Tomcat, etc. for our server-side stuff. Some of the developers use Linux and/or MacOSX for their desktops, too. There are links on my homepage, or respond to this if you're interested in more info.

In terms of software written specifically for libraries, Greenstone and OSS4Lib that other posters mentioned are good. Also check out D-Space [dspace.org] , NC State's MyLibrary [ncsu.edu] , and if you want to handle MARC data in Java/XML, MARC4J [tigris.org] . Of course, all the standard open-source software works for libraries, too.

-Esme

Koha (5, Informative)

Copperhead (187748) | more than 11 years ago | (#5025242)

Koha [koha.org] , the first open source integrated library system. You can test drive it action at the Horowhenua Library Trust [library.org.nz] in New Zealand or on the Koha Test Page [koha.org] .

Features include:

* Simple clear interface for librarians and members (patrons) to search right from the front page.

* Customisable search - you choose which fields you want on your search forms when you set it up

* Reading lists for members - now you can find the name of that great book you read last year. NOTE: Our librarians and customers love this, but if you have concerns about keeping this information it could be disabled. This is really useful for helping homebound users get fresh books

* Full acquisitions including budgets and pricing information (including supplier and currency conversion), being kept so that you can see what you've ordered and received - so handy at end of year and audit time.

* Simple acquisitions for the smaller library

* Able to catalogue websites as items, or have them as links to existing biblios.

Just use mine... (1)

MattCohn.com (555899) | more than 11 years ago | (#5025780)

Just use mine...

int main(void){ ...
}
int initilize(void){
user.10000009010504.fines == 0;
}

Re:Just use mine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5028983)

Um... this is the same as:

int main(void){ ...
}
int initilize(void){
0;
}

Do you know C?

Re:Just use mine... (1)

MattCohn.com (555899) | more than 11 years ago | (#5030403)

I thought the assignment opperator '==' vs '=' would assign the value '0' to my fines. And no, I don't.

DSpace (3, Informative)

AmbushBug (71207) | more than 11 years ago | (#5026489)

MIT recently released the source code for DSpace [dspace.org] . We are currently evaluating it for use by our company.

Are you talking about an academic library here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5027122)

Unfortunely, it appears that academic librarians like to use products that are far removed from open source. You have to pay and keep paying some company. Why universities of all plces do this is beyond me...

Ah well, at least the room booking system here will be open source (PHP/MySQL).

In fact linux (and other unixes) are used quite a bit its just that the databases/apps are commerical and very inflexible.

Re:Are you talking about an academic library here? (4, Informative)

bencc99 (100555) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028112)

Unfortunely, it appears that academic librarians like to use products that are far removed from open source. You have to pay and keep paying some company. Why universities of all plces do this is beyond me...

This is very true, however, there's also very good reasons for it. A good example is our main library system, which contains the catalogue, as well as purchasing and transactions for all our books and fines, support and responsibility is essential.

In fact linux (and other unixes) are used quite a bit its just that the databases/apps are commerical and very inflexible.

We also make heavy use of both linux and freebsd, but our critical systems are running solaris on sun hardware. Our integrated library system runs on top of oracle, and certainly isn't inflexible. It's a good, reliable product with excellent support, and for a role that pretty much the whole library, and to a certain extent, the whole of campus relies on, it's nice to _know_ that we have support.

I suspect libraries will be using a mix of OSS and commercial products for a long time. We've certainly found that using the two together allows a great deal of flexibility.

WWW/ISIS system (2, Informative)

pgawrysiak (637951) | more than 11 years ago | (#5028860)

You might want to check WWW/ISIS (not Bireme WWW-ISIS) bibliographical database and loan system. It has been recently released as open source, has web based interface, it's used by some renowned organizations (including United Nations FAO and IFAD), and is backward compatible with ancient, (but popular in many libraries) ISIS DBMS. Enquire at - developer's site [icie.com.pl] , or mail me [mailto] for details.

Linux Journal Article (1)

powerbarr (466387) | more than 11 years ago | (#5029321)

Check out the February 2003 Linux Journal (got it today in the mail). It has an article on a new Integrated Libray System called Koha from New Zealand.

I have not read the article yet, just marked it to read when I find the time. It may be what you want.

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