Growing acceptance of open source software

January 15th, 2007

Will 2007 be the year open source finally becomes mainstream in the U.S. library community?

Two of the members of the LITA Top Tech Trends panel have included open source software on their lists of 2007 top trends; see the LITA blog entries by Thomas Dowling and Karen G. Schneider on January 13th. I wonder if any of the other panelists will mention it?

In addition, Lorcan Dempsey has blogged about Equinox Systems, a company set up by some of the people behind the Evergreen ILS to provide support and software customisation. Lorcan also highlighted some of Koha’s new features as implemented in the Nelsonville Public Library in another blog posting. LibLime is the company supporting Nelsonville, and I understand that they’re primarily responsible for these features. There are now three U.S.-based companies supporting open source software for the library community: IndexData, LibLime, and now Equinox. IndexData seems to have carved out its own niche, but it appears that both LibLime and Equinox offer support for Evergreen. I see an important benefit of open source software in that it has the potential to free organisations from reliance on a single vendor. Open source software users could even choose to have support from more than one source, for example, choosing a company with expertise in searching to support the discovery module (AKA the OPAC), while they might use their own staff to support circulation. Time will tell to what extent this is a realistic option; it will also of course depend on the types of contracts these companies prefer to use.

I’m not sure if this has any implications for my research project, but I hope that it will increase people’s interest in the results. For people who haven’t started at the beginning of this blog, I’m looking at factors that influence open source software participant satisfaction with the software, and in particular, how the factors vary with people’s involvement with the project.

Entry Filed under: Research


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