Practical Open Source Software for Libraries - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781843345855, 9781780630434

Practical Open Source Software for Libraries

1st Edition

Authors: Nicole Engard
eBook ISBN: 9781780630434
Paperback ISBN: 9781843345855
Imprint: Chandos Publishing
Published Date: 22nd September 2010
Page Count: 268
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Table of Contents


List of figures and tables


About the author

About the website



Part 1: Introduction to Open Source

Chapter 1: What is open source?

Scratching an itch

Freedom for all

The costs of open source

Prevalence of open source


Chapter 2: Community and open source

Working for open source

Working together

Governing in open source

Health of the community

Chapter 3: Debunking the myths

Homegrown is not open source

How can it be any good if it’s free?

Security and open source

Not worth the risk

Chapter 4: Open source and libraries

Library budgets

Gift cultures

Thinking ahead

Part 2: Practical Applications for Libraries

Chapter 5: Open source for day to day operations

Operating system

Virtual machines

Office suite

Statistics and data gathering

Improving day to day services

Chapter 6: Open source web access

Open source web browsing

Expanding Firefox

A new browsing experience

Open source emailing

Instant messaging

A web of options

Chapter 7: Open source media applications

Photo editing

Desktop publishing

Audio editing



Chapter 8: Open source on the web

Getting files onto the web

Content management

Consulting with colleagues



Chapter 9: Open sourcing collections

Digital collections

Institutional repositories

Community built collections

Baskets of knowledge

Chapter 10: Open source research tools

Subject guides

Additional research tools

Online course management

Teaching our patrons

Chapter 11: Open source library automation

Open source faces

Open source it all

Taking the leap


Appendix 1: Survey results

Appendix 2: Web links

Appendix 3: Additional references



Open source refers to an application whose source code is made available for use or modification as users see fit. This means libraries gain more flexibility and freedom than with software purchased with license restrictions. Both the open source community and the library world live by the same rules and principles. Practical Open Source Software for Libraries explains the facts and dispels myths about open source. Chapters introduce librarians to open source and what it means for libraries. The reader is provided with links to a toolbox full of freely available open source products to use in their libraries.

Key Features

  • Provides a toolbox of practical software that librarians can use both inside and out of the library
  • Draws on the author’s wide-ranging practical experience with open source software both in and out of the library community
  • Includes real life examples from libraries and librarians of all types and locations


Practitioners and students of Library and Information Science


No. of pages:
© Chandos Publishing 2010
Chandos Publishing
eBook ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:


…an excellent resource for students, librarians and information management specialists., Catholic Library World
This book is recommended for any librarian interested in learning more about open source options, and for general library studies collections., Online Information Review

Ratings and Reviews

About the Authors

Nicole Engard Author

Nicole C. Engard is the Director of Open Source Education at ByWater Solutions. Her primary role is to educate librarians about open source software with a focus on the Koha Integrated Library System. Prior to this she worked in both Special and Academic Libraries and attended Juniata College where she received her BA in Literary Studies and Computer Programming and Drexel University where she completed her MS in Library and Information Science. In addition to her daily responsibilities, Nicole has been published in several library journals and keeps the library community up to date on web technologies via her website "What I Learned Today…" ( Some of Nicole’s previous publications include articles in Computers in Libraries, ONLINE Magazine, and the Journal of Hospital Librarianship and columns in Collaborative Librarianship. She is also the editor of Library Mashups: Exploring New Ways to Deliver Library Data ( published in 2009. For her innovative uses of technology in libraries, Nicole was named one of Library Journal's Movers & Shakers in 2007.

Affiliations and Expertise

ByWater Solutions, USA