Practical Open Source Software for Libraries

Practical Open Source Software for Libraries

1st Edition - September 22, 2010

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  • Author: Nicole Engard
  • eBook ISBN: 9781780630434

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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

Table of Contents

  • Dedication

    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


Product details

  • No. of pages: 268
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Chandos Publishing 2010
  • Published: September 22, 2010
  • Imprint: Chandos Publishing
  • eBook ISBN: 9781780630434

About the Author

Nicole Engard

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

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