Saturday, February 23, 2008

Openness in the library (technology)

Inside Higher Ed (Feb 19) has an article on some of the changes afoot in library technology: Open Minds, Open Books, Open Source.
"Last month, a survey by Marshall Breeding, director for innovative technologies and research at Vanderbilt University’s library, revealed a measure of discord over the options available to librarians for automating their electronic catalogs and databases, software called integrated library systems.....So librarians aren’t exactly reaching for their torches and pitchforks. Still, some libraries, fed up with software that doesn’t fully meet their needs, have decided to take matters, figuratively, into their own hands. With a bit of grant money and some eager developers, institutions have begun creating their own open-source solutions that are fully customizable, free for others to use and compatible with existing systems. The result has been a whole crop of projects that, when combined, could serve as a fully integrated, end-to-end open-source solution for academic libraries, covering the interface, search mechanism, database system, citations and even course management."

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