Open Source Integrated Library Management Systems are a key watch topic with QULOC-ICT. The two main systems are Evergreen and Koha the general feeling is that these systems don't have the full range of modules the commercial providers have but they do work. On web4lib there has been a lot discussion not about the software itself but hiring third parties to maintain and develop it.
The software is free but support is not. But, unlike the pricing model the commercial providers use (an annual license/maintenance fee that has no connection with what you actually get, and additional costs for customised development) you negotiate with the third party when you want something done or get quotes from a number of third parties.
Sidebar: Talk to an ex-sales person from one the big ILMS providers and to find some truly bizarre formulas for calculating costs (which are usually manipulated so that a pre-decided on price is the answer): number of campuses, students, staff, books and multiply, divide, add, subtract, sine, cosine, tangent them in an order of their choosing.
Increasingly libraries are dipping their toes in the Open Source Software (OSS) water by using it as an additional layer or view to existing data stores, for example the NLA use of VuFind as an alternative OPAC, Charles Darwin University is experimenting with it as well.
A number of libraries have announced an actual dive into the water. In the last month the following libraries have gone KOHA:
- Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
- Butte Silver Bow Public Library
- Fort Wayne Museum of Art
- Birmingham Museum of Art
- Highland Park Public Library
- Salinas Public Library
- Polytechnic University
- Pemberton (B.C.) Public Library
- Houston Public Library in British Columbia
- Marshall Public Library
- Whistler Public Library
- Kent County, Maryland, Public Library
- University of Prince Edward Island's Robertson Library
We are currently planning to upgrade Horizon to 7.4.1 in the mid-semester break, more information as we approach that period.
Further readingThe JISC review: Library Management Systems: Investing wisely in a period of disruptive change
Library Journal article: Automation System Marketplace 2008: Opportunity Out of Turmoil