How to choose a free and open source integrated library system.

How to choose a free and open source integrated library system.

TitreHow to choose a free and open source integrated library system.
Type de publicationJournal Article
Nouvelles publications2011
AuteursMüller T
JournalOCLC Systems & Services
Volume27
Fascicule4
Résumé

Purpose - This paper seeks to present the results of an analysis of 20 free and open source {ILS} platforms offered to the library community. These software platforms were subjected to a three-step analysis, whereby the results aim to assist librarians and decision makers in selecting an open source {ILS,} based on objective criteria. Design/methodology/approach - The methodology applied involves three broad steps. The first step consists of evaluating all the available {ILSs} and keeping only those that qualify as truly open source or freely-licensed software. During this step, the correlation between the practices within the community and the terms associated with the free or open software license was measured. The second step involves evaluating the community behind each open source or free {ILS} project, according to a set of 40 criteria in order to determine the attractiveness and sustainability of each project. The third step entails subjecting the remaining {ILSs} to an analysis of almost 800 functions and features to determine which {ILSs} are most suited to the needs of libraries. The final score is used to identify strengths, weaknesses and differentiating or similar features of each {ILS.} Findings - More than 20 open source {ILSs} were submitted to this methodology, but only three passed all the steps: Evergreen, Koha, and {PMB.} The main goal is not to identify the best open source {ILS,} but rather to highlight from which, of the batch of dozens of open source {ILSs,} librarians and decision makers can choose without worrying about how perennial or sustainable each open or free project is, as well as understanding which {ILS} provides them with the functionalities to meet the needs of their institutions. Practical implications - This paper offers a basic model so that librarians and decision makers can make their own analysis and adapt it to the needs of their libraries. Originality/value - This methodology meets the best practices in technology selection, with a multiple criteria decision analysis. It can also be easily adapted to the needs of all libraries.