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Open Source Library Automation

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  1. Open Source Library Automation The Current State of the Art Marshall BreedingDirector for Innovative Technologies and Research Vanderbilt University http://staffweb.library.vanderbilt.edu/breeding http://www.librarytechnology.org/

  2. Program Description “Open Source Library Automation” will examine the recent movement toward the adoption of open source integrated library systems, considering the relative advantages, disadvantages, risks, costs, and the functionality of the products available.

  3. Recent Upheavals • Industry Consolidation continues • Abrupt transitions for major library automation products • Increased industry control by external financial investors • Demise of the traditional OPAC • Frustration with ILS products and vendors • Open Source alternatives hit the mainstream Breeding, Marshall: Perceptions 2007 an international survey of library automation. http://www.librarytechnology.org/perceptions2007.pl January 2008.

  4. ILS Industry in Transition • Consolidation through mergers and acquisitions have resulted in a fewer number of players; larger companies • Uncomfortable level of product narrowing • Increased ownership by external interests • Yet: Some companies and products continue on solid ground Breeding, Marshall “Automation system marketplace 2008: Opportunity Out of Turmoil” Library Journal. April 1, 2008.

  5. Results of industry turmoil • Disruptions and business decisions to narrow options have caused major shifts in the library automation industry • fueled the open source movement and created a huge market for companies supporting open source ILS • Influx of business towards companies with reliable track record • Traditionally licensed and open source ILS alternatives will coexist in the ILS arena

  6. Open Source ILS enters the mainstream • Earlier era of pioneering efforts to ILS shifting into one where open source alternatives fall in the mainstream • Off-the-shelf, commercially supported product available • Still a minority player, but gaining ground • Next LJ Automation System Marketplace article will update the score • Are they next-generation systems or open source version of legacy models?

  7. Open Source Software Broad Trends

  8. Open Source Infrastructure

  9. IT Infrastructure • Linux • Apache • Lucene • Solr • MySql • PostgreSQL

  10. Web Server deployment Source: Netcraft www.netcraft.com

  11. Operating System Market Share • IDC figures for OS on new server shipments 3Q 2007: • Windows Server: 67.1% • Linux: 22.8% • Slight gain for Windows/loss for Linux over previous quarter

  12. Trends • Open Source Software well established in for general IT infrastructure • Linux emerging as the dominant flavor of Unix • Commercial options continue to prosper

  13. Open Source Library Software (non-ILS)

  14. General Infrastructure Components • Index Data • YAZ toolkit • Z39.50 • SRU/W • Zebra XML Search Engine • Pazpar2 federated search engine • MasterKey federated search hosted service

  15. Digital Repository Applications

  16. Fedora • Open source digital repository engine • Not an out-of-the-box solution • Many organizations have developed their own interfaces and applications built on top of Fedora • VTLS Vital product based on Fedora • Supported by Fedora Commons • http://www.fedora-commons.org/

  17. Dspace • Institutional Repository Application • Originally developed by Hewlett Packard and MIT • http://www.dspace.org • Widely deployed by Universities for institutional repository projects

  18. Keystone • Developed by Index Data • Open source digital repository application • Digital content management • Federated search • OAI harvesting • Link resolver services

  19. Open source discovery products AKA: Next Generation Catalogs

  20. VUFind – Villanova University Based on Apache Solr search toolkit http://www.vufind.org/

  21. eXtensible Catalog • University of Rochester – River Campus Libraries • Financial support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation • http://www.extensiblecatalog.info/ • Just received a second round of funding from Mellon • $283,000 (April 2006) • $749,000 (October 2007) • Wider institutional participation

  22. A Mandate for Openness

  23. Opportunities for Openness • Open Source • Alternative to traditionally licensed software • Open Systems • Software that doesn’t hold data hostage

  24. More Open Systems • Pressure for traditionally licensed products to become more open • APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) let libraries access and manipulate their data outside of delivered software • A comprehensive set of APIs potentially give libraries more flexibility and control in accessing data and services and in extending functionality than having access to the source code. • Customer access to APIs does not involve as much risk to breaking core system functions, avoids issues of version management and code forking associated with open source models.

  25. More Open Systems • Pressure for traditionally licensed products to become more open • APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) let libraries access and manipulate their data outside of delivered software • A comprehensive set of APIs potentially give libraries more flexibility and control in accessing data and services and in extending functionality than having access to the source code. • Customer access to APIs does not involve as much risk to breaking core system functions, avoids issues of version management and code forking associated with open source models.

  26. Opportunity out of the Upheavals • More options • Commercial + Open Source • More vendors • New open source support companies provide new competition • More library involvement • Libraries re-energized to make significant contributions to the body of library automation software • Traditionally licensed and open source automation systems will co-exist. We have an interest in the success of both alternatives.

  27. Web 2.0 / Collaborative Computing • Currently implemented ad hoc • Many libraries putting up blogs, wikis, and fostering engagement in social networking sites • Proliferation of silos with no integration or interoperability with larger library Web presence • Next Gen: Build social and collaborative features into core automation components

  28. Open Source in the ILS arena Products and trends

  29. Open Source ILS enters the mainstream • Earlier era of pioneering efforts to ILS shifting into one where open source alternatives fall in the mainstream • Off-the-shelf, commercially supported product available • Still a minority player, but gaining ground

  30. Tracking the Open Source Movement Through Marshall’s articles and columns

  31. March 2002: Open source ILS: still a distant possibility • “I do not, however, expect to see such victories of Open Source software over commercial products in the integrated library system arena. Both broad historical and recent trends argue against a movement toward libraries creating their own library automation systems—either in an Open Source or closed development process.” • Early open source efforts included Avanti, Pytheas, OpenBook, and Koha • 3 out of 4 now defunct Source: Information Technologies and Libraries, Mar 2002

  32. Oct 2002: An update on Open Source ILS • “the open source systems such as the three mentioned above are but a small blip on the radar. Compared to the thousands of libraries that acquire automation systems from commercial vendors each year, the handful that use open source systems cannot yet be noted as a trend. “ • Discussed Koha, LearningAccess ILS, Avanti MicroLCS Source: Information Today, Oct 2002 http://www.librarytechnology.org/ltg-displaytext.pl?RC=9975

  33. … then the world changed

  34. Mar 2007: On update on Open Source ILS “As I look back at my 2002 column on open source ILS, I see that I mentioned both Koha and the Learning-Access ILS. Over this 4-year time period I have seen Koha usage increase from a single library system to two or more library systems plus a few individual public libraries and a large number of other small ones. The LearningAccess ILS is used in 15 libraries. Evergreen currently represents the largest group of libraries sharing a single open source ILS implementation. Over the same time period, well over 40,000 libraries have purchased a commercial ILS. So, relative to the entire library automation arena, those using an open source ILS still represent a minuscule portion of the whole. That said, conditions are ripe for a more rapid adoption of open source ILS than we have seen in the past. “ Source: Computers in Libraries, Mar 2007 http://www.librarytechnology.org/ltg-displaytext.pl?RC=12445

  35. Mar 2008: Making a business case for Open Source ILS We’re living in a phase of library automation characterized by an increased interest in open source-not just in back-end infrastructure components but also in the mission-critical business applications such as the integrated library system. Open source library automation systems, including Koha and Evergreen, have been propelled into the limelight. Recent survey data fails to corroborate broad interest that libraries are ready to adopt open source ILS. The success of early adopters of open source ILS now serve as a catalyst for others. Paths now exist with more mature systems and professional support options. As the open source movement matures, these system will need to compete on their own merits and not solely on a philosophical preference. Source: Computers in Libraries, Mar 2008 http://www.librarytechnology.org/ltg-displaytext.pl?RC=13134

  36. Apr 2008: Automation System Marketplace “Last year marked the launch of the open source ILS into the mainstream; it received major attention in the press and at library conferences. From a business perspective, open source ILS contracts represented a very small portion of the library automation economy. The success of early adopters' implementations has already diminished skepticism. Many indicators suggest that open source ILS contracts will displace larger percentages of traditional licensing models in each subsequent year. Source: “Automation System Marketplace: Opportunity out of Turmoil” April 1, 2008

  37. An industry in turmoil • Disruptions and business decisions to narrow options have fueled the open source movement • Benefit to libraries in having additional options • Traditionally licensed and open source ILS alternatives will coexist in the ILS arena

  38. Open Source vs Traditional licensing • Taking sides? • Both viable options • Avoid philosophical preference • Which best supports the missions of libraries? • Which approach helps libraries become better libraries

  39. Current Open Source ILS Product Options

  40. Koha: first Open Source ILS • Koha + Index Data Zebra = Koha ZOOM • Components: • Perl • Apache • MySql • Zebra: search engine option for larger installations

  41. Libraries committed to Koha • 300+ libraries • Horowhenua Library Trust • Nelsonville Public Library • Athens County, OH • Crawford County Federated Library System • 10 Libraries in PA • Howard County, MD • Service area population: 266300 • 4.7 million circulation transactions in 2006 • 1 million volumes • Central Kansas Library System • Santa Cruz Public Library • Central, 9 branches • 2 million volumes • Near East University Library • 1.5 million volumes

  42. Koha

  43. Evergreen • Developed by the Georgia Public Library Service • Small development team • June 2004 – development begins • Sept 5, 2006 – live production • Streamlined environment: single shared implementation, all libraries follow the same policies, one library card

  44. Libraries using Evergreen • Georgia PINES • http://gapines.org • Georgia PINES: • 1 Installation • 54 Public Library Systems • 260+ library facilities • Does not include municipal systems: Atlanta-Fulton County, Cobb County • Province of British Columbia in Canada – SITKA • Kent County, MD • Evergreen Indiana • Under consideration by academic libraries in Canada

  45. Evergreen

  46. OPALS • Open source Automated Library System • http://www.mediaflex.net/showcase.jsp?record_id=52 • Developed and Supported by Media Flex • Harry Chan • Original developer of Mandarin • Installation ($250) and Hosting services ($750) • South Central Organization of (School) Libraries • consortium of K-12 school libraries in NY

  47. Libraries using OPALs • Dutchess County BOCES School Library System Union Catalog • Rockland County BOCES School Library System Union Catalog • manage as many as half a million unique titles and close to a million holdings. • South Central Organization Of (School) Library Systems • 1.7 million titles and more than 3 million holdings for 300 schools • 24 school libraries in Rockland County use OPALS open source software to manage the daily operations of their libraries • In New York State, 15 BOCES School Library Systems provide interlibrary loan services and building level management services to 900 school libraries using OPALS open source software Source: Harry Chan. MediaFlex

  48. OPALS

  49. NextGenLib • ILS designed for the developing world • Originally traditionally licensed, introduced 2003 • Transition to Open Source in Jan 2008 • 122 Installations (India, Syria, Sudan, Cambodia) • Collaborative project: • Kesavan Institute of Information and Knowledge Management • Versus Solutions • Versus IT Services Pvt. Ltd • http://www.librarytechnology.org/ltg-displaytext.pl?RC=13150

  50. ILS Deployments