1. OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE IN LIBRARIES:
PROS AND CONS
S. Yuga Priya , Assistant Librarian,
Hindustan University, Padur
Dr. R. Prabu, Librarian,
Hindustan University, Padur
K. Poongodi Librarian,
JSN School of Management, 1
In the digital environment of ―Open Access‖ is very
essential for library and information science
Open Source Software covers a wide spectrum of
activities in Library automation, Institutional Repository
Development, Content Management System, Reference
Management System, E-learning initiatives.
This paper presents a brief overview of the concept, the
potential pros and cons in library.
3. Open Source Software (OSS):
In 1998, a group of individuals advocated that the term free software
should be replaced by open source software (OSS)
Open Source promote software reliability and quality by supporting
independent peer review and rapid evaluation of source code.
Open-source software (OSS) is computer software that is available
in source code form.
Open-source license that permits users to study, change, improve
and at times also to distribute the software and further defines the
terms of usage, modification , redistribution and use it freely is open
4. Open Source Initiative (OSI)
The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a non-profit
Advocate for the benefits of open source.
Build bridges among different constituencies in the open-
5. Open Source Licenses
Open source license doesn't just mean access to the source code –
it has to meet other criteria as well.
The important issue is that the source code should available; there
should be permission to modify the source code and further
DIFFERENT OPEN SOURCE LICENSES:
GNU GPL( General Public License)
GNU Lesser GPL
Mozilla Public License
IU Open Source License and more
6. AREAS OF OSS IN
Open Source Library Software
Integrated Library Management System (ILMS)
Open Source Digital Library Software
Open Source Content Management System (CMS)
Open Source Learning Management Systems (LMS)
7. APPLICATION OF OSS IN
Open Source Software are using in the Library
application for the following such as:
Integrated Library Management Systems
Content Management System
Learning Management System
Application of Open Source Integrated Library Software
Open source software came into existence to fulfill the need of
the Library shrinking budget
Library Automation and Management is indeed for the library to
maintain the records, Commercial automation software are too
expensive and not bearable within the budget.
Koha is the first open source integrated library system in world.
Application of Open Source Content Management
Software in Libraries:
Library is one of the main centre point to develop content
management system to do it in a perfect manner OSS are very
helpful such as DRUPAL and JOOMLA.
Joomla is a award winning content management systems which
enable library to build their own website with powerful online
Application of Open source Digital Library
Implementation of Digital library Software helps the user mainly
in the retrieval of needed information such as faculty publication,
Question papers, Newspaper clippings, Video Lecture and so on,
this all together called as Institutional Repository.
DSPACE is one of the widely used software
11. PROS OF OSS IN LIBRARIES
Reduced Software Cost:
o Open source solutions generally require no licensing fees. The logical
extension is no maintenance fees.
o The only expenditures are for media, documentation, and support, if
required. Budget is continued as a great crisis in Library.
o OSS not only has a lower acquisition cost than proprietary software,
but also it often has lower implementation and support costs as well.
12. PROS OF OSS IN LIBRARIES
Ease of licensing restrictions:
o Obtain the software once and install it as many times and in as many
locations as you need.
o There’s no need to count, track, or monitor for license compliance.
o This will helps the Library to install and work with the software in user
Better Quality Control:
o Users with access to the source code not only report problems but also
pinpoint the exact cause.
o This greatly reduces development and quality control.
o Availability of source code helps the user to rectify the error and to fix
the problem faster and with great reliability.
13. PROS OF OSS IN LIBRARIES
Localization is one of the areas where OSS shines because of its open
Libraries are able to modify OSS to suit the unique requirements of a
particular cultural region, regardless of its economic status and size.
Support is available for open source—often superior to proprietary
First, open source support is freely available and accessible through the
online community via the Internet.
And second, many tech companies (not the least of which is Novell) are
now supporting open source with free online and multiple levels of paid
All open source solutions distributed by Novell are included in support
and maintenance contracts.
14. PROS OF OSS IN LIBRARIES
Evidence and research indicate that open source software is good stuff.
The peer review process and community standards, plus the fact that
source code is out there for the world to see, tend to drive excellence in
design and efficiency in coding.
Open source software usually has a number of programmers and
companies involved, which means as new technological advances are
The fast evolution of open source software is very exciting.
15. PROS OF OSS IN LIBRARIES
It is easier to evaluate open source software then proprietary software.
Since open source software is typically freely available to download,
Libraries and systems Administrator can install complete production-
ready versions of software and can evaluate the competing packages.
Open source software usually has its versions for all popular operating
systems – Linux, Windows or Mac.
Flexibility in Choosing Support:
Open Source Software is backed by online forums and support groups.
Established open source software is even backed by paid support
services and training programmes.
16. CONS OF OSS IN LIBRARIES
No or less personal support:
Less customer friendly ie, all the features expected by the user may not
Lack of training:
Due to lack of training and expertise on OSS may lead to ineffective
utilization of the software.
Maintenance and trouble shooting
OSS needs specialized skills and knowledge about that software.
17. CONS OF OSS IN LIBRARIES
Need for technological sophistication
Higher labor costs
Lack of scalability
Fewer advanced features
Nobody is really responsible (by contract)
Open source may be incompatible with other deployed
Proprietary software is often more feature rich
Documentation quality is variable
It is Suitable for long term library use.
Need to carefully analyze the various advantages and
disadvantages of open source software to ensure this is what
you really want and need. Some definite pros and cons to be
The solution might be that use of open source software along
with standard software, finding the perfect balance.
Many exciting possibilities associated with open source
software but it is imperative to do all your homework before
choosing the right application for Library use.
Library Technology http://www.librarytechnology.org/ltg-displaytext.pl?RC=12445 accessed
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Advantages of OSS
ntage.html accessed on 3.05.12
OSS and overview http://slideshare.net/sukhi accessed on 2.5.2012
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