Koha and Evergreen aim high with development targets. This February, EBSCO Information Services announced plans to provide funding and technical assistance for contributors to the Koha open source ILS platform. The partnership will enable an upgrade of Koha’s core search engine to Elasticsearch, the popular open source, multitenant-capable full-text search engine.
Virginia’s Newport News Public Library System (NNPLS) launched StatBase, an open-source usage statistics program that enables libraries to track and visualize data on circulation, patron registration, door counts, reference, acquisitions, instructor-led courses, and more. The application is available as a free download on SourceForge.
Led by Koha and Evergreen, open source ILS solutions continued to demonstrate steady growth in 2013. These systems appeal to libraries for a variety of reasons. Unlike commercial ILS products, open source code can be accessed and altered by anyone with the expertise, enabling libraries to conduct or outsource priority development work on their own schedule, rather than wait for their requests to wend their way through a vendor’s queue.
Regularly ranked as the busiest or the second busiest library in the United States, the King County Library System (KCLS) in Washington annually processes 22 million checkouts and records more than 84 million visits to its catalog. It’s enough to strain any integrated library system (ILS), and a few years ago, IT services director Jed Moffitt decided that, owing to this volume and the need to add proprietary features to its system, there simply wasn’t a commercial ILS on the market that could meet the library’s unique requirements. He famously coauthored an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant of $1 million that enabled KCLS to experiment with, and then migrate to, the open source Evergreen ILS while developing a peer-to-peer support model to help other libraries and consortia that were interested in doing the same. Moffitt admits that there have been growing pains during the past three years. But he still maintains that commercial ILS vendors simply aren’t organized to do the type of development work that KCLS needs.
Research collaboration startup Mendeley this week announced the launch of a new “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” (WYSIWYG) citation style editor that will enable users to format citation styles and then contribute them to an open repository where they can be reused by other academics. Produced in collaboration with Columbia University Libraries with the support of a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the new editor was developed in response to frequent requests on Mendeley’s user feedback board.
Indiana University Libraries, Bloomington, in partnership with Northwestern University Library, Evanston, IL, aims to assist academic libraries and archives in managing locally-generated video and audio collections with an open source software project called Variations on Video.
The Georgia Public Library Service, known as the initial developers of the open-source integrated library system Evergreen, will use a recently received Institute of Museum and Library Services grant to help plan the development of Loblolly, an open source software project to ease library accessibility for physically impaired patrons.