Category Archives: Open Source Software

Web 2.0 & Libraries Parts 1 & 2 Available Free on Hyperlinked Library Site

I am happy to announce the full text of both of my ALA Library Technology Reports are available now at the new TTW companion site The Hyperlinked Library.

The rest of the site is currently under construction, but for now you’ll find:

Web 2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software (2006) –

Web 2.0 & Libraries: Trends & Technologies (2007) –

Special thanks to my SJSU SLIS grad assistant Patrick Siebold who worked very hard the past few weeks inputting the content. I know the examples from ’06 and ’07 may seem out of date and quaint in some ways, but I’m very proud of the framework we used for the works back then. Conversations, Community, Connections, Collaborations – all those great C words Jenny Levine and I used throughout our early social software roadshows in 2005 & 2006 provide a useful context for looking at Web 2.0. I hope these works are still useful to some of you. Comments are open for adding more to the chapters and I plan on doing some types of updating as time permits.

The site will also serve my course Web sites and other items related to my teaching. 

WordPress as a Learning Management System – Move Over, Blackboard

Don’t miss this interview with the Kyle Jones all about the WordPressMU/BuddyPress sites he’s developing for my classes at

Q: What are the pros and cons of using BuddyPress in an educational / classroom environment?

A: No other LMS that I’m aware provides such a human touch on learning. We really see the students personalities show in BuddyPress – they open up to each other, they open up to the world. We get to read their academic reflections on their blogs and are provided insights into their thought process on their wire posts. If you’re an instructor and you’re looking to create a personable and personal learning space BuddyPress is the way to go.

If you’re an instructor that prefers the lectern and strict office hours don’t come near BuddyPress with a 20 foot pole. There’s a real onus on the instructor to monitor the communication streams not for behavior but to keep in touch with what’s going on in their online classroom and to be involved in a very dynamic conversation. In just over a few weeks of class there’s been over 200 different types of posts on the LIS 768BuddyPress-powered course site.

But this the state of 21st century learning with online communication technologies and the always-on classroom. There’s a higher level of responsibility placed on the instructor to stay tuned into the collaborative online experience that organically develops.

SURVEY: Participant satisfaction with free/open source software

My colleague Brenda Chawner is working on her PhD. Please take her survey if you’ve worked with OSS:

If you use free/open library or information management software, then please consider 
completing this survey if you haven’t already done so. It is anonymous,  and may take up 
to 20 minutes of your time. The survey is available at:

Brenda Chawner
Senior Lecturer & LIM Programmes Director
School of Information Management
Victoria University of Wellington

Karen Schneider on Open Source in SLJ

Evergreen began in a similar way. In 2004, when it was obvious their legacy ILS could no longer support the needs of their 270-plus library consortium, Georgia PINES, the resource-sharing network of Georgia Public Library Service, held focus groups in which librarians were told, “Pretend it’s magic, and describe what you’d like library software to do.” (Disclosure: I work for Equinox, the support and development company for Evergreen.) Librarians then helped custom design the product to do the things existing software had not done well, whether it was reindexing large amounts of data, presenting book jackets in search results, or simply making it easy to enter a cataloging record.

It’s a theme common to OSS development: the product stays close to the user. Most of us who deal with proprietary software are very far from the people who actually write those programs. But in the OSS model, the development community works in the open, on discussion and chat lists. Not only good for us, this helps developers, too, acting as a continuous reality check on user needs.

Adding this article to course reading lists!


Nicole writes:

A few weeks ago I got to to Kansas and train the NEKLS librarians on how to use the Koha ILS. While many libraries have been migrating to Koha (or choosing to migrate soon), NEKLS is the first that I’ve seen create a website for all of their libraries (and anyone else) to learn from as they train their staff on the new system.

So, congrats to NEKLS on going live with their new Koha 3.0 ILS!!!

Keep up with the process on the NExpress website and Facebook page.

Open Source Software for Libraries

Casey Bisson writes:

The rights to my Library Technology Report on Open-Source Software for Libraries have reverted back to me, so I’m posting the text online under a CC-BY-SA license. More importantly, I’m using it as an opportunity to play with how longer-than-blog texts can be represented online.

Nice to have the full text of his outstanding LTR out on the Web and open. Thanks Casey! I need to look into getting my two volumes out.

Equinox is Hiring! (like Thai Food?)

Reminder: we here at Equinox have three (yes, three!) positions available for “Systems Developer, Library Automation Applications.”

Do you have a passion for libraries, or even just for organizing all the information you come into contact with? Does working with a small, agile team of software designers and developers to create unique and successful solutions to interesting problems sound more like a hobby than a job?

(Do you like Thai food? We have a very decent Thai restaurant nearby. But if you don’t, apply anyway!)

Equinox is looking for self-motivated, enthusiastic software developers to join the Equinox R&D team. If you’re a programmer with at least 3 years of systems (non-web) development experience, then you may be that person.

I heart the playfulness of the Thai food bit.

Academic Evergreen

Via Lorcan Dempsey:

From a news item on the library website at Prince Edward Island University announcing the introduction of the Evergreen library system ….

The only permanent change arising from this transition will be a positive one: a brand-new Library catalogue! We’ll be making lots of improvements to the catalogue search and display over the summer, and your feedback will be critical in this process. We are the first academic library anywhere to adopt the Evergreen/IslandPines system, making UPEI a world leader in innovative, open-source technology, and giving us unprecedented flexibility in making repairs and enhancements to our catalogue and other systems. If you have any suggestions, comments, or concerns, please let us know!

Mark Leggott has been tracking progress in his blog – they began the transition on May 31 (a sample entry here).

Reinvention – Free Range Librarian Style

Haven’t had a reinvention post in a while. I was tickled to read about Karen Schneider’s new position with Equinox.

As of June 23 (just in time for ALA!), I’m the Community Librarian at Equinox, the support and development company for Evergreen, the premier, industrial-strength open-source integrated library system software.

What, you ask, is a Community Librarian? It’s a chief blogger, presenter, evangelist, community liaison, birds-of-a-feather organizer, strategist, branding specialist, user-experience person, project management advisor, and whatever else happens to need doing. (I wrote the job description, and I think that hits the high notes.)

After sixteen years in LibraryLand (more, if you count college and high-school jobs), I want to be working on the future of libraries. It’s time. For nearly two decades I’ve watched libraries struggle with closed legacy software, and the advantages of open source — particularly in a highly-scalable system — are obvious to me.

Making the advantages of open source obvious to YOU will be part of my job.

Congrats, Karen!

It does my heart good to see folks take on opportunities and challenges. Karen was instrumental in helping me decide to dive back into school for the doctorate. Now, I’m so excited to see Karen embark on this new path AND evangelize the advantages of OSS to libraryland.