The highs and lows of Open Source

The ongoing adoption of Open Source is very evident at the Puerto Rico IFLA Congress.  The accpetance of Integrated Library management and Digital Library solutions is resulting in adoption across a broad range of small and medium-sized libraries, sometimes with mixed results.

The Information Technology Section collaborated with the Parliamentary libraries section on a workshop on Open source for Parliamentary libraries.  Exciting Digital Library projects based around DSpace were on show, as were projects making use of Koha and PMB.

Also evident was the importance of regional support options as a factor in open source success.  Open Source, like any software, needs ongoing technical and training support.   The growing acceptance of Open Source is greating a body of librarians experienced in these systems, but there remains a need for support.  This support can emerge via new businesses operating around Open Source or by regional collaborations in developing a centre of excellance.

The Information Technology Section is continuing its efforts to promote interest and a body of skills in Open source through workshops, papers and through the section Newsletter.  This focus was strongly renewed in the Section meeting in Puerto Rico, with members from Africa, US, Australia and Europe expressing their continued desire to develop this theme.

Edmund Balnaves – ITS Information Officer

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