Meeting on the ledge

(or why I don't get out much…..)

Open Source Library Management Systems

Over Christmas I had a chance to start analysing the results of my survey on OS LMS.  Many thanks to all of you who took the time to reply. The results show a general interest in OS LMS, but that most institutions are displaying the caution recommended by the recent SERO investigation.

Overall I had 39 responses, amounting to about a 24% return using the list of HE OPACs on the HERO website.  As this was of course voluntary and I deliberately didn’t log where the information came from unless the responder opted to include it,  I’m quite pleased by that. I had replies from users of most of the major LMS, and the replies indicated the same gradual take-up of OpenURL, metasearching and vertical-search products as in the SERO survey. Most institutions are looking to integrate their LMS with other systems such as the VLE and student database, and most are already using OS to some extent. Time and stafffing to set up and maintain OS LMS are the main restricting factors on their adoption. Where replies did vary significantly was on the institutional attitude to OS. Some institutions and libraries are somewhat restrictive towards it and a few replies indicated frustration that they would like to do more development of this kind. Others took a more pragmatic view with the focus on service stability.

Perhaps this caution and mixed management views simply reflects that OS LMS are still at an early stage in the adoption curve. Paid-for LMS took over 20 years to become the predominant norm and it isn’t yet clear that Open Source is necessarily the best course of action in the long term. I think we might be watching this one play out for some years yet!

January 11, 2009 - Posted by | Libraries | ,

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