What interesting open source projects are libraries working on these days?
November 23, 2011 6:18 AM   Subscribe

What interesting open source projects are libraries working on these days?

So I've looked at this AskMe, and the answers aren't very specific.

I'd like some links or info on the latest and greatest open source projects that librarians are working on. I'd be interested in non-open source technology projects if they're really interesting, but ideally I'd like to learn about some projects that I could think about applying to my private law library setting, and I assume open source will be cheap and easy-ish to figure out. Reference related, catalog related, I'm interested in it all.

As an example of what I'm thinking about, I remember having my mind blown by PennTags when I first heard about it years ago, before libraries were generally incorporating tags in their catalogs.

I'm poking around the Code4Lib site but don't really have time to keep up with another email list or organization, and definitely have zero time for IRC.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork to Technology (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Kuali OLE (previously The OLE Project) is a big one, and just released an alpha: an entire integrated library system designed from the ground up using library workflows (or business logic, maybe?). I haven't kept up with it very well for the last year or so, but I think it's supposed to be able to manage digital assets and so cover the institutional repository angle, too. I was a very minor contributor to one of the working groups, which included some heavy hitting academic libraries.
posted by cog_nate at 6:36 AM on November 23, 2011

Best answer: (I should have just kept typing.)

There's also Omeka, an institutional repository (IR) package, by the same group at George Mason U. that made Zotero. It's not as big or complex as DSpace, which means it's not as difficult to install and maintain (although I've installed both on a server with no problem). It has a bunch of plug-ins that add themes and functions, but the default installation looks very nice and works well. It's altogether pretty slick.

And (I have not installed this or tested it) there's VuDL out of Villanova, another IR package.
posted by cog_nate at 6:44 AM on November 23, 2011

All kinds of neat work being done with Drupal (See Drupal4lib and/or SOPAC), Koha and Evergreen are the big ILSs I think. For sure ask on WEB4LIB, Drupal4lib, and code4lib lists, they'll have a million answers!
posted by Blake at 7:03 AM on November 23, 2011

Koha is still alive and kicking against the pricks.
posted by flabdablet at 7:33 AM on November 23, 2011

Best answer: VuFind and, echoing cog_nate, VuDL. Also a CMS Concrete 5 is getting attention.
posted by mfoight at 8:07 AM on November 23, 2011

Best answer: Our reference librarians track calls with LibStats and use it as a knowledge base for future calls. It comes in handy for them and more or less requires a LAMP server. Expanding your scope a bit, but that LAMP server comes in handy because we also use Wordpress to communicate with patrons via New Books and Library news blogs. One on one communication is done via Meebo, which is based on open source software. When accessing the character based side of our ILS we use Putty. We use a QR code generator (there's tons to choose from) for a lot and route the links through bit.ly so we can get analytics on usage.
posted by jwells at 8:08 AM on November 23, 2011

Best answer: A UPEI library spinoff is developing Islandora, a sort of Drupal-Fedora middleware for digital objects.
posted by the dief at 10:41 AM on November 23, 2011

Best answer: I work with Evergreen for a living. The learning curve is a little steep; Koha is probably friendlier to newcomers if you want to play around with an ILS.

I was at the most recent Access conference (excellent overview here). Some interesting projects were discussed there, including Archivematica (a digital preservation toolkit) and Hydra (a digital collection/IR framework built on Fedora, Solr, and Ruby on Rails).
posted by twirlip at 5:35 PM on November 23, 2011

We use Koha (small academic library) but I'm dissatisfied on a number of levels. I am starting to think it would work best for a library which outsourced most technical services (Acquisitions and Cataloging, for example are utterly separate modules, which makes no sense in our workflow).
posted by Riverine at 6:18 PM on November 25, 2011

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