Education

The story of Koha, the first open source library management system

open source library management system Koha

A small public library serving a population of 30,000 in New Zealand developed and released the world’s first open source library management system in 2000. Horowhenua Library Trust named the system Koha, which is a New Zealand Māori custom meaning gift or contribution.

This is a story of why we developed Koha and how it has changed the way we, and millions of others, work. » Read more

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Open data hackathon tackles cultural preservation

Sharing open ideas

More and more galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs) are digitizing their collections to make them accessible online and to preserve our heritage for future generations. By January 2014, over 30 million objects have been made available via Europeana—among which over 4.5 million records were contributed from German institutions. » Read more

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Web-publishing for libraries and the robust community of Omeka

open source library tool

Understandably, software developers might wonder how a bunch of historians ended up shepherding an open source content management system into the world, but in the case of Omeka the trajectory is a logical one that stems from years of work in open access public history and cultural heritage projects.

Omeka is a leading open source collections-based web publishing platform for cultural heritage institutions, researchers, scholars, and students, developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) and the growing open source developer community it supports. It is released under the GPLv 3.0 license. » Read more

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Open source library system Evergreen rewards the community

open source library tool

As a systems librarian at an academic institution, I am a conduit between those who want to access the resources our library offers and my colleagues who describe the resources on behalf of researchers. I direct our limited development resources so that our systems can best meet the needs of all of our users. In their paper, Schwarz and Takhteyev claim that software freedom makes "it possible for the modifications to be done by those actors who have the best information about their value [and] are best equipped to carry them out."

Evergreen, as an open source library system, enables me to invest my time so that my work benefits not only our institution, but all other Evergreen-using institutions when I offer my local work to the project as a whole. This focus on the improvement of the project as a whole, rather than site-specific enhancements, is a broadly shared principle of our development community. » Read more

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Five open source tools libraries need to know about

open source tools for libraries

There was a time when working in the library I found it very frustrating (as many librarians do) that there were so few options for software that actually did what I needed. In libraries we're so used to there being this vendor=software model. Where one vendor controls a product and while there might be other similar products, they too are controlled by a vendor. 

This is why libraries need to take a closer look at open source software. » Read more

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Book contest for Open Library Week

Open Libary Week book contest

It's Open Library Week at Opensource.com, and we're celebrating open source tools and methods for libraries with a contest.

Enter for a chance to win two books of your choice from O'Reilly Media. When you enter, be sure to select your favorite public library becuase they could win too. If you win, the library you selected will recieve five free books of their choice. » Read more

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Open education resources combat high textbook prices

Textbooks with a cost

Eben Upton is best known as the man behind the Raspberry Pi, a tiny, $25 computer designed to help turn kids into programmers. Upton priced it at $25 because he thought that's around what an average textbook cost: "I now understand that's an incorrect estimate. If we had a better idea of what school textbooks cost we would have had an easier job with the engineering over the years," he joked to Wired years later.

It's a funny story but also a sad story. Textbooks are expensive. More expensive than most non-students even realize. » Read more

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Teachers unite to influence computer manufacturing

Open education

Open source enthusiasts firmly believe that much is possible when people band together. After all, the core underpinning of open source doctrine is social. So I recently decided it's time that teachers band together to specify the computers we want manufacturers to make. Open source thinking gives me the boldness to think this is possible. » Read more

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Open source workshop explores FOSS in universities

Open source in education is key

The Association for Computing Machinery's annual meeting of their Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education is one of the largest academic computing meetings there is. This year's event featured a full-day workshop on teaching open source practices, tools, and techniques by engaging students as contributors to humanitarian projects such as Ushahidi, OpenMRS, Gnome Accessibility, and others. TitanPad was used for collaborative notetaking during the event, and this article is a result. You could call it a crowd-sourced article.

» Read more

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University course teaches computer-human interaction with open hardware and OSS

open hardware class

Most people think of their interactions with computer systems to occur via a keyboard, mouse, or touchscreen. However, humans evolved to interact with thier environment and each other in much more intricate ways. Bridging the gap between the computational systems of the digital world and the natural world is being studied and tested in the Physical Computing course at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany.

As a professor of the course, we are currently leveraging a variety of open source software and hardware projects to learn about fundamental core concepts with hands-on experiences and implementation of open source tools. On the software side, we use an open-source IDE (Arduino Sketch) and develop 3D printer designs using OpenSCAD. On the open source hardware portion of the course, we utilize the Arduinos and the PrintrBot Simple. » Read more

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