List of open source tools for libraries

Open source tools worth bookmarking

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One of my favorite workshops to give is the one that introduces librarians and their staff to open source software. After defining open source to them and debunking all the FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) out there, I focus my talk on a list of open source tools that can be useful to libraries.

I've been collecting resources for years, but just haven't had a chance to use them all. I sometimes wish I could take a month long vacation from work and spend the time testing out all of the software I've been sharing with libraries for years (of course, spending that time on a tropical island would also be nice).

At a recent event, a librarian approached us (ByWater Solutions) to ask if LibKi, an open source Kiosk management system, could handle room booking. My colleague said no and that he didn't think there was such an open source tool... but he was wrong. I quickly jumped in and opened up a list of open source bookmarks I have on my laptop that includes links to tools like MRBS and OpenRoom. Then, this week at a training session, a librarian was talking about how she wasn't pleased with the options out there for subject guide creation—so, I pointed her to my list which includes SubjectsPlus and Library a la carte.

My full list of open source tools that I've found and archived over the years is public on Delicious. Do you have a list of open source tools you wish you had a use for or a chance to test out? Are there tools that I'm missing that should be on my list to share with libraries?

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About the author

Nicole C. Engard - Nicole C. Engard is a Content Strategist at Red Hat. She received her MLIS from Drexel University and her BA from Juniata College. Nicole volunteers as the Director of ChickTech Austin. Nicole is known for many different publications including her books “Library Mashups", "More Library Mashups", and "Practical Open Source Software for Libraries". Nicole can be reached at nengard@gmail.com.