Appendix 1: Survey results – Practical Open Source Software for Libraries

Appendix 1

Survey results

A total of 977 people from all over the world answered the survey. Table A1 shows the raw results used throughout this book (with only minor spelling corrections); you will note that not every question was answered by everyone.

Table A1

Types of library respondents worked in

What type of library do you work in? Total %
Academic library 395 42.93
Special library 116 12.61
Large public library 63 6.85
Medium public library 138 15.00
Small public library 80 8.70
One person library 10 1.09
School library 6 0.65
I’m a student 16 1.74
I’m unemployed at the moment 5 0.54
I don’t work in a library (but I do work with libraries) 62 6.74
Other 29 3.15
Grand total 920

Each question offered a field for further clarification; however, for the sake of space, not all full text answers are provided in this appendix. For complete full text results from the survey please refer to the official book website at

Figure A1 Types of library respondents worked in

Table A2

Countries respondents lived or worked in

What country do you live/work in? Total %
Argentina 5 0.55
Armenia 1 0.11
Australia 15 1.65
Austria 2 0.22
Barbados 1 0.11
Belarus 1 0.11
Belgium 4 0.44
Benin 1 0.11
Brazil 2 0.22
Canada 52 5.72
China 1 0.11
Croatia 2 0.22
Czech Republic 11 1.21
Denmark 5 0.55
Egypt 2 0.22
Estonia 1 0.11
Ethiopia 1 0.11
Finland 1 0.11
France 5 0.55
Georgia 1 0.11
Germany 34 3.74
Ghana 1 0.11
Greece 4 0.44
Hong Kong 2 0.22
Hungary 1 0.11
India 11 1.21
Indonesia 10 1.10
Iran 1 0.11
Ireland 4 0.44
Israel 1 0.11
Italy 3 0.33
Kalamazoo 1 0.11
Kenya 1 0.11
Kuwait 1 0.11
Malawi 4 0.44
México 2 0.22
Netherlands 4 0.44
Netherlands Antilles 1 0.11
New Zealand 9 0.99
Nigeria 1 0.11
Norway 2 0.22
Pakistan 3 0.33
Palestine 1 0.11
Poland 1 0.11
Portugal 4 0.44
Samoa 1 0.11
Singapore 3 0.33
South Africa 2 0.22
Spain 6 0.66
Sweden 3 0.33
Switzerland 5 0.55
Taiwan 1 0.11
Thailand 5 0.55
Turkey 2 0.22
United Kingdom 13 1.43
United States 645 70.96
Venezuela 1 0.11
Zimbabwe 1 0.11
Grand total 909

Table A3

Types of department respondents worked in

What department do you work in? Check all that apply Total %
Reference 318 16.21
Cataloging 236 12.03
Acquisitions 171 8.72
Circulation 165 8.41
Serials 118 6.01
Information Technology 477 24.31
Development 138 7.03
Management 221 11.26
Training 16 0.82
Event Planning 76 3.87
None 26 1.33
Grand total 1962

Figure A2 Types of department respondents worked in

Table A4

How respondents completed the statement ‘Open source is…’

Please complete the following sentence. Open source is… Total %
Insecure 36 3.68
Free of cost 356 36.44
Too hard to learn 47 4.81
Awesome 415 42.48
A fad 8 0.82
Risky 105 10.75
Unsupported 112 11.46
Poorly documented 139 14.23
Written by kids in their garage 18 1.84
Widely supported 281 28.76
Too new and unproven 39 3.99
Customizable 621 63.56
Community 527 53.94
Offers freedom 545 55.78
Proven 213 21.80
The way all programs started 79 8.09
All I’ll use 64 6.55
Not worth my time 5 0.51
… I don’t know 52 5.32
Peer reviewed 157 16.07
Used in several fields including business, science and academia 492 50.36
Other 129 13.20
Grand total 4440

Figure A3 How respondents completed the statement ‘Open source is.’

Of the 129 people who answered ‘other,’ 128 added other comments:

 full of hidden costs

 can be tricky to master

 a good deal for libraries

 amazing, but administration is too scared to use it

 first choice!

 great if you have on-site developers

 too new to risk trying

 a significant part of solving library issues

 more than likely not allowed by our campus IT

 these choices are way too imprecise

 all of the above

 mixed - each of the items on your list can apply to some and not others

 not widely enough used

 open standards and interoperability

 how I save my library money

 needs a good tech person on site familiar with open source

 very intriguing; I want to know more!


 all may occur since there are numerous projects

 very varied

 is all over the place and underpins many commercial technologies each application should be judged on its own individual merits within the context that you intend to use it

 total cost of ownership is not always apparent


 requires a little more skill/knowledge to set up and maintain

 sometimes harder to set up than commercial software

 freedom from library vendors

 hard for admin to accept

 a good resource

 often the only option; sometimes frustrating

 sometimes not available (or known) for apps my library needs

 still in its infancy

 can end up costing quite a bit in staff time

 offers an opportunity that sometimes is not available with vendor-based systems

 openly editable


 frowned upon by corporate IT departments

 irregularly updated

 good alternative

 hard to convince IT and admin to use and support

 often used by people disdainful of ‘noobs’

 hard to get training in

 a way to break out of the library systems lock-in paradigm

 expense is in the support and development

 requires more local support

 it varies with the s/w

 not quite there yet

 part of overall IT solutions




 riddled with hidden costs

 time consuming


 ethically correct


 labor intensive

 requires initiative and consumes more of the user’s time

 too broad a category to fit generalizations

 all of the above

 can’t generalize

 a reasonable option in many cases

 often as good as, or better, than commercial equivalents


 on the cutting edge

 not worse than commercial products

 preferable to proprietary technology where the community, governance and product are of a good quality

 is misunderstood

 good, but too few librarians know enough about what it is to want to use it

 depends on the product

 time consuming

 can help train IT outsiders in the field of your choice and act as a gateway for tech-savvy librarians to become programmers

 you can’t generalize

 more reliable

 something we’ve looked into using

 should be more readily available!

 a tough sell to IT managers

 new but has potential!

 almost all I’ll use

 while not ‘free’ is less costly than traditional software

 not all are usable and reliable

 more work to set up and maintain than vendor supplied software

 great in some instances and not so in other

 creative & responsive

 critical to success

 not as time-saving as you’d think

 widely misrepresented

 integrated library systems are not yet mature

 free like a puppy

 may be incompatible with existing system(s) and require special programming

 a lot of work

 highly variable: some is rock solid, some is not

 is less costly, although not free when local support is considered

 fine for those who have their own IT people to make it work


 time-consuming, useful, like keeping a pet

 excellent ROI


 requires troubleshooting

 an aid to being self-contained

 the way we want to go

 too costly in personnel

 often requires in-house expertise

 sometimes too confusing for the public

 reinventing the wheel

 patrons don’t know how to use it

 profitable if you can leverage it

 an option to consider

 all of the above

 hit and miss

 the only way to move forward with a project when there is no software budget for it

 the only realistic option for me as I can’t afford software otherwise, but I don’t have funding to customize or obtain as much support as I would wish - but beggars can’t be choosers and at least it makes my service viable!

 has great potential if properly supported by a strong community of users and developers

 over rated

 not allowed in our institution, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think it is the way to go

 freaking awesome…

 is greatly misunderstood!

 haven’t tried it, but think it is a terrific option


 not something supported by our consortium

 some support

 not permitted by my organization

 supported by a community with cool answer times (1–2 days)

 capable of evolving quickly

 not the same as free software

 not necessarily approved by management

 the obvious choice

 user driven, and flexible

 not totally free but less restrictive than proprietary.

Table A5

Types of open source software respondents use at home

What open source software do you use at home? Total %
None 66 6.76
Firefox 745 76.25
Thunderbird 183 18.73%
Gimp 282 28.86
VLC 201 20.57
FileZilla 139 14.23
Pidgin 115 11.77
OpenOffice 422 43.19
Adium 55 5.63
Zotero 196 20.06
Linux (Ubuntu or any other variation) 251 25.69
Other 151 15.46
Grand total 2806

Figure A4 Types of open source software respondents use at home

Of the 66 people who answered that they don’t use open source at home, 39 of them gave reasons:

 I was under the impression that OSS was only for computer whizzes, so stuck with (get ready for it) Microsoft!

 Don’t manage computers at home.

 Needs are met with existing software.

 My husband is a PC tech and not as sold on open source as I am. He takes care of the home network, so he gets to choose what we use there.

 Don’t have a need at this time but wouldn’t hesitate if I did.

 I do not have a computer at home.

 Not eno0ugh time to research, set up, learn programs. But I do plan to look into an open source OPAC soon.

 The last thing I want to do at home is look at a computer!

 Never heard of any of these except Firefox & Linux. I don’t do a lot of heavy computing at home since I stare at a screen all day at work.

 Do not have the need at home.

 Don’t have time or interest.

 When I purchased my computer, it came with IE and the Microsoft Professional Office suite. I’m comfortable using those products and not motivated to change although intellectually I support open source products.

 Don’t have Internet access.

 Not tech savvy.

 Not aware of its benefits.

 No time, little interest - when I come home from work using the computer is the last thing I want to do!

 What I’m using is adequate for my needs.

 I like IE.

 I’m not that savvy.

 I have no need. I would use Firefox, but many of the websites I use run better on IE.

 I don’t have Internet access at home… can’t afford it any more.

 I don’t use Internet at home.

 The people I live with do not and it is easier not to load the open source software then deal with their frustrations.

 I’ve been re-directed to OpenOffice, but I didn’t know anything about the reliability of open source applications. I will not incur any addition costs, and it was not clear who pays for OpenOffice. I don’t enjoy sitting at and looking at the computer, and I certainly am not interested enough to learn a new office-type application!

 Don’t know of any that would be of use to me.

 Don’t feel that I am savvy enough and don’t want to take the time to be so! Also, I just use my computer for basic stuff - email, bank account, bill pay, etc.

 Try not to compute at home.

 I do most of my work at work. I’m not a techie.

 Why would I?

 I get copies of work software for use on my work machine at home.

 Don’t have a home computer. Get enough silliness at work.

 Don’t care.

 I’m not a sophisticated computer user.

 In Nigeria, I am not financially ok to install one.

 Use home pc for email, light work.

 No computer.

 Never set any up.

 My husband runs our ‘IT department’ at home and he says I don’t need it. He uses Firefox and Linux.

 Don’t know enough about any of them. Don’t know what I am missing.

Table A6

Why respondents use open source software at home rather than proprietary options

Why are you using the applications above at home over proprietary options? sTotal %
It’s more cost effective 454 46.47
Works better than other options 523 53.53
Someone recommended it to me 208 21.29
It was the first thing I tried 38 3.89
I don’t know 9 0.92
Other 143 14.64
Grand total 1,375

Figure A5 Why respondents use open source software at home rather than proprietary options

Table A6

Types of open source software respondents use at work

What open source software do you use at work? Total %
None 70 7.16
Firefox 715 73.18
Thunderbird 161 16.48
Gimp 210 21.49
VLC 96 9.83
FileZilla 150 15.35
Pidgin 106 10.85
OpenOffice 279 28.56
Adium 31 3.17
Zotero 161 16.48
Linux (Ubuntu or any other variation) 253 25.90
Koha 87 8.90
Evergreen 44 4.50
Kete 6 .61
SOPAC 7 .72
LibX 75 7.68
DSpace 100 10.24
WordPress 240 24.56
Drupal 187 19.14
Other 248 25.38
Grand total 3,226

Figure A6 Types of open source software respondents use at work

Of the 70 people who answered that they don’t use open source at work, 49 of them gave reasons:

 No one asks for it.

 Too many network restrictions right now.

 I have decent tools with the software provided to me. Sure, there’s stuff that could be better, but I don’t have the authority to go off and change programs.

 My work is not willing to take any unnecessary steps other than fixing IE with weekly patches, on regular bases.

 The library does not currently have any OSS on their machines.

 Don’t need to really.

 We haven’t felt the need to switch to Firefox, and our computers came with installed software that has met our needs.

 See answer to previous question.

 The proprietary software offers what we need at this point.

 Not an option.

 IT won’t allow us to install any OS software other than Firefox. However, our entire web site is migrating to Drupal in the next month.

 Can’t download software without admin permissions, too difficult to incorporate into current ILS [integrated library system].

 They won’t let us - I think they’re afraid of it.

 IT people are REALLY particular as to what goes on with ‘their’ machines.

 Not allowed to use.

 Don’t know of any that would be of use to me. Am trying with no success so far to install software to convert a map bar scale into a ratio.

 I prefer IE and we have a $000,000 ILS [integrated library system]!

 Unreliable, unproven and using a system which provides support.

 Some limitations due to network.

 We are looking into using open source for circulation.

 Not approved by corporate office.

 Recent graduate and not, yet, employed.

 Management is concerned that it is risky. There is a lack of understanding about what it is. There is reluctance to change or try new things.

 Boneheaded upper management and other institutional resistance.

 Too difficult to support. Lack of documentation. Lack of local knowledge.

 Not supported by our IT department.

 Too much trouble.

 Our library is controlled by the government.

 What we use is regulated by our IT department. Users don’t make those decisions.

 For patron use, products like OpenOffice require extra steps to be compatible with MS Office, which is pervasive in schools and businesses (you have to know, or be told, to save documents in office formats in order to make them transferrable). ILS [integrated library system]: the systems just aren’t there yet, and require expertise that is not necessarily available to all libraries.

 Not installed on computers there.

 Not my decision; not allowed.

 Haven’t made the change for e-mail. For circulation and cataloging system, we are in a larger group of libraries that is using a costly provider.

 Because I can only use the software installed by my employer and they don’t use open source.

 Because security is taken very serious (maybe too restrictive) and our former data processing center (Rechenzentrum) was outsourced and all the IT Service is now coming from an external service provider. The standard workplace is operated only with Windows and for every exception from the standard software you have to fill out an application and give an explanation… Just some months ago my Firefox browser was officially deleted from my desktop.

 Company policy.

 I’ve been exploring some - lack of DB provider tech support for problems getting into the programs, institutional regs about downloading unauthorized software.

 IT won’t let us.

 Considered open source catalog; not supported. Other options available.

 We are investigating it, but no decision has been made yet.

 Would not be allowed by our IT, so I’ve never even considered it.

 I don’t know enough about implementing software like Koha 2. Software and network administration is managed on an office-wide/corporate level.

 Haven’t had a chance…

 My company dictates what I may use, and this far we have not adopted open source programs.

 IT department at work controls what we use.

 Our IT department has strict rules about downloading something without authorization.

 Not supported by my institution.

 Not sure if they would allow it, very PC here.

 Only programs allowed and approved by the company IT dept are used.

Table A8

Why respondents use open source software at work rather than proprietary options

Why are you using the applications above at work over proprietary options? Total %
It’s more cost effective 463 47.39
Works better than other options 521 53.33
Someone recommended it to me 166 16.99
It was the first thing I tried 25 2.56
Work makes me use it 95 9.72
Other 150 15.35
Grand total 1,420

Figure A7 Why respondents use open source software at work rather than proprietary options

Final comments and quotes:

 Suggest ways for librarians to learn how to use open source & encourage the community to make it easier for first timer to learn, even without programming skills.

 We are currently seriously (attempting to put it up before August) looking into launching VuFind as our portal. We are also taking a serious look at Koha and Evergreen.

 I have an admitted bias against open source software because it varies so much in its reliability. Sometimes open source is free, sometimes it’s the latest and greatest functionality, and sometimes people like to tweak it. I don’t care about those things - most importantly, I have a library and/or a business to operate, and reliability is by far the paramount issue.

 I think it is especially important for archives to use non-proprietary software. It is a matter of long-term accessibility, to which we are supposed to be dedicated.

 Maybe given another decade, open source will have easier to install programs. Let’s hope so.

 Given the choices listed as open source software, I gather that library IT staff is not your target audience for this survey.

 At work we don’t have opportunities to choose and experiment with OS, unfortunately. Yes or no is decided by IT.

 I have been using open source applications for nearly 20 years. Some applications require a lot of local effort to customize and maintain, but most require no more effort than commercial software and many can be run right out of the box.

 At OSU Libraries, we are in the middle of a website infrastructure change, mostly moving towards open source software. Some of the big ones we use: SilverStripe CMS, Symfony, PHP5, Framework Doctrine ORM for PHP5, Lighttpd web server, Shibboleth SSO and WordPress MU. Since all of these are open source, I am able to modify the source to fully integrate them. Hope this helps the survey!

 Open source is a good idea but without someone or business working with it at a constant pace it’s not able to keep up with the evil MS corporation. It also needs to be marketed to the public and once that starts it takes money and then all of a sudden you have another corporate software company. Until that changes I don’t see how freeware will ever make it in the big time.

 Open source works best where there is a community of contributors who are committed to working with each other. This provides momentum and confidence for others considering adoption.

 Library schools with distance programs need to support free software!!!! I’m considering applying to library school and am tired of being told I need to purchase M$ Office with an academic discount.

 Survey is clearly biased to steer respondents toward answering in favor of open source software use, based on the options offered.

 Currently evaluating Koha (no production use) and will be taking a look at Kete. DSpace is excellent - we have just put it into production use. The Koha and DSpace communities need to be friends. My goal someday is to switch all our staff client computers from Windows to Linux.

 I believe that there is not sufficient support from library/institutions administrations and IT departments for the use of open source software.

 Managing risk is important, and using free/open source software gives organizations and individuals more control over their software and their data. Open standards are equally important, because they are one way of increasing the long-term viability of the data.

 It may be nice to look into some personal document management software (sort of like a personal library). I use Benubird PDF, which is only a free software not open source.

 We use a combination of proprietary and open source software. We are a smaller library with only one programmer and one web designer so are limited in what we can do. As time goes on and the open source becomes more fully developed we will likely use it more.

 Senayan Library Automation System ( is very useful for me and my library, I use it with my Ubuntu server.

 Take care to research the history of the various free and open source software movements and distinguish between the various motivations for them. Free != open source != commons-licensed etc. I hope that’s not painfully obvious, but many journalists and researchers conflate distinct sets of ethics that belong to very distinct populations. That’s not helpful for anyone.

 Open source is a really exciting new direction for libraries, and one I feel is ripe for rapid take-up. UK does seem to be lagging behind, but I am hoping once we have a ‘proof of concept’ with VuFind, then we can explore the next logical step, which is a full OSS LMS system, possibly Koha, more likely Evergreen.

 Open source vs. closed source seems to be a false dichotomy. The pertinent questions are: is support available? Do we have developers on staff ready/able to extend the product if need be? How mature is the product? How active is the community? These ‘total cost of ownership’ considerations are the same between closed and open source. It’s also important to take open data standards into account. This is a larger issue than source control.

 Our library seems willing to employ developers and use OSS for emerging applications (digital repositories, dig preservation), and in solid behind the scenes tasks (web servers, etc.), but when it comes to our ILS [integrated library system], I believe that only proprietary options are being considered. OSS does not fit existing tendering processes, and we don’t seem to be adopting new processes that would accommodate evaluation of open source and proprietary solutions to determine which solution offers best value. The University is also trying to move towards a common computing environment that will be Windows-based - a very shortsighted move. We should focus more on interoperability and less on dictating what systems staff and students should use. I think the licensing aspect puts many institutions off developing and releasing OSS. There isn’t much support available to help with this, although the OSS Watch group in the UK are now able to provide more guidance. JISC seem to be in favor of OSS, but I think they could do more to encourage UK HE and FE [higher education and further education] institutions to use it.

 I recently attended a conference with Amy de Groff as a keynote speaker (talking about Ubuntu at her library) and presentations on open source ILS used in Indiana. Academic libraries in the state (KY) are looking at open- source ILS as possible replacement for Voyager, which is the current system used by state-supported higher education institutions.

 I was lucky enough to take an open source software class at StudioXX in Montreal which is affordable and really believes in using OS over proprietary software. See

 I believe that open source is an important movement, especially in academic publishing. I take no pleasure in computer use, nor in web browsing: I use PC and web at home because there is no other good way to get some things done. Personal privacy is important to me; I am not likely to download any applications, and I NEVER make purchases over internet. Feel free to contact me as the ‘reluctant user’.

 Open source and windows are both here to stay. Neither will supplant the other. Business will usually stick with MS for the ready support. Open source will continue to grow as zero initial cost to the public. Many feel Bill has too much market share (read that as control and money). I feel he has earned it and provided a great public service with MS products. Open source is fine, free of cost except sometime much time is required in certain situations.

 Open source is not for the weak of heart. However, people of all skill levels can use and contribute to open source software. It makes pioneers of all of us.

 I love the idea of open source ILS software, but am very skeptical about its ability to provide all that we have now in support and functionality for the same or less money. I’m hopeful that this will not always be the case.

 We are investigating Koha as a possible replacement for our very expensive and not very functional ILS, Symphony.

 I predict this survey will have no truly surprising results of the sort that might require reconsideration of one or more of the hypotheses being tested. And a survey constructed merely to confirm one’s hypotheses (even if not explicitly intentionally so) falls into the category of ‘Lies, damn lines, and statistics’ in terms of its value to scholarly research.

 I hate Dspace but love Drupal and CUFTS. Not all open source is equal.

 We are on Classic Dynix and are searching for a new ILS for integration in 2010. We are at RFP finished and passed the board and now at the town lawyers and after that out for bid.

 Not sure how indicative this will be - it’s a bit generic and doesn’t question corporate/institutional attitude/acceptance of OS.

 Open source has much to offer libraries; the free exchange of information goes well with the free exchange of software.

 I’d use more open source software at work, but our IT department is fond of Microsoft.

 Also, use an open source VOIP software and video conferencing software. Looking in to using Kete, but may use Fedora instead for digital projects.

 We’re very interested in open source as an idea, but are also aware that it is never ‘free.’ We want to look for the best supportable/sustainable performance we can provide for our users, no matter whether it is open source or proprietary. All other things being equal, we would prefer open source.

 The only reason I don’t use more open source is that I was a corporate IT minion and they were using products that I had to support thus my time was better spent using the stuff they already picked.

 Open source = Good Commons.

 Am interested in open source ILMS systems in the future. We are the only open computer lab on campus (Information Commons) and are interested in any software that saves our students and the library’s budget money.

 We are in the early stages of understanding and using Drupal for our back end content management of the website. Yet to launch it’s still rather early to comment. I do like the customizing options with various modules. Think of an idea and there may be a module out there to use! Good community support both online and locally. Lots of libraries in our area are experimenting or will be using Drupal.

 The Open Disc Project is great!

 I don’t feel that I am very familiar with open source technology at all, but I don’t really have much need for it at work or at home. (Unless I don’t know what I’m missing?)

 I think this is a great idea. I hope you will not do a print book because the publication takes so long but will put out an easily accessible ‘open’ document on the results.

 I would love to use Koha and am trying to get to the point where we can, however there is no local support that knows Linux or Ubuntu and I myself do not know enough to run Ubuntu server. Cost is a huge factor for support, even if the software is free.

 My network is looking at an open source ILS for its next circulation system. I am excited.

 I love

 Sonoma State University, in Cotati California used OSS on some of their library computers many years ago. This included Linux, web browsers, and simple utility software. For some reason, they have returned to the proprietary software world. Too bad…

 I have made suggestions about using open source options in MPOW [my place of work]. The suggestions have been met with almost instant refusal due to the ‘complications’ of installing and customizing along with ‘security issues.’ Psh.

 I volunteer in a ca 12,000-volume gay- and lesbian- oriented library. We present use Winnebago Spectrum as our online catalog. The program is no longer supported by the company that owns the software, Follett. Upgrading to Follett’s current product, Destiny, would cost a minimum of $2,000, which we cannot afford. I desperately need to find software simply to do cataloging and circulation with; we have no acquisitions budget, so an ILS is unnecessary. It must run on the Windows platform. I’ve just discovered Koha, but have not had time to investigate.

 I’ve been an advocate (though only briefly) for Linux in libraries. But my repeated finding is that software and hardware decisions are enmeshed with the parent institutions, which are slow or reluctant to change. Good luck, Nicole! I hope your book is able to persuade more libraries to go the open source route. It’s certainly in keeping with our missions.

 Open source is cost effective but requires intense customization. Many libraries may not have programmers or developers to develop the customized code required.

 Any open source I use at work is fully unsupported by MPOW (my place of work). If there is a problem, IT department will not help and often asks me to uninstall it.

 Have a look at PMB, it’s very nice and flexible. See

 I am very interested in this topic. I am glad to see someone looking into it.

 There is much more training available for MS applications and other commercial applications. I want training in Joomla, and probably others that I don’t even know about.

 I facilitate the New Services Committee. It was our committee’s recommendation to install GIMP.ORG on one media PC at all locations, if the branch manager wanted it. We do have a concern about no control over what the customer edits on the program. It was recommended because it is cost effective. We also provide a tutorial CD for each PC where the software is installed.

 Open source is great although I was surprised how little I was actually using at home. I’ve only been into open source for about a year, so I still have a lot of stuff I use because, well, I’m familiar with it.

 We’ve looked at open source ILS systems, but do not have the expertise to adopt them yet (also must meet accessibility requirements of California).

 This is really cool idea. I’ve always been thinking about how libraries and open source go hand in hand.

 Our library is currently working on getting Drupal up and running as our CMS [content management system], but we’ve hit a few bumps in the road so it’s taking longer than we’d hoped.

 In Indonesia, there are a software that use in library, named Senayan, you can see it in

 Open source definitely has its place in the library and in other areas as well. Too often, people who would otherwise support the implementation of an open source solution are turned off by over zealous supporters who make claims for open source that are questionable. Like most things in life, there needs to be a balance between things that can reasonably be supported in an open source model and those things which really do require a commercial/proprietary solution. In many cases, which model to choose will change over the course of time and that’s the tricky part in making a decision between open source or not.

 Good luck on the project! I hope it helps lead to wider acceptance of open source software.

 I’ve been following the netbook market a little bit because my father travels a lot and I think this is a market that will flourish with open source OS. Also, I use the Google phone that is powered by Android, which is an OS that they are trying to configure for netbooks. I thought Google’s video where they go into Times Square and ask people What is a Browser? was very telling… of course most people aren’t using Firefox, chrome or browsers other than IE… do they even know there are other options? As more people learn about open source products, more people will use them. I introduce a lot of patrons to OpenOffice and Firefox.

 Open source is awesome. It would be great to discuss how to teach and advocate open source somewhere.

 Good luck! Please don’t give up in this endeavor. Many libraries are looking for open source products to better utilize their OPACs. We do Not want to be forced into going with OCLC’s WorldCat.local… Thanks!

 It should be noted I don’t think open source is always the necessarily the ‘best solution.’ There are times that proprietary software does have the best solution. However, frequently it hits that sweet spot of cost, controllability, and enough of the needed feature set. The trade off is figuring out the problem is often difficult (but usually can be solved, where with closed source you just have to walk away), things can be in a rough state, and depending on distro updates seem to have a higher level of risk than some other closed source. The list of open source software I use though is huge. Just thought of another, imagemagick. I suppose if you really want a list I can dump my packages, although that will not tell you some of the stuff I’ve compiled from source…

 I would like to explore and use more open source applications at the library, but our director is not convinced there is enough support available. There is also a concern about the compatibility of MS Office 2007 with OpenOffice. As other libraries in Michigan move to Evergreen as a cost savings, I hope we also move in that direction as our current Sirsi/Dynix system is riddled with bugs and inconsistencies. As Evergreen has proven itself in GA and other states for many years as a stable and accurate system and I hope more libraries look toward open source software as a viable alternative to commercial system software.

 Take a look at our open source search engine ‘Summa’ at The right column offers some information in English.

 I speak solely as myself and not on behalf of the library I work at.

 The most difficult thing in the case of Koha: maintaining (upgrading) and keeping up with new releases is challenging. The other thing is the cost of supporting Koha that companies demand is very high. It is beyond our budget. There is no support for Koha in Africa. The nearest is India.

 At work we usually work with MS Office, as most documents we receive are PDFs or MS Office documents. At work OpenOffice is not used so often. At home I only work with OpenOffice, this is ok as it does all I need. Internet Explorer unfortunately is used in our new library software; usually at work we use Firefox. OPUS is a software used for our publication server, MILESS does the same, it is used for special purposes.

 It’s shocking to see that you didn’t list NewGenLib in one of the open source products. I hope you know all the developments in this sector.

 I think, it’ll be useful to make easier any Linux/open source software. Thus, easibility factor need to be improved.

 I am a big supporter of open source software. Currently the university is involved with the OLE (Open Library environment) project for creating an open source ILS. I took part in the initial workshops for creating the system, however my job duties have changed and I am not as involved.

 I hate dealing with licenses.

 I love hearing about others’ experiences with open source ILSes, and really hope our library consortium considers open source options if/when we switch ILS.

 I’ve encouraged the use of open source software whenever possible. The cost of support is not overwhelming if you have a technically inclined person on hand. I find the use of Linux, Apache and PHP for a web server to be one of the easiest to maintain and set up.

 Most institutions are not supportive of moving off the Microsoft track even if staff is willing to go to open source, so we are stuck with MS products.

 Our library is looking into cheap, less powerful alternative to Photoshop®.

 I love the idea of open source. When it comes to library applications, we just don’t have the manpower - we have a half position devoted to systems, the person in it is by necessity a librarian first, techie second, and he doesn’t have the time to learn and support open source.

 I would love to be able to use more open source solutions here at the library (and suggest them often to admin), but have been realizing that open source isn’t entirely free of cost – it requires staff time and money, which we are lacking.

 Our academic library is psyched to use open source software… the trouble is getting our IT folks on board.

 It’s important to distinguish different kinds and qualities of open source projects. There is enormous variability.

 Events, like budget shortfalls, usually force libraries into innovative behavior. Like accountants, library managers believe that anything free is not worth the price. No one ever got fired for buying ContentDM or Encore. The open source desktops have become as good or better than Windows, but few libraries try to reap savings by using KDE or Gnome or XFCE. General open source software can easily be tweaked or customized, but few librarians or IT support people have the skill sets needed to do it well. Specialist open source software for libraries will require a support component that is not free. Open source will not be accepted in libraries until their masters in state and local government begin to use and believe in open source, but, much like responsible health care policy, we have yet to accept any European innovations in the workplace.

 I use a number of web and instructional applications that are open source, including but not limited to SlideRoll, Slideshow Maker, Poweroff 3.0, Google Chrome, etc.

 It would be good to ask if people are seriously considering using other open source products. We are looking at an ILS (Koha) but are still comparing systems and haven’t implemented one yet.

 Kuali is a financial interface for universities and is much cheaper than buying a commercial product like Banner. Your questionnaire seemed targeted toward personal uses of open source software rather than institutional applications.

 I also love LimeSurvey.

 At work we are moving more and more to open source, are changing to an open source helpdesk software, planning to try an open source discovery layer and are exploring the possibility of an open source ILS in the future.

 We like Drupal. A lot. We also like Linux (CentOS), MySQL, Apache, PHP, Subversion and Margaritas (not software).

 Not sure why WordPress wasn’t listed as a home option. Also, might have better analysis later if you asked more demographic questions - size [of] library, area of the country, etc. - and also asked if the library, not the person, used OSS (e.g. Apache, etc.).

 Only, that I am a firm believer in finding the right tool for the job. Sometimes that tool is open source, and sometimes it is better to use a commercial product.

 For me, FOSS shares a purpose with libraries - the sharing of information. The two have great potential together.

 I don’t know what I’d do without portable open source software, since in-house restrictions prevent me from installing a lot of the software I need. I like to try out software first to see if it is really useful or not. If it is, I believe in contributing to the community, or donating monetarily, to help it continue.

 I’m a Machead, but I recently purchased a netbook that came (unfortunately) preloaded with Windows XP. I’m running Ubuntu from removable media simply for the challenge of learning something new. I hope to become sufficiently competent/confident with Ubuntu so that I can reformat the netbook as an Ubuntu-only machine. Why? Because I really like their philosophy: that Ubuntu and open source software make technology, access, and information accessible to all users regardless of financial or physical situations.

 I am new to open source and I think it is very exciting. Bill Gates has made enough money already.

 We use a lot of Google’s offerings like Docs and the calendar.

 Libraries underestimate the cost in personnel required to support open source. Any cost savings on purchase or maintenance is just shifted to personnel. This may not be true for a small rural library who has an younger, eager techie available. But I wonder what happens when he gets a family and needs more competitive pay and perhaps moves away. In our situation as large library in a large metropolitan area, our IT salaries have to compete with the big corporations. We can’t afford the knowledge we’d need to not have our ILS supported and developed by a whole vendor team.

 Librarians are rarely ‘techy’ enough to consider open source without some kind of support. Many of us are in our 50s and barely had computers in college, so we are not willing to transfer our whole automation process to something we don’t understand.

 Open source software is a wonderful way to give patrons ‘more’… more options, more services, etc. We installed Firefox on our public internet computers to give patrons a choice and OpenOffice in conjunction with Microsoft for the same reason. I use Firefox as my primary browser because of the customizations and flexibility and highly recommend it to anyone who listens! I would like to see more libraries adopt open source software, particularly those facing budget cuts.

 Also see our website at for info from presentations we have made at a number of conference, articles I’ve written, etc.

 Not enough information is out there about the ‘costs’ of open source. The software/code is free but there are definitely costs associated with use and maintenance.

 I think your survey is almost the equivalent of push polling.

 I would love to use open source in place of Microsoft Office but it would take more staff time to convince the patron who are used to the MS products. (Majority have limited experience and change is hard for them.) I have tried Firefox on public computers but found it is not ideal for that environment. But it’s my own private browser of choice… so much better then IE.

 Before committing to Drupal I looked at several alternative CMS [content management system] options: Joomla, Plone, and Alfresco. If you want to know about Plone in libraries I’d suggest checking with the folks at the Plinkit Collaborative [at] of them also presented at a past Code4Lib so check the conference archives).

 It’s been fun watching the open source movement explode and become mainstream in libraries over the past few years. Many open source programs have such thriving user communities that make constant improvements and updates to the programs, making them the best of their kind - ie - Firefox! It appears that ILSs are headed in this direction as well, and that should be very interesting to watch over the next few years!

 This is just my personal experience, I’m sure it’s not an exhaustive list of what’s being used around here.

 We actually don’t have a library in our school and there are no plans to build one. I teach technology and feel that part of my job is to be a resource for teaching research skills, validating information as well as a gateway of sorts to information on the internet.

 Sorry I don’t even know what free source means. I am a grad student at Dominican and feel like I should know what that means, but…

 Support of the system is a problem for a small library without technology savvy staff.

 The biggest problem I have with open source stuff is how difficult it often is to get help figuring things out.

 DokuWiki has been quite handy as an mini-intranet for our staff, and Request Tracker has made dealing with staff requests much, much easier.

 I like the idea of open source. However, Joomla has been difficult to understand. I hope other open source software is not as difficult to utilize.

 I think open source is great, but I work for a library in a 75-member consortium that is not interested in exploring it at this time.

 We are fortunate to have an extremely skilled and savvy network manager who installed Ubuntu on our network and customized Koha for us. As a small public library director, I would not have been able to make time to learn how to do these things myself.

 We are currently converting to Koha, and I try to keep my knowledge up about open source by reading a number of blogs etc, so I am a dabbler, though a believer, in open source really. Koha is about to be our LMS for five of our seven libraries so we are learning fast.

 I believe to use open source is a trend in the library field. With little budget and more service needs, open source is a good solution for libraries.

 Our library is part of a small state agency that swings wildly between software types. We have elections every four years resulting in a new administration and a different way of doing things. First, the head of IT was a huge Microsoft person. Actually did some development on cutting edge stuff with Microsoft themselves. The next head of IT was HUGELY open source. One of the first proponents of open source in government. Then, the pendulum swung back and we are once again a Microsoft shop, but we do as we are told and do not innovate or ask for anything. One bowl of Microsoft gruel is good enough for us. Good Luck!

 The pay for support models created by proto-vendors arising from the increased use of FOSS will somehow morph into something all too familiar: the proprietary, company owned and developed, locked down, expensive to use…

 I’d like to use open source software but the court is very strict about security, as it should be.