Resource review #4: Major Open Source ILS Products
Breeding, M. (2008). Major open source ILS products. Library Technology Reports, 44(8), 16-31.
This article from last year’s Library Technology Reports offers an overview and comparison of the four most prominent open source ILS products — Koha, Evergreen, OPALS, and NewGenLib, as well as a discussion of the open source phenomenon in ILS products in general.
There are a lot of tables — I enjoy tables — breaking down what kinds of libraries are using what kinds of software, what kinds of population and circulation figures they’re working with, things like that. Koha is a favorite among small to mid-sized public, academic, and special libraries, while Evergreen, designed by a consortium of libraries in Georgia, has been preferred for large library systems. Large individual libraries are still reluctant to adopt the fairly new open source ILS applications. I was interested to discover that open source hasn’t made much of an impression outside of the United States and Canada, although it has been a choice option in some developing countries.
The article continues with a breakdown of the companies that support this open source software (such as LibLime for Koha), a review of the technical backend of an open source ILS implementation, and finally a feature-by-feature rundown of the specific software discussed, based on documentation and demo sites. This would be a great source for a library curious about which open source ILS to explore in more detail.