Open Source – Open Libraries is a consortia of libraries, library systems, and other organizations committed to pursuing Open Source Software (OSS) alternatives for libraries. The primary focus of the project is on Open Source Library Systems (OSLS) as potential replacements for commercial, proprietary integrated library systems (ILS). The principles of Open Source (e.g. commitment to freedom of information, transparency, collaboration and empowerment) are entirely consistent with libraries. Just as libraries provide opportunities for people to empower themselves, Open Source software provides an opportunity for libraries to empower themselves by asserting more control over the software tools used to run their libraries. With an OSLS, libraries can more quickly respond to the needs of library customers, optimize the work of library staff, create new models for resource sharing, and take advantage of the power of collaboration.
The project will focus on making members aware of the OSLS products currently available as well as the companies available to provide support, migration assistance, development, customization, and hosting. In addition, the project will educate members about Open Source business model and why it works for libraries using Open Source software and the vendors providing services. Members will also learn the ins and outs of licensing, how the software is maintained and developed, and what we mean by "collaborative development."
The goal is to empower libraries and library consortia by encouraging participation and collaboration in software products generally, and encouraging them to consider an Open Source Library System such as Koha or Evergreen.