Open Source for Library Decision Makers Preconference
Time: October 19, 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Room 1425, SFU Vancouver, 515 West Hastings St., Vancouver, B.C.
Open source software has made tremendous strides in the past decade with significant uptake in both academic and public libraries. Many of the new library-based applications and services — institutional repositories, ERMs, scholarly publishing, discovery layers — are primarily based on open source solutions. Similarly, there are open source solutions (Sitka, Koha) that provide competitive alternatives to the long established commercial integrated library systems. Any library staff who are responsible for, or participate in software selection, decision, contracting, implementation, maintenance and evolution should be cognizant of open source options and how to determine if they may be an appropriate solution for their library.
This half-day workshop will feature open source experts from both academic and public libraries and consist of a blend of individual presentations and a panel discussion. It will provide an overview of the current range of open source solutions available for libraries, and tackle some of the common misconceptions often associated with this software. It will address the following topics: are there criteria that help a library decide if open source software is a “good fit” for them? How does one evaluate and compare open source and proprietary software, especially in the context of traditional procurement processes? How can an organization effectively evaluate and/or plan the resources required for a successful deployment, including project management, data conversion, implementation, integration with existing or planned third party products, training, maintenance and functional evolution? This will not be a technical session, instead it will focus on the evaluative, financial and organizational aspects of selecting, implementing, supporting, evolving, and sustaining open source or commercial software.
A workshop highlight will be a lively panel discussion on these topics by two well-known and very articulate library industry experts — one from the open source community, the other from the vendor sector. Mark Leggott is the UPEI University Librarian and President/CEO of DiscoveryGarden. John Richardson is the Director, Library Partnerships, for Polaris Library Systems. Both speakers bring a wide range of experience and opinion and will be both informative and provocative.