If you’ve been hearing about open source software and wondering what all the buzz is about, then don’t miss Karen Schneider’s great article in School Library Journal: Free for All: Open Source Software.
So what is open source software (OSS)? Itâ€™s software that is free in every sense of the word: free to download, free to use, and free to view or modify. Most OSS is distributed on the Web and you donâ€™t need to sign a license agreement to use it.
In fact, youâ€™re probably using OSS and may not know it. If you use the Firefox Web browser or WordPress blogging software, youâ€™re using open source software. Additionally, many commercial Web giants, such as Amazon, rely on open source software such as Linux or Apache to power their services. OSS could be powering your cell phone or DVD player, or even the onboard entertainment on your latest airline flight.
The last eight years have also seen the debut of full-fledged library automation programs such as Koha, OPALS (open source automated library system), and Evergreen, which can replace their commercial, proprietary counterparts, offering not only a public front end, but back-end capabilities such as cataloging, reporting, and circulation.
Read the full article here.