Libraries and open source software: some facts

  • Nearly 91% of respondents said that they had never experienced any downtime using open source email alternatives.
  • More than two thirds of the libraries sampled have ever replaced a commercial software system with an open source alternative.
  • Nearly 43% of the academic libraries in the sample use an open source alternative for content management software.

Source: Newsletter

Primary Research Group Inc. The Survey of Library Use of Open Source Software, ISBN 978-157440-239-1

This 125+ page report looks closely at how public, academic and special libraries are using open source solutions for email, integrated library systems, word processing and spreadsheets, the library website, server management, and content management and digital preservation software, among other applications. The study looks at which libraries use open source and which use commercial software and why. The study helps librarians and library information technology staff to answer questions such as: what are the most popular open source applications? How much of an IT or software support staff must a library have to succeed with open source alternatives? How much do libraries spend in supporting open source solutions in both funding and staff time? How much does the use of open source software save them? What areas of library operations have been most impacted by open source? How many open source solutions are libraries of different size staffs and different types using? How many have started with an open source solutions in a given area and then abandoned it? How do libraries evaluate their own success or failure with open source? What are the open source solutions they are most anxious to try in the future? Which outside services do they recommend to support open source alternatives? Which information sources about open source do they find most useful?