Following Along the Open Source Trail

trailI’m glad to see that the SHARE system is not the only consortium that has started looking into open source ILS options. This post from Brian Herzog at the Swiss Army Librarian shows that libraries around the US are chomping at the proverbial bit for a better product. Interestingly, Herzog notes that he has to “apologize to patrons on a daily basis for such a difficult catalog interface,” and then links to their regional catalog. Their catalog, like ours, is a SirsiDynix product. The Merrimack Valley Library Consortium’s site looks a whole lot easier to navigate than ours, though.


more stuff: Educause Quarterly’s Pros and Cons of Open Source


OCLC joins the Empire?


As always, Slashdot has some interesting commentary on this particular technology issue:  OCLC wants control over all of its records, including ones that we have paid for. Score one for Darth Proprietary? Not so fast! OpenLibrary offers its records for free, or at least it will someday. Discuss.

The social OPAC

Here it is at last, and none too soon; I was getting sick of the anti-social OPAC!

‘Nother browser

Chrome browser

Google released the beta for its Chrome web browser yesterday. I’m using it right now, in fact. I have to grudgingly admit that it seems to load faster than Firefox 3 and it looks cleaner. There’s a little bit of a¬†learning curve (it lacks a dedicated search field and has no menu bar), but I suspect people coming from IE will have an easier time with it than folks moving over from Firefox. Either way, it’s a nice new addition to the “browser wars.”

Get some browsers!

Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, IE8 (beta)

Another system goes open source. . .

We here at TPC have been brainstorming for months about how to get our OPAC looking better and working more like a normal search engine. The [proprietary system] we currently use is not very user-friendly and is incredibly ugly. I’d like to believe that if we had had the choice two years ago to move to the open source Evergreen ILS, we would have gone that route. Being stuck with [proprietary system] at the moment, however, I can only look on with envy as more and more library systems move to adopt an open source ILS. The latest is the Michigan Library System, which includes such giant public libraries as Grand Rapids. Their OPAC is freakin’ beautiful.