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Open Source OPACs

October 27, 2010

We have talked a little bit about the importance of using some open source software and applications, so I found this article that compares two open source library catalogs with a proprietary catalog. The article is entitled “The Next Generation Library Catalog: A comparative study of the OPACs of Koha, Evergreen, and Voyager.  The authors compare the catalogs to see how advanced the open source catalogs have become to being close to “the next generation library catalog” and ones that embrace some Library 2.0 technology. They look to see exactly what services are offered by each system. The authors also look at some of the past things that we have talked about in this class, such as the usability of the catalog interfaces and they also discuss  the tag clouds on Koha. They conclude that Koha’s OPAC is more advanced than the other two systems. I think that this software is a great resource for librarians to have and use and the OPAC can constantly be improved upon.

Yang, S. and Hoffman. M. (2010). The next generation library catalog: A comparative study of the OPACs of Koha, Evergreen,and Voyager. Information Technology and Libraries, 29 (3), 141-50.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2010 12:10 am

    I was just talking about these with my local librarians; their checkout system dates to 1985. But it works. They’re pro-open-source in theory, but want something that’s already debugged…

  2. Amanda permalink
    October 28, 2010 6:52 am

    I was thinking something along the lines of earthopus. Unless a library has dedicated IT staff to work with an open-source catalog it could be difficult for them to deploy the technology. I wonder if the cost savings of using open-source catalogs would cover the EFT cost of hiring a programmer to work with the catalog.

  3. October 28, 2010 3:39 pm

    This is interesting, thanks for sharing it… We’re getting close to making the decision to switch to Koha, so I’m interested to read more about it. It’ll save us thousands of dollars if we switch, but not enough to cover hiring someone to deal with the technical stuff.

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