transplanted goose

tech Talk, v1n3

Companies like Microsoft, fearing the potential threat to their bottom line, would love to see the end of open source software, which is not only freely available, but allows those using it to make modifications and improvements to the source code, then redistribute the new software. Open source software originated with the Unix community and the GNU Project, and has been invigorated by the incredible growth and popularity of the open source operating system, Linux.

But for libraries, open source software can stretch those shrinking budgets and provide solutions to problems for which commercial software products may not exist. Open source sofware perpetuates the library community's tradition of sharing by harnessing the resources, creativity and capabilities of a few and making them available to the community as a whole.

The oss4lib project, conceived by Dan Chudnov of Yale University's Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, serves as a clearinghouse for open source software for libraries. Below is a sampling of the diversity of gems you'll find available as open source software; these are all listed on Dan Chudnov's site, but you can often find others mentioned or discussed at conferences - through poster sessions, presentations, and networking. Many are licensed under the GNU Public License, and - best of all - they're all free.

Published in NewBreed Librarian, volume 1, number 3, June 2001 - archived at

(web links have been updated where applicable; expired web links are shown in bold)

© 2001, colleen bell about / words