“Libraries and open source have lots in common philosophically,” Buntz Neiman said.  “It’s nice for us to support an open model.”

And while the pros of open-source library management systems can be appealing, districts that are considering a move to open source should consider the time investment required if they are not going to use a hosting service.

“There’s a large time investment if you’re going to do it yourself, including learning how the software works, what options you’ll need, and you’ll need the support system of a listserve at the minimum,” Bourgoin said.

Library specialists and technical staff should anticipate a total integration and transition time of at least two months and probably closer to three, he added.

Experts agreed that the move from proprietary library software to open source is becoming a trend.

“As our budgets are all being slashed for the next fiscal year, I think people are going to take a step back and take a look at [how money is being spent],” Buntz Neiman said.  “It’s a slow-building movement, but we’ll see it pick up steam.”

“I think it absolutely is [a trend],” Lutz said. “The buzzwords are everywhere, and we hear more about it and our comfort levels go up. It’s all about educating ourselves.”

Links:

OpenSource.org

Koha

Evergreen

OPALS

LibLime.com

Equinox Software

Jessamyn West’s blog