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Open Source, Crowd Source: harnessing the power of the people behind our libraries
  • Cindi Trainor, Eastern Kentucky University

Presented at the Bridging Worlds 2008 Conference in Singapore, this paper was later published in the journal Program: electronic library and information systems in July 2009:

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide an insight into the use of Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 technologies so that librarians can combine open source software with user-generated content to create a richer discovery experience for their users.

Design/methodology/approach – Following a description of the current state of integrated library systems (ILS) and the developments with Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 technologies, examples are given of library suppliers and libraries which are making use of these technologies.

Findings – Libraries are moving away from the traditional, vendor-sourced library catalogue software in favour of open source software that can be tailored to meet the community's needs by the people who are most familiar with those needs: library staff. Open source products and some vendor products outside the traditional ILS market allow libraries to pool data created by users: tags, reviews, comments. This allows the smallest libraries to harvest richer data than those of their own communities.

Originality/value – The paper provides a “snapshot” of current developments in this fast-moving area.

  • open source software,
  • integrated library system,
  • libraries,
  • librarianship,
  • web 2.0,
  • SOPAC,
  • WorldCat,
  • OCLC,
  • LibraryThing,
  • tags,
  • library 2.0
Publication Date
October, 2008
Citation Information
Cindi Trainor. "Open Source, Crowd Source: harnessing the power of the people behind our libraries" (2008)
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