All publications from this project can be found here.
In this Early Career Development project, Dr. Vandana Singh of the School of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will compare the expected, available, and required technical support for open-source integrated library systems (the computer systems used to acquire, manage, and circulate library materials) and the off-the-shelf, proprietary versions of these systems. This research project seeks to better inform librarians about the maintenance and management costs associated with one of the key tools that they use to serve the public.
In phase 1 of this research project (Aug 2009 - July 2010), we collected data regarding the expectations of librarians for technical support and the available channels of technical support. This phase will identify the expectations of librarians about technical support for ILS (both open source software e.g. Koha, Evergreen, Greenstone and proprietary software e.g. Voyager, Athena, SyrsiDynix) and will assess the effectiveness of the current channels and processes for technical support in satisfying the expectations of the librarians.
In phase 2 of this research project (Aug 2010 - July 2011), we collected data regarding the available channels of technical support for integrated library systems. We identified the technical support channels for ILS (both open source software e.g. Koha, Evergreen, Greenstone and proprietary software e.g. Voyager, Athena, SyrsiDynix) and analyzed the interactions of help giving for both paid and unpaid technical support.
In phase 3 of this research project (Aug 2011 - July 2012), we collected data regarding the experiences of librarians who have installed open source integrated library systems. We questioned librarians in different stages of implementation in order to compile recommendations and best practices for other libraries that are interested in changing their ILS. These results will be posted to this website as well as the results of the earlier phases. We have built a new website, Opensource ILS, to serve as an information portal about open source integrated library systems.