Several of these reports over the years have information about the perceptions of open source ILS and comparisons of ILSs and the supporting companies. 
Pay special attention to the Librarians’ Assessments of Automation Systems: Survey Results, 2007-2010, which came out in May/June 2011.  Based on annual surveys from 2007-2010 (all of which are also available), it examines trends over time.  Since these surveys come out annually, they contain the most up to date information.
Another one to focus on is Open Source Integrated Library Systems (2008).  Chapter 3 is “Major Open Source ILS Products,” which looks at the history and background of Koha, Evergreen, OPALS, and NewGenLib and then turns to trends in adoption.  Next, commercial support firms, LibLime, Equinox Software, Media Flex, and Versus Solutions and Index Data are briefly discussed.  Other topics included are technical components, standards, features, and functionality.

  • Breeding, Marshall (2009).  The Viability of Open Source ILS.  Bulletin of the American Society and Technology, 35(2), 20-25.

Marshall Breeding is the foremost author on open source in libraries.  This article is an excellent discussion of the current state of open source ILSs.  It includes discussions of market perspective, how many libraries are using Koha and Evergreen over time, support for open source ILS (including some information about support vendors), product development, functionality, and the risk involved in choosing open source.  This is a great article for those who have concerns about migration.

  • Buchanan, Kym & Krasnoff, Basha (2005).  Can Open Source Software Save School Libraries Time and Money? Knowledge Quest, 33(3), 33-34.

A discussion of the pros and cons of open source from a school library perspective. Although most of the discussion is about open source software in general, there is a section focused on ILS.  This is one of only a few articles that center this discussion on a specific library type. 

This article is important because the purpose is to give a definition and characteristics of what makes successful open source software.  It is important when choosing an open source software product to make an evaluation based on probable success and continuation.  This article is helpful for making that determination. (This is more useful for those users looking at open source ILSs besides Koha and Evergreen, which can already be considered successful.)

  • Jaffe, Lee David & Careaga, Greg (2007).  Standing up for Open Source.  Library Philosophy and Practice.

This article is an in depth pro/con article.  It discusses several myths that have caused concern about adopting OSS.  The best part of the article is the section "Strategies for Implementing and Supporting Open Source."

  • Rafiq, Muhammad & Ameen, Kanwal (2009).  Issues and lessons learned in open source software adoption in Pakistani libraries.  The Electronic Library, 27(4), 601-610.

This article is based on the author’s experience implementing Koha.  It explores the issues of OSS adoption more comprehensively than other articles. This is a good article for libraries that are thinking about adopting an open source ILS or are about to start migration.

  • Rapp, David (2011).  Open Source Reality Check, Library Journal, 136(13), 34-36.

This article discusses the pros and cons of open source ILS following the experience of implementing an open source ILS.  It is based on interviews with several libraries with a focus on why and how they migrated to open source.  The issues raised in this article are things that libraries should consider before adopting an OSS ILS.

  • Yang, Sharon Q. & Hofmann, Melissa A. (2010).  The Next Generation Library Catalog:  A Comparative Study of the OPACs of Koha, Evergreen, and Voyager. Information Technology & Libraries 29(3), 141-150.

This is a more specific article focusing on the OPACs of three ILSs.  It provides a good comparison on a topic of importance to most libraries when choosing their ILS.  It was also chosen because it examines both Koha and Evergreen.


  • Bissels, Gerhard (2008).  Implementation of an open source library management system:  Experiences with Koha 3.0 at the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital.  Program electronic library and information systems, 42(3), 303-314.

This article describes the selection process and criteria used by the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Library and Information Service (CAMLIS), Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital.  It is based on internal documentation.  This article gives fairly detailed criteria that they used and includes screenshots of important functions/features.  It could be used by others as a model of how to select an ILS.

  • Cibbarelli, Pamela R. (2008).  Helping You Buy ILSs.  Computers in Libraries, 28(9), 6-9, 45-53.

A survey of ILS vendors commissioned by Computers in Libraries.  The goals were to compare functionality and support services available for different ILSs.  Although overwhelmingly proprietary, Koha is included in comparisons.

  • Muller, Tristan (2011).  How to choose a free and open source integrated library system. International digital library perspectives, 27(1), 57-78.

This article examines 20 open source ILSs in a three-step process.  The first is to make sure that the ILS is actually open source or freely-licensed.  The second is to evaluate the community for each ILS on 40 criteria to determine attractiveness and sustainability.  The third is to examine the functionality and features of the remaining ILSs.  Not only are the results themselves useful, but the model can be adapted for any library.  This study examined 20 ILSs, 40 criteria for the communities, and over 800 functions and features.  Any library can take this method and examine the ILSs that they are considering using only those criteria and functions/features that matter to them.

This master’s thesis is the most in-depth comparison of open source ILSs found in the literature.  It focuses on a comparison of costs and benefits and a discussion of the considerations of choosing an open source or proprietary ILS.

  • Westbrook, John (2011).  Open Up to Open Source, Alki, 27(1), 17-18.

This is a discussion based on the experience of the author’s library migrating to Koha.  It focuses on why and how that move took place.  It also includes some patron reaction information that is usually missing from articles like this.


  • Dykhuis, Randy (2009).  Michigan Evergreen: Implementing a Shared Open Source Intergrated Library System.  Collaborative Librarianship, 1(2), 60-65.

This article focuses on the implementation of Evergreen.  It describes the reasons for this migration and includes a discussion of the challenges to running and maintaining Evergreen.  One drawback of this article is its lack of sections.  Many of the issues raised in this article are ones that libraries need to consider before choosing an ILS.

This is a short article that has a good introduction and pros and cons sections on open source.  It also has suggestions for an implementation plan.  The last section has links to different open source products.


  • Genoese, Lisa & Keith, Latrina (2011).  Jumping Ship: One Health Science Library’s Voyage from a Proprietary ILS to Open Source.  Journal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries, 8(2), 126-133.

This article describes the migration and implementation of Koha at the New York Academy of Medicine.  Most importantly are the lessons learned at the end of the article.

  • Kohn, Karen & McCloy, Eric (2010).  Phased Migration to Koha: Our Library’s Experience.  Journal of Web Librarianship, 4, 427-434.

The article describes a phased migration to Koha by an academic library.  The library in question has decided on a three-phase migration and at the time of the article had only completed two phases.  This provides an alterative model for libraries who need to either spread cost out further or to prioritize certain changes.  Also included are the lessons learned from the first two phases, which provide suggestions for other libraries to consider.

  • Walls, Ian (2011).  Migrating from Innovative Interfaces’ Millennium to Koha: The NYU Health Sciences Libraries’ experiences.  International digital library perspectives, 27(1), 51-56.

This article describes the migration of the New York University Health Sciences Libraries from Millennium to Koha.  Included is the installation, testing, and configuration of Koha based on policies and procedures.  There is also discussion of migrating acquisitions data and training for staff.  The paper identifies some areas for development and suggestions on how to implement enhancements.  This source is a more detailed description of the process of migration than others found in the literature.


Other Articles:

  • Babini, D., F. Vergara-Rossi, et al. (2008). "Use of the Open Source Software Greenstone to Develop a Decentralized Cooperative Digital Library." Profesional De La Informacion 17(1): 64-70.

  • Balnaves, E. (2008). "Open Source Library Management Systems: A Multidimensional Evaluation." Australian Academic & Research Libraries 39(1): 1-13.

  • Bissels, G. (2008). "Implementation of an Open Source Library Management System - Experiences with Koha 3.0 at the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital." Program-Electronic Library and Information Systems 42(3): 303-314.

  • Breeding, M. (2008). "Open Source Integrated Library Systems." Library Technology Reports (8): 5(6).

  • Bretthauer, D. (2002). "Open Source Software: A History." Information Technology and Libraries 21(1): 3-10.

  • Cervone, F. (2003). "The Open Source Option." Library Journal NetConnect (Summer): 8-12.

  • Cervone, F. (2003). “Open-source Software for Libraries.” Computers in Libraries 2003, Washington, DC.

  • Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research (CIBER), University College London (2009). "The Economic Downturn and Libraries: A Global Survey of the World’s Libraries in Challenging Times." In The Charleston Conference. Charleston, SC. 

  •  Cyzyk, M. and S. Choudhury. (2008). "A Survey and Evaluation of Open-Source Electronic Publishing Systems."

  • Dykhuis, R. (2009). "Michigan Evergreen: Implementing a Shared Open Source Intergrated i.e. Integrated Library System." Collaborative Librarianship 2:5.

  • Fitzpatrick, S. (2009). "Open Source Advocates Reject SirsiDynix's Warning about OSS." American Libraries.

  • Garza, A. (2009). "From OPAC to CMS Drupal as an Extensible Library Platform." Library Hi Tech 27(2): 252-267.

  • Goh, D. H. L., A. Chua, et al. (2006). "A Checklist for Evaluating Open Source Digital Library Software." Online Information Review 30(4): 360-379.

  • Hadro, J. (2009). "SirsiDynix Document on Open Source Draws Fire." Library Journal 134(20): 21-+.

  • Hassler, V. (2005). "Open Source Libraries for Information Retrieval." Ieee Software 22(5): 78-82.

  • Krishnamurthy, M. (2008). "Open access, Open Source and Digital Libraries - A Current Trend in University Libraries Around the World." Program-Electronic Library and Information Systems 42(1): 48-55.

  • Lease Morgan, E. (2002). "Possibilities for Open Source Software in Libraries." Information Technology and Libraries. 21(1): 12.

  • Library Information Technology Association (2002). Open Source Software for Libraries: An Open Source for Libraries Collaboration. Chicago, LITA.

  • Rafiq, Muhammad. "LIS Community's Perceptions Towards Open Source Software Adoption in Libraries." The International Information & Library Review 41, no. 3 (2009): 137-45.

  • Schneider, K. (2008). "Free for All: Open Source Software." School Library Journal 54(8): 44-46.

  • Thompson, J. (2008). "Free Online Games, Open Source Software and Library Technical Roles, What do they Have in Common?" originally published as “Juegos Online Gratuitos, Software de Código Abierto y Roles Técnicos en la Biblioteca, ¿Qué Tienen en Común?” El Profesional de la Informacion 17(6): 679-680.

  • Trainor, C. (2009). "Open source, Crowd Source: Harnessing the Power of the People Behind our Libraries." Program-Electronic Library and Information Systems 43(3): 288-298.