Editorial: The Open Source Movement and Libraries

By Marmion, Dan | Information Technology and Libraries, December 2001 | Go to article overview

Editorial: The Open Source Movement and Libraries


Marmion, Dan, Information Technology and Libraries


I've been thinking about open source software (1) lately for a couple of reasons. One reason is that the March 2002 issue of ITAL will be a theme issue devoted to open source applications in libraries, guest edited by Jeremy Frumkin of the University of Arizona.

The other reason is a bit closer to home. I hired Eric Lease Morgan to be head of a new department at the Notre Dame Libraries called the Digital Access and Information Architecture Department (DAIAD, pronounced "die-ad," frontward or backward). Eric is something of a force in the open source movement and was the primary developer of the MyLibrary@NCState (http:// my.lib.ncsu.edu) open source software created at North Carolina State University. (He is contributing an article to Jeremy's issue, incidentally.)

One of Eric's first responsibilities here at Notre Dame is to convert our library Web site to a database-driven technology and he wants to do it on an open source platform. My job is to decide whether to go along with that or to dictate a more conventional approach using something like Oracle and ColdFusion or Active Server Pages (ASP). Hence my immediate reason for devoting my time to the subject.

So what's the problem? Why not just do it? One reason is that despite a few well-publicized examples, there is not yet a whole lot of open source software available, and the movement is still fairly young and unproven. Another is that if we go this direction, we will have to commit some substantial human resources to do the required programming.

Does that mean we shouldn't do it? Why put my eggs in an unproven basket? Why commit valuable human resources to create more of this unproven software?

Maybe it isn't all that unproven. There are, as I mentioned, some fairly well known and widespread open source applications, such as the Apache Web server and the Linux operating system. My sense is that Linux is finding its way into more and more libraries these days, and that Apache is the leading Web server in colleges and universities. So to call those two unproven is really subject to debate. Likewise, open source products such as MySQL and Perl are being used in many applications.

While it's true that open source applications require programmers, the fact is that ColdFusion and ASP also require programming, and I would surely not want to run a critical library application based on Oracle without someone with extensive Oracle knowledge and experience on hand. Thus the human resources argument is also less compelling, especially when you realize that not only do you have to invest dollars in people to make those commercial products works properly, you also have a substantial cost in licenses for them that you don't have with open source software. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Editorial: The Open Source Movement and Libraries
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.