[LIS-Forum] Koha 2.2.9 has been released

vimal kumar vimal0212 at yahoo.com
Thu May 10 18:32:58 IST 2007

  Open source software and Indian libraries

  I think open source ILS like Koha not popular in India because the lack of awareness and technical expertise in installation and maintenance. Koha still now it’s developing stage and now more suitable for small libraries. PMB (www.sigb.net) is another well featured open source ILS, but its website still in French language.
     Open source library software projects are highly relying with library professionals and users to its error fixing, suggestions for new features, documentation and translation. They already succeeded in the build of basic functional modules and features essential for a library management system. In the current state, the open source automation systems offer only promise and potential and are not yet a viable option for a run-of-the-mill library. In the present situation small libraries are the main users of open source library management systems. 
  Most of the libraries in India do not have the in-house expertise to support library automation software’s, and also don’t have the ability to train staff on the use of the new technologies. Software service agencies and professionals are needed to come forward for the implementation and ongoing support of open source software solutions in libraries.
  Our libraries still approaching the small commercial ILS vendors for library automation. In many instances they failed to provide ongoing services and updates. Lack of open standards in commercial ILS makes problems while conversion and export of bibliographic data. SOUL is to be adapt the features of 4th generation ILS. Our LIS schools and professional organizations are still follows the head in sand approach towards awareness and training in open source software’s useful in libraries. Indian Government can try to frame an open source policy to encourage the use of open source software in academic institutions and libraries same as in the model of UK government (http://www.govtalk.gov.uk/policydocs/policydocs_document.asp?docnum=905). 

Vimal Kumar 
Asst. Librarian
Asian School of Business 
Trivandrum-695 581 
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