Article

Free as in Freedom, Not as in Beer: Free and Open Source Software ILS and the Library Community

Author: Kelly J Thompson (University of Iowa)

  • Free as in Freedom, Not as in Beer: Free and Open Source Software ILS and the Library Community

    Article

    Free as in Freedom, Not as in Beer: Free and Open Source Software ILS and the Library Community

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Abstract

Over the past decade there has been an increasing interest in Free and/or Open Source Software (FOSS) in libraries— especially in FOSS Integrated Library Systems (ILS). Libraries across the globe are implementing programs such as Koha and Evergreen. Like any topic in the Library and Information Science (LIS) field today, there are several voices weighing in on FOSS ILS, coming from differing epistemologies based in theory and philosophy, and practice. In an ideal world, these voices would inform each other in a circular pattern, perpetuating a fruitful development of practice based in theory and theory based in practice. In real life, there are always tensions. This paper will explore FOSS ILS using the philosophical as well as practical perspectives present in the larger discussion.

Keywords: Free and/or Open Source Software, FOSS, Integrated Library Systems, ILS, library labor economics, critical technology theory, library impact on the local economy, library software selection

How to Cite:

Thompson, K. J., (2012) “Free as in Freedom, Not as in Beer: Free and Open Source Software ILS and the Library Community”, B Sides: Fieldwork 2012(1): 23, 1–17.

Rights: Copyright © 2012 Kelly J. Thompson

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Published on
23 Jul 2012
Peer Reviewed
License
CC BY-NC-ND 3.0