Chapter 4: Conclusions and Observations

Marshall Breeding


For at least the last two decades, libraries have overwhelmingly obtained their core automation systems from specialized vendors who offer the software through licenses that allow the company to retain exclusive access to the underlying source code. In recent years, open source software has become an increasingly popular alternative. The underlying program code is made available for anyone to inspect, repair, or improve. The open source software movement has entered the library automation industry, introducing a new set of integrated library systems and a clique of companies offering a business model based on service and support rather than software license fees. This issue of
Library Technology Reports
provides an overview of this new aspect of the library automation industry and provides detailed information about the major open source integrated library systems and the companies that support them.

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