ITT 2002 Cover Page
ISSN 0971-7102
Vol 21 No 3 & 4 September & December 2002


Open Source Software for Libraries

Vimal Kumar Varun
Scientist 'D'
Department of Scientific & Industrial Research
Technology Bhawan, New Mehrauli Road, New Delhi-110016
Internet: URL:


Open Source is becoming an increasingly popular software development method for producing successful software like Linux Operating System, Apache Web Server, Perl. Open Source Software is licensed to guarantee free access to the precompiled binaries, so called the source code. This allows the user to install the software on a new platform without an additional purchase and to get support for a product whose creator no longer supports it. Those who are technically inclined can fix bugs themselves rather than waiting for someone else to do so.

A variety of licenses are used to ensure that the source code will remain available, wherever the code is actually used. Unlike freeware and public-domain software, Open Source Software is copyrighted and distributed with license terms designed to ensure that the source code will always be available. While a fee may be charged for the software's packaging, distribution, or support, the complete package needed to create files is included, not simply a portion needed to view files created elsewhere.

OSS4LIB (Open Source System for Libraries) at, is the definitive information resource for Open Source Software in libraries. It also includes current news and a listing of known projects. In additon, Freshmeat at and Sourceforge at also provide information on Open Source Software developments. The list given below is not exhaustive and links are provided to some of the Open Source Software used for libraries.

Koha, Open Source Library System

Greenstone Digital Library Software

Avanti, An open source library computing system


iVia Open Source Virtual Library System


Ganesha Digital Library

Research Guide


Learning Access ILS

Open Source Digital Library System /about.html

Virtual Library: Open Source Information Broker

Jake, a metadata collective for ejournals

Suggested Readings /01mitchell.html /freeware_library_system.html /koha.html /links.html

Attention ITT Readers

The Internet Edition of ITT, available at, comes out much before the publication of its print version. You may also browse the back issues from 1995 onwards.

Information Today & Tomorrow, Vol. 21, No. 3 & 4, September & December 2002, p.14