Open Source Tools in Libraries

Learn more about all of the Open Source Tools below by either clicking the link in the list or scrolling. Please also remember to complete the survey!

Inkscape

Inkscape

Inkscape is professional quality vector graphics software which runs on Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux. It can be used to create a wide variety of graphics such as illustrations, icons, logos, diagrams, maps and web graphics. Vector graphics are special in that they scale without losing quality; so Inkscape is an excellent choice where scalability is a primary concern; this would be great for library web design. Explore some of the basics here.

Freeplane

Freeplane

Application for creating mind maps (diagrams of connections between ideas), and electronic outlines. Written in Java, Freeplane is supported on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, and is licensed under the GNU GPL version "2 or later". FreePlane can be downloaded from SourceForge and this wiki has useful info. I found this especially relevant for library management and planning.

Mobile Hotspots

Mobile Hotspots

A small, portable device that connect laptops and mobile devices to the Internet. The device is run through a cellular company, and requires no installation for the user as they run on a cellular line. These are especially useful as a means to promote digital equity in a library; allowing patrons a low cost solution to web access. You can rent this technology here, and some tips here.

Joomla!

Joomla!

A free and open-source award-winning content management system (CMS) for publishing Web content. Joomla! is incredibly popular; powering nearly 2 million active websites. The two most relevant qualities for libraries are the extensions: BibTeX, a citation generator, and BookLibrary, a book collection management tool that offers features such as lend/return management, front-end book reviews by users, and built-in ebook support. This tutorial is a great introduction to one of the extensions, BibteX.

Greenstone

Greenstone

Greenstone is software built on the platform of library integrated system for libraries buidling and distributing their digital collections. Further information can be found in the book How to build a digital library, authored by three of the group's members. I found this software especially relevant because it provides a way of organizing information and publishing it on the web or on removable media such as DVD and USB flash drives.

Lime Survey

Lime Survey

Survey tool which allows users to create, publish, and collect responses to surveys. LimeSurvey would be helpful in libraries because it would give researchers a chance to easily collect data from survey participants. This would save the researcher time as they would not need to manually give surveys or scroll through research done by others in an effort to find the data they are looking for. I found their templates especially helpful.

Krita

Krita

Image editor application; with focus on painting. Interviews with users of Krita can be found here and provide a good snapshot of what Krita involves. This tool is useful in a similar way to Inkscape; it would be great to introduce your library patrons to this powerful software, and it could act as an alternative to Photoshop for digital painting features.

Libre Office

LibreOffice

Tool that offers access to several office suite applications including a word processor, spreadsheets, presentations, vector graphics and flowcharts, databases, and formula editing. LibreOffice is a great alternative to Microsoft Office. It would be another software that could help create digital equity among your patrons. LibreOffice has its own blog, which has a ton of useful info.

TuxPaint

TuxPaint

A free, award-winning drawing program for children 3-12 (preschool aged through K-6). TuxPaint is an excellent tool for preliterate children to develop early computer and technology literacy skills. With this flexible interface, TuxPaint adapts to remain useful and suitable for many ages and library/classroom/home creative uses. This tutorial is a great introduction.

Libki

Libki

A cross-platform Open Source computer reservation & time management system. Libki is tailored to environments such as schools and libraries where there is an allotted or controlled amount of time for user's to access public computers. This tool allows librarians to manage computer reservations, user's printing requests, access restrictions, hours of access, and more through one main control center. I found this user manual very helpful to learn more about it.

Info Tech Open Source Tools Survey

Below are 10 open source info tech tools that are potentially relevant to libraries.

Please indicate below what your expertise is.

This will help me evaluate these technologies for this course.

Use the following scale to indicate your current level of expertise:

1: You have never heard of or used the technology listed.

2: You have never used the technology listed yourself, but it is part of your workplace.

3: You are intermediate user of this technology.

4: You are an intermediate user of this technology and you make use of it at your workplace.

5: You are an expert user of this technology; it may or may not be part of your workplace.

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