Linux With Education – Library Management Systems – Best Free Software

A library management system (also known as an integrated library system) is an automated resource planning system which enables a library to operate efficiently, freeing staff from unnecessary tasks. This type of software typically offers functionality such as cataloging, searching, reporting, acquisitions, library circulation and management embodied into a central system.

Modern libraries need robust, scalable and flexible software to make their collections and services attractive, especially as digital libraries are radically transforming how information is disseminated. They need to deliver better services at the same time as reducing costs and improving efficiencies.

Open source software is a popular choice for libraries. The ability to customize the software for a library’s particular needs, the potential for interoperation with other software, and the lack of license restrictions makes open source software attractive. By investing in open source projects, libraries benefit by tapping into a broadly participative, communicative, self-refining communities creating projects with the goal of serving the community.

Choosing our gold medal winner in this category was a particularly difficult selection. Viewed in the round, VuFind just shades it to gold. Its simple interface, usability, modularity, configurability, and well-established codebase help it peek out from the crowd. VuFind supports thousands of libraries,
museums, and archives worldwide. The software is developed and maintained by Villanova University’s Falvey Memorial Library.

All of our medal winners are, of course, released under a freely distributable license and can be downloaded without charge. With even tighter constraints facing the public sector, cost is an important consideration for any information and communication technology solution. No on-going support fees is particularly desirable.

Library Management Systems - Best Free Software
Gold medal awardVuFind is a library resource portal designed and developed for libraries by libraries. The goal of VuFind is to enable your users to search and browse through all of your library's resources by replacing the traditional OPAC. VuFind runs on Apache Solr, an open source search engine. VuFind has many APIs to interact with the search, data and many other features. With its OAI syndications, libraries can share their records with other institutions.
License: GNU General Public License v2
Silver medal awardKoha is a fully featured, integrated, scalable library management system. Koha is web based, so there is no software to install on desktop computers. It's popular among schools and special libraries.
License: GNU General Public Licence v3
Bronze medal awardEvergreen is a highly-scalable software for libraries that helps library patrons find library materials, and helps libraries manage, catalog, and circulate those materials, no matter how large or complex the libraries. The software is used by over 500 libraries of all types – public, academic, special, school, and even tribal and home libraries – in over a dozen countries.
License: GNU General Public License v2

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