Adoption of Open Source Software in Libraries in Developing Countries

Adoption of Open Source Software in Libraries in Developing Countries

Josiline Phiri Chigwada (Bindura University of Science Education, Bindura, Zimbabwe)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/IJLIS.2018010102

Abstract

A survey on the adoption of open source software in libraries in developing countries was conducted. An online questionnaire was sent to Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) and Special Commonwealth Assistance for Africa (SCAAP) participants for the Advanced Certificate Course in Modern Library Practices and the Lib@web participants of the Management of Electronic Information and Digital Libraries programme at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. The ITEC/SCAAP programme is sponsored by Government of India while the Lib@web programme is sponsored by Flemish Interuniversity Council – Belgian Development Council (VLIR-OUS). The data was collected from 31 librarians who attended these training programmes. The findings revealed that most libraries in developing countries which sent participants to these programmes have adopted open source software. The author recommends that librarians should continue upgrading their skills so that they are conversant with how the various open source software can be used in their institutions.
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Objectives

The study seeks:

  • 1.

    To examine the use of open source software in libraries in developing countries;

  • 2.

    To explain the benefits of adopting open source software in libraries in developing countries;

  • 3.

    To understand the challenges faced by libraries in developing countries when using open source software.

Benefits Of Open Source Software

Engard (2014), Creative Librarian (2016), Techsoup (2015), LINFO (2005), Jones and Ng (2011) agree that library collections are growing, and the task of organising library materials can be daunting if it is done manually. Due to the advent of information technology, various library management systems are now used to organise library materials (Reddy, 2013). There are a number of benefits that can be enjoyed by a library when it adopts open source software when automating its library services. Anilkumar, Mallikarjun, and Viral (2014), Bruno, Barbara, and Giancarlo (2012), Dalling and Rafferty (2013) state that the benefits include but are not limited to lower costs, no vendor lock in, adaption and innovation, and support through user communities and discussion groups (Reddy, 2013). Randhawa (2008) adds that librarians would have greater control of their environments if they adopt open source software since they can tailor make the software to meet their respective needs.

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