64 · Survey Results: Survey Questions and Responses
32. Please enter any additional information that may assist the survey authors’ understanding of your
library’s use of open source software. N=19
I forgot to add that we developed a collection directory application, currently used for two projects, WAAND (Women
Artists Archives National Directory) and NAP (Newark Archives Project).
Last August we hired a programmer with Drupal skills to assist in the library’s web site redesign. We are trying to get
colleagues to use Gimp because the licensing fees for Adobe Photoshop are prohibitive. Needless to say, Gimp is not
being well received, yet. The campus and university system procurement office is trying to negotiate a campus and
OSS allows for greater customizations that fulfill the needs of so many library patrons and employees. We are lucky
enough to have enough staff to get started on these projects, but it was very important for us to agree on some
core OSS elements to make it easier to maintain in the long run. A good example of this our use of PHP and Apache.
Focusing on this as a core allows for a smaller number of programmers to turn out and support a large number of
applications. I will note that we have a smaller use for MySQL as there is a significant cost reduction in licensing
Microsoft SQL for the university system. Therefore, we are not in the norm in that our Linux, PHP, and Apache works
more with Microsoft SQL than MySQL.
OSS is a cost effective way to provide solutions that can be customized to local needs. The various components can be
used to build products and solutions large and small. A staff of skilled software developers is required to use the tools,
and products. It also requires system support staff to learn and support new tools, especially database systems.
OSS is used to support operations. Currently, not a major focus. Generally not using because of development and
maintenance costs (staff time).
The availability of staff skilled in OSS technology remains the one hurdle to implementing more OSS as a strategy for the
library. There is great interest in utilizing OSS more widely as a part of our technology strategy, but balancing availability
of skillsets vs. demand will be challenging.
The Libraries and Academic Computing and Networking Services (ACNS) both report to the Vice President for
Information Technology/Dean of Libraries.
The library has the will to participate in OSS if we had the staff time and resources to commit to OSS projects.
The use of OSS is very important to our mission, resource, and risk management.
This survey didn’t ask about future projections of OSS use. We currently have DSpace but are devoting several full-time
staff to developing Fedora Commons and Hydra. IT staff are divided between the ITS department and the Center for
Digital Research and Scholarship.
We are a typical large research university. The use of OSS for interface to the digital library (REST APIs) allow for our
research faculty to create content with whatever tools they are comfortable with. We encourage use of our standards,
but if they use the API, they can do what they please with our digital assets.
We are very supportive of OSS but ultimately use the products that best meet our needs. Sometimes this is OSS but
sometimes it is a commercial vendor product as there are advantages and disadvantages to both.
We believe in it deeply. It’s what we do. We’d be up a creek without it.
We have no preference for OSS over vendor software. We use what works best and what we can afford.