The open source library, for books that is

One of the things that really warms my heart is to see governmental and pseudo-governmental agencies (which often have quite limited budgets as individual entities but collectively have both talent and money) contribute to the common good (and help themselves) by creating open source software which meets their needs and the needs of their peers. This is a great example of how there are a lot of agencies in different geographical areas paying for the same software but which could work collaborativly to develop open source solutions saving everyone money.

The example coming to mind right now is the Georgia PINES library consortium which has developed a free ILS (integrated library system). Libraries often pay quite a bit of money to commercial vendors for nightmarish ILS systems and these fees can easily break the budget for smaller library systems or standalone libraries. A solution like this is an excellent opportunity to have some control over the development of features and costs while contributing back to peer libraries.

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