Open Source Software Learning Opportunity

Everyone in the library world is probably at least a little bit familiar with open source software.  A lot of people are using open source web browsers like Firefox and Chrome and the open source office suite Open Office has been around long enough that the software has forked into two branches – Open Office and Libre Office.

At my library – and in fact at the entire VALNet consortium – we’re embracing open source by migrating from our current ILS to the Koha open source ILS at the end of April, 2012 (the CIN consortium is doing the same thing too about a week after we are).

Within the 7 libraries in the Latah County Library District we’ve decided that we like the concept of open source software enough that we are no longer going to buy computers with proprietary office software on them.  All of our new public computers will have Libre Office installed on them.

If you’ve gotten this far into this post, though, and you’re still asking yourself “what is open source software?” then you’re in luck.  Nicole Engard from ByWater Solutions is offering a free presentation on open source software for libraries on April 12, 2012, (for more information go to and the slideshow from her presentation earlier this week is available at

There is also a good comparison of open source office software and office packages at