Library Issues Technology

Open Source Library

Many libraries are undergoing a re-evaluation of their technology underpinnings…their ILS, their electronic access mechanisms (OpenURL resolvers, OPAC, Metasearch), and other pieces of the melange we use to get our patrons what they need.

If you were going to attempt to move away from commercial, closed-source products and towards open source solutions for the following, what would you use? What are the areas where you are just not convinced that open source is ready for prime time, and in those cases who do you think is the most progressive choice for an academic library?

  • ILS
  • OPAC (if separate from ILS)
  • OpenURL Resolver
  • ERM
  • MetaSearch
  • Other tools I’ve forgotten… 🙂

I’ve got some feelings about a few of these areas, but in others I’m just not sure. Help me make up my mind what to play with…

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

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