OpenBiblio: a free and open source integrated library management system that answers small libraries’ automation needs

Tuesday Bwalya
877 157



Purpose-This paper sought to assess the suitability of Openbilio as a free and open source integrated library management system that answers small libraries' automation needs considering the fact that many free and open source integrated library management systems exit that require more skills and resources which these libraries do not have.

Methodology-The study was a qualitative technical paper on OpenBiblio. Qualitative data through documents analysis on OpenBiblio was collected and analyzed in light of its strengths and weaknesses. Secondly, the author used his personal experience of working with OpenBiblio to evaluate its suitability for use among small libraries.

Findings-The findings show that OpenBiblio is suitable for small libraries because it is easy to install and configure as compared to Koha, Evergreen and other integrated library management systems which require immense technical knowledge of Linux, MYSQL, HTML and CSS. Further, it has also been observed that OpenBiblio can run on a small computer with at least 512Mb of RAM and can run on both Windows and Linux. The study also discovered that OpenBiblio has four modules (Cataloguing, Circulation, OPAC, and Patron management that represent the core functions of small libraries; thus it computerizes the main functions of the library. OpenBiblio was also found to comply with main library standards such as Z39.50 and MARC 21. The paper however discovered that OpenBiblio has limited documentation on the Internet that makes it difficult for new beginners to install and configure it.

Originality/value- Very few scholarly papers exist on OpenBiblio as automation software suited small libraries. Many treatises exist only on giant free and open source library management systems such as Koha, ABCD and Evergreen. This paper therefore provides information for small libraries that wish to automate their operations using OpenBiblio.

Implications to small libraries- Small libraries should consider adopting and use OpenBiblio to automate their operations as it is easy to install and use.


Keywords: OpenBiblio, Free and Open Source Software, Integrated Library Management System and Library


Paper type: Technical paper

Full Text:



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