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OSS-ILS Research

Comparison of Technical Support for Open Source vs Proprietary Integrated Library Systems

Dr. Vandana Singh, Principal Investigator (PI)
IMLS Award Amount: $321,178; Matching Amount: $37,122
Length of Project: 3 years (Aug 2009 to July 2012)

In this Early Career Development project, Vandana Singh of the School of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee Knoxville will compare the level of technical support required by open-source integrated library systems (the computer systems used to acquire, manage, and circulate library materials) and the off-the-shelf, proprietary versions of these systems. This research project seeks to better inform librarians about the maintenance and management costs associated with one of the key tools that they use to serve the public.

Action Item

As part of an this project we will compare the technical support for Open Source Integrated Library Systems with proprietary Integrated Library Systems. In phase 1 of this research project, we are collecting data regarding the expectations of librarians for technical support and the available channels of technical support. We will identify the expectations of librarians about technical support for ILS (both open source software and proprietary software. And, we will assess the effectiveness of the current channels and processes for technical support in satisfying the expectations of the librarians. At this stage, we are looking for participants interested in contributing to this study. If you would be willing to participate in the study or can make some recommendations for potential participants that would be greatly appreciated. At this time, the only information we are soliciting is:

  • Are you currently using an ILS?
  • Are you using an open source or proprietary ILS?
  • What type of library are you working in? (School, Public, Academic, Special, etc.)
  • Is your library in rural area or urban?
  • Would you be willing to participate in this study? (Participation entails responding to survey questions administered electronically and/or participating in interviews).
  • You can also direct any queries or suggestions to

    We will be launching a full-fledged website for the project very soon!