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Open Letter to Vandana Singh re Open Source ILS Site
Posted by Lori Ayre on September 11, 2012
A new website has popped up as a result of a research project undertaken at the University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences. The project was funded from an IMLS grant. I don't know if there is any expectation of keeping up the site but there are some useful things there and some not-so-useful things there. Several of us have attempted to contact the lead research, Vandana Singh, so she could correct the misrepresentations. But no one has received a response. Too bad. Anyway, here's the letter I sent her.
I am a library technology consultant working in the area of open source ILS, materials handling, RFID, and a few other things. The new site you created looks to be very useful. We've needed something like what you've created for awhile!
I do take issue, however, with your representation of Liblime as the "global leader in Koha support." See http://opensource-ils.cci.utk.edu/content/faqs. Liblime may make that claim, but it has no basis in reality. As is clear from the long list of service providers for Koha on the Koha Support page (https://koha-community.org/support/paid-support/), there are many, many companies providing services. Some are bigger in one country than others. But Liblime is most definitely not the leader in any one country. In the U.S., if you consult Marshall Breeding's directory, you'll see that the bulk of the libraries using support providers for their Koha system are using ByWater Solutions.
Also, as you indicate on your site, the version of software provided by Liblime is no longer the open source community Koha so one could argue that they shouldn't even be included (or at least their non-Open Source products shouldn't be included). I think they may ALSO support community Koha so it would be good to list them as a service provider but featuring them in the Koha FAQ area of your website as "global leaders?" ...that's quite a reach and it only serves to inflame the community who has had to deal with Liblime making similar claims for years.
I hope you will make some changes to your otherwise very useful website so that it doesn't get written off as a tool of Liblime.
Lori Bowen Ayre //
Library Technology Consultant / The Galecia Group
Oversight Board & Communications Committee / Evergreen
(707) 763-6869 // Lori.Ayre@galecia.com
Specializing in open source ILS solutions, RFID, filtering,
workflow optimization, and materials handling