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Beyond Open Source

  • Jason Casden,, NCSU Libraries
  • Bret Davidson,, NCSU Libraries

The Code4Lib community has produced an increasingly impressive
collection of open source software over the last decade, but much of
this creative work remains out of reach for large portions of the
library community. Do the relatively privileged institutions represented
by a majority of Code4Lib participants have a professional
responsibility to support the adoption of their innovations?

Drawing from old and new software packaging and distribution approaches
(from freeware to Docker), we will propose extending the open source
software values of collaboration and transparency to include the wide
and affordable distribution of software. We believe this will not only
simplify the process of sharing our applications within the Code4Lib
community, but also make it possible for less well resourced
institutions to actually use our software. We will identify areas of
need, present our experiences with the users of our own open source
projects, discuss our attempts to go beyond open source, and make an
argument for the internal value of supporting and encouraging a vibrant
library ecosystem.