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Open Source Programs for the Reference Librarian When your budget is more limited than your vision LITA Open Source Systems Interest Group.

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Presentation on theme: "Open Source Programs for the Reference Librarian When your budget is more limited than your vision LITA Open Source Systems Interest Group."— Presentation transcript:

1 Open Source Programs for the Reference Librarian When your budget is more limited than your vision LITA Open Source Systems Interest Group

2 Open Source Systems Interest Group Our interest group meeting is on Monday from 1:30 – 3:30 in the Loews New Orleans, Beauregard Room

3 Presentation Goals To encourage Reference / Instruction Librarians to build collaborative partnerships with Systems people To promote the use of Open Source in libraries and encourage development / modification of Open Source for libraries To introduce and review a number of Open Source products that might be useful for Reference

4 What is Open Source? Free redistribution Source code open and distributed, enabling modification Modifications of the source code and derivations are encouraged Peer Review model – Many developers improving and modifying products

5 Things to keep in mind Just because Open Source is “free” doesn’t mean that it doesn’t require staff time to implement and maintain it Many Open Source programs require particular operating environments and additional software (e.g. UNIX, Linux, PHP, MySQL, etc.) Using Open Source requires Systems support

6 Important Sites

7 Presenters Ranti Junus, Systems Librarian at Michigan State University – iVia [] Teria Curry, Distance Librarian at Johns Hopkins University – LibX [] Kirsten Allen, Reference/Instruction Librarian at American University – Jabber [] and Gaim []

8 Presenters Cont. Mary Evangeliste, Information Commons Training Coordinator at University of Arizona – MediaWiki [] George Harmon, Systems Librarian at Florida State University – JabRef []

9 iVia virtual library software an open source internet portal and virtual library system -Ranti Junus, Systems Librarian Michigan State University



12 what is iVia a software package for building virtual libraries of Internet resources. use it to build a database of meta data records, either manually or by employing its many record building, meta data assignment and focused crawling tools. the virtual library itself is searchable and browsable through a standard Web browser.

13 iVia developer developed by the INFOMINE Project at the Library of the University of California, Riverside as the engine for the INFOMINE Scholarly Internet Resource Collections ( free software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

14 infomine (

15 search & browse simple search advanced search: various options for search and result display results: relevance ranking by default title author, subject (LCSH), subject discipline keyword description full text

16 browse – keyword: all categories

17 browse – keyword: by category

18 search - advanced

19 search – by category

20 search – advanced: search options origins expert created or expert + web robot resource access fee based, free, both type of resources (data sets, electronic journals, gov.documents, etc.)

21 search – advanced: result options result display title only title and short paragraph ranking relevancy by title: alphabetical, ignoring stop words (The, A/An) number of results per page

22 search – advanced: options

23 search – by category: options

24 search result – all categories

25 search result – by category

26 search result – settings

27 meta data


29 back end – administration categories creation - manual import records from OAI-PMH and MARC remote service capability automatically assign meta data service to URL expert-guided crawler service to find new resources delete or replace a set of results

30 'Adders' website tools to help librarians discover and describe Internet resources adding and editing records suggestions for a new record url checker to build Internet portals and virtual libraries

31 Adders homepage ( )

32 systems & software installation apache web server mysql database linux operating system; iVia is tested on debian, redhat, and suse latest version: 5.0.0 pre 25 (as of June 20th, 2006) straight forward installation using their installation scripts

33 where to find download from their site ( extensive manual – read carefully! (

34 LibX: A Firefox Extension for Libraries Teria Curry, Distance Librarian Johns Hopkins University

35 LibX: Background LibX is a localized Firefox extension that provides direct access to your library's resources via the Firefox browser LibX Joint project of the Virginia Tech Newman Library and the VT Department of Computer Science. For more information go to

36 LibX: System Features Host code at server or institutional server Toolbar installed on Client-side Direct access to OPAC Direct access to OpenURL Resolver Integration of Google Scholar Support for embedded cues


38 From a Reference Point-of-View Great for digital Natives Toolbar can be customized to meet user needs Bridges the Internet to the Library Directs users back to full-text content

39 Open Source Chat Programs Kirsten Allen Reference and Instruction Librarian American University

40 Jabber Open Source Consumer IM Service Gaim Open Source Multi-protocol IM Client

41 Jabber   Jabber is set of streaming XML protocols; runs on Windows, Linux, MacOS X  Jabber clients can chat with commercial IM clients including Yahoo, MSN, Google talk and AOL; requires setting up gateways/ transports on specific jabber servers


43 Jabber continued...  Numerous clients to choose from ( ml) ml  Can set up in-library system using own server or can connect to Jabber public servers (  Installation requires knowledge of institution’s network infrastructure

44 Pros/Cons of Jabber  Use by millions guarantees protocols are continually improved  Not recommend for libraries without systems support familiar with XML  Advertising free – works with other commercial services

45 Gaim   Allows users to open multiple IM clients in one interface and monitor chat sessions concurrently; AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Jabber and more  Runs on a Windows, MacOS X, and Linux





50 Gaim continued…  For libraries looking to provide IM reference service using multiple IM clients  Easily installed on computer; new beta versions available at website  Supports many of the features included in other IM clients; plug-ins available for other features

51 Pros/Cons of Gaim  Products free of advertising  Being updated by programmers  Does have some bugs –

52 Using the software behind Wikipedia to create a dynamic reference F.A.Q. and social networking space. Mary F. Evangeliste Training Coordinator-Information Commons Undergraduate Services Team University of Arizona, Main Library

53 MediaWiki James A.H. Murray, Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, in his "Scriptorium" (ca. 1880). nary_Online.html

54 My dilemma-Training for Information Commons- complicated and messy… open almost 24/7 over 250 computers over 50 different software programs including Photoshop, dream weaver, Illustrator etc. over 400 databases over 20 students and 15 staff members NEED CONSTANT TRAINING!

55 What we use now: The Enquirer


57 Limitation: Dreamweaver only one contributor no shared knowledge no social aspect difficult to get students engaged

58 Advantages :Wikimedia- Reference F.A.Q. all staff and student can contribute web based –updates from anywhere at any time no master file, but always archived no software needs share training modules without fear of edits could create dynamic announcement for training with images

59 Example of Wiki: advantages

60 Advantages :social networking use protected area of wiki for social exchanges updates on campus more cultural and academic information photos, image galleries

61 Possible cons: hard to make new pages first creator would need to anticipate future needs unless it is replacing something-hard to get buy in age old problem-do the categories mean anything Definite purpose and use

62 Open Source Software in use at U of A Wiki software In the Future Email similar to OutlookThunderbird Web BroswerFirefox Uses beyond Photoshop GIMP Web ServerApache Java servlet engineTomCat Institutional RepositoryOpen Sesame

63 Open Source Bibliographic Citation Software A overview of Jabref Citation Manager George Harmond, Systems Librarian Florida State University

64 Downloading Jabref Download from Project Home Page: Prerequisite software required: An installed Java engine Recommended - the Java JRE from Many IT departments pre-install Java on computers before the user gets the computer. Some IT departments will not allow the loading of software unless approval is given – Please follow your policies !!

65 Documentation – where to get help for using Jabref Documentation can be forund at: The same documentation can be found under the Help menu in the Jabref menu bar

66 What is Jabref? From the Jabref site : “JabRef is an open source bibliography reference manager. The native file format used by JabRef is BibTeX, the standard LaTeX bibliography format. JabRef runs on the Java VM (version 1.4.2 or greater), and should work equally well on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.”

67 The Good Things Jabref runs in the Java Environment – Java is non OS-platform specific (Runs on Windows, Linux Mac OS, etc) Open Source – Free for download and use. You can download as many copies of the software as you want/need to. There are no per-computer licensing restrictions. Jabref recognizes formats for several of the major database vendors, including ISI, CSA, INSPEC, Jstor, Medline, Ovid, SciFinder. Recognizes RIS and Endnote formats.

68 The Bad News Jabref runs in the Java Environment – Jabref does not have Z39.50 capability Does not recognize the MARC format. Creating new Import filters requires a real working knowledge of Java programming. Does not print References – uses export to print.

69 Using Jabref Jabref organizes citations for you Allows the user to choose how citations are displayed Imports citations from a number of scientific and social sciences databases Will export in several formats Works (Limited) with 2.x

70 Jabref does NOT Print citations directly from the Jabref program Does NOT work directly with Microsoft word (eg. Like Endnote) However you can export in RTF format ot the clipboard and paste directly into Microsoft or OpenOffice documents. File->Export->HarvardRTF Does support export to spreadsheet as a CSV

71 Continued…. Put in something about Biblioscape the freeware citation manager Right click to export to clipboard in HTML, XML, and RTF format. Can use to paste into Word docs. Do CSA, INSPEC, ISI, JStor, Medline, Ovid, REPEC, RIS, Refer, Endnote, Scifinder, Silverplatter, What formats are supported? APA ALA ETC?? NO –You have to set things up in your own style.

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