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What is OpenBiblio Hosting?

OpenBiblio is an open source software that is designed for libraries and has a number of versions. As an enterprise resource planning system and business management software, OpenBiblio uses an integrated library system (ILS) to help libraries track orders, bills, and items borrowed by patrons.

This open source integrated library system software is used primarily in many small and rural libraries around the world. It owes its popularity to simplicity, simplicity, extensive language support, and good documentation. An ILS automates the many different library work categories into one cohesive system. Through one application interface, the data that it manages over many tasks resides in common databases.

An Integrated Library System for Small and Rural

An ILS makes library functionality easier by automating many library that would otherwise be repetitive, labor intensive, and inefficient. Introducing a system like OpenBiblio frees up acquisition and maintenance costs, making it a budgetary advantage that plays right into the small and rural library profile. Automation from an ILS system like OpenBiblio also means that hardware, software and personnel costs are minimized. Designed for resources of less than 50,000 volumes, it is simple and well-supported.

Easy to Use

Whether you run a public library with thousands of items, or maintain a small collection of information resources, OpenBiblio is simple to use, and offers features for both administration and library patrons. The interface is designed to be intuitive in its layout and navigation with large tabs and a sidebar.

The software contains functions including the online public access catalog (OPAC), staff administration, cataloging, reports from the database, and circulation. The system is quite suited for those libraries and institutions that have financial, technical and organizational restrictions that keep them from implementing other open source software such as KOHA and Evergreen.

Easy to Set Up

Creating your Web-based library system is easy with OpenBiblio's straightforward installation, after which you may access it anywhere for daily management. The software can run on both Linux and Windows based environments, and requires the installation of Apache and MySQL. This would be something to verify with your hosting company.

If you’re looking to install in a Windows environment however, there are some simple guidelines that are available online to assist. Successful implementations of OpenBiblio software in production have been reported by a number of institutions including the Georgian Library Association, four small libraries in Armenia, and some primary school libraries and public libraries in Chile. Although OpenBiblio is written in the PHP Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) scripting language, users do not need to know PHP to enjoy the software.

Your patrons will appreciate this user-friendly program as well. From a flexible check out system to renewal capabilities, OpenBiblio strives to make library usage a positive experience for everyone. The OPAC is especially helpful for patrons looking for specific materials and topics. Typically, OpenBiblio operates best in smaller libraries, such as those in rural areas, because it is easy to use, and without some of the more advanced functions of other ILS programs.

Wide Adoption

The OpenBiblio system is still under active development, yet it has been adopted widely across the world in small libraries and archives. It illustrates the power of good software to propagate when it meets a need. For example. The OpenBiblio system has been translated into Spanish by a professor of Castilian, and is being used in the primary school system in Chile.

Other countries like Colombia, Cuba and Venezuela have expressed an interest in this program. The fact that it supports the Nahuatl language has made it the recommended program for use in the indigenous community libraries throughout Mexico by researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Even in Armenia, OpenBiblio has been recommended by the National Library of Armenia as the software of choice in its 900 small and rural libraries.

In the United States, at the Wyoming State Library's Library Development Office, the organization has developed a series of training materials for small libraries that are interested in implementing OpenBiblio.

Hosting Considerations

A number of hosting companies will support your use of OpenBiblio.

Ensure your plan can offer a MySQL database, as it is essential for installation. The hosting plan must also support PHP. Ideally, your host can provide database backup solutions in the event that you need recovery.

OpenBiblio Hosting Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the primary purpose of OpenBiblio?

    The OpenBiblio software package is designed to provide libraries with a higher level of organization and management. As an integrated library system, OpenBiblio is used for tasks including but not limited to tracking orders, tracking borrowed books, and organizing and maintaining a sound billing system.

  • Who is the ideal OpenBiblio user?

    OpenBiblio is designed for libraries that are in need of high-powered business management and enterprise resource planning software.

  • How is OpenBiblio's support?

    In addition to support on its official SourceForge page, many organizations have created training material for OpenBiblio. For example, the Wyoming State Library's Library Development Office has created a series of training manuals for small libraries that are interested in using the software. The Federal University of Paraiba also includes OpenBiblio in its teaching materials.

  • What are some important features of OpenBiblio?

    They include cataloguing, circulation, MARCXML and MARC records, online public access catalog, administration tasks, and the creation of reports.

  • Does OpenBiblio work for libraries of all sizes?

    The software is a good choice for small and medium libraries, but is not always the best option for larger ones. This is due to a lack of advanced features such as serials management.

  • How much does it cost to use OpenBiblio?

    Many similar software programs charge a licensing or recurring fee. This is not true with OpenBiblio which is free, open-source software.

  • Can users make changes to OpenBiblio?

    Its status as open source software ensures that users are able to customize OpenBiblio to the needs of their library. While customization is possible, most use the software as-is, as it provides all the necessary features.

  • What does my hosting plan need to support OpenBiblio?

    Not every hosting company supports the installation of OpenBiblio. If interested in installing this software, check with your hosting company to ensure that it meets the necessary requirements such as support for PHP and MySQL databases.

  • How simple is OpenBiblio to use?

    Creating a web-based library system sounds like a difficult task, but this is only true if you attempt to do so from scratch. With OpenBiblio, it is simple to install the software and have it up and running within a matter of minutes. Despite the fact that OpenBiblio is written in PHP, you do not need any knowledge of this scripting language in order to install and use the software.

  • What is the history of OpenBiblio?

    Libraries have been using OpenBiblio for many years, as the software was created by Dave Stevens in 2002. At the time, Stevens was looking for a way to create an easy to install, simple to use, and well-documented library system. This eventually led him to the creation of the first version of OpenBiblio.

  • Has OpenBiblio been updated over the years?

    There have been many versions of OpenBiblio since 2002, with new users typically opting for the most recent version. The software package is under active development, which means users can expect updates on a regular basis. This goes a long way in ensuring that it is able to keep up with technology and the ever-changing demands of the library system.

  • Is OpenBiblio recommended by any organizations?

    Many organizations recommend the use of OpenBiblio. For example, the National Autonomous University of Mexico recommends the use of OpenBiblio in libraries throughout the country because of its support of many languages including Nahuatl. Furthermore, the National Library of America recommends OpenBiblio for rural and small libraries. As a result of these recommendations, the software has grown in its reach.

  • Is OpenBiblio used in areas outside of North America?

    While most popular in the United States and Mexico, OpenBiblio is used by libraries throughout the world including countries such as Chile, Venezuela, Cuba, and Colombia.

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