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Expectations versus experiences: librarians using open source integrated library systems

Vandana Singh (School of Information Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 30 September 2014




This paper compares the technical support-related experiences with the expectations of librarians using open source Integrated Library Systems (ILS).


A combination of surveys and triangulating interviews was conducted to obtain the results presented.


The results of this study indicate that there are many channels of technical support available to librarians who use open source ILS. Also, these channels of technical support perform at acceptable levels according to the expectations of librarians using open source software.

Research limitations/implications

The results presented in this study are self-reported expectations and experiences of librarians and not observed experiences.

Practical implications

The results from this study will provide an insight to librarians contemplating adoption or migration to open source ILS. The results presented here will be useful in decision-making as well as developing a strategy for technical support based on the presented options.


The interest in open source ILS has been observed and studied in the last decade, but the technical support of open source systems, which is a critical component of the adoption process, has not received much attention. This paper focuses specifically on the technical support for open source ILS and provides insight into the experiences of librarians.



This research is funded by an Early Career Grant awarded to the author by Institute of Museum and Library Services.


Singh, V. (2014), "Expectations versus experiences: librarians using open source integrated library systems", The Electronic Library, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 688-709.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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