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Free Kittens! Who’s Using Open Source?

woman holding two black and grey kittens
Kitten Goggles! by fiatlux on flickr

Open source software is often described as being free as in free kittens, not free lunch. Sure, you can use it, enjoy it, and even customize it without paying a cent, but who’s going to maintain it? Do you have someone with the systems knowledge and programming skills to really make it work for you?

Librarian and open source advocate Nicole Engard recently shared two very useful slide presentations. The first presentation addresses some common questions about open source, including:

  • Concerns about quality, security, and support
  • The role of the developer community in quality control and innovation
  • How open source software is being used by businesses and libraries

The second presentation, embedded below, gives 54 examples of open source software products: web authoring tools, media players, room schedulers, citation managers, library catalogs, digital repositories, and much more. Take a look and discover something new.

At NN/LM PNR, we take advantage of a number of open source products. The blog you’re reading now runs on the WordPress platform. We use Moodle when we teach online classes. Our internal web pages are built using MediaWiki. If you’ve taken our class about podcasting, you learned how to use Audacity to record and edit audio. Last year, we wrote about the UW Health Sciences Library’s use of DimDim for remote reference consultations. Last April, we hosted an online presentation by Lorena O’English about Zotero, an open source bibliographic citation manager.

How are you using open source software in your organizations? Please share in the comments.

2 Responses to “Free Kittens! Who’s Using Open Source?”

  1. Alison Aldrich Says:

    Thanks to Michael Boer, Aron Beal, and David Tolmie of NN/LM WebSTOC for their great work behind the scenes to keep our kittens under control!

  2. Hope Leman Says:

    Hi, Alison–wow. What a jam-packed slideshow! I just tweeted this post so as to alert others to it.