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Public Library Staff's Perceived Value and Satisfaction of an Open Source Library System


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine public library staff attitudes towards an open-source library automation system in the state of Indiana. The researchers were interested in understanding the library staff's perceptions of the value of the system in performing their job duties and improving library services.

Findings: The primary benefits reported were: ability to check the availability of library materials at other Evergreen libraries via the shared catalogue, the Evergreen system provided more functionality than their previous library automation systems and the ability to reserve materials for patrons.

Design/methodology/approach: The researchers travelled to nine public libraries every three months to survey library staff from January to December 2010. The participants completed the surveys at the libraries and were given the option to remain anonymous. The survey consisted of six questions regarding the use of the Evergreen system for work processes and basic demographic information of the staff. There were a total of 323 survey respondents. Of the 323 respondents, 57 (17.65 per cent) used the Evergreen system in their daily work routines at the library.

Research limitations/implications: This was a convenience sample. All survey participants provided their responses voluntarily during the 12-month study period. A more comprehensive sampling procedure should be considered in the future.

Originality/value: The study indicated the need for improvements in the Evergreen Indiana system. Those improvements were also relevant to other open-source integrated library systems.


Library and Learning Resources

Keywords and Phrases

Evergreen; Library information systems; Library staff development; OPACs; Open source integrated library systems

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Document Type

Article - Journal

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