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June 2011


The open source ILS arena exhibits a pattern of internalization. We’re seeing a rapid geographic distribution of Koha, originally developed in New Zealand, to libraries throughout the world. I find it interesting to see that Koha spans both the developed world and the developing nations. Here in North America, it has been deployed in hundreds of public and academic libraries and by different types of consortia. It’s also seeing some adoption in Europe. But Koha has also become a favorite in the developing world, finding use throughout Latin America and Africa. It seems like every week or so, I become aware of yet another library or group of libraries in some distant part of the globe that have implemented Koha. Evergreen has also begun to break out beyond its homeland here in the United States. In the April 2011 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter, we covered its expansion into the United Kingdom.

As this trend toward internationalization plays out over the next decade, I think that we’ll see a bit more homogenization of the library automation systems used worldwide. A smaller number of systems will find use in larger numbers of libraries and use of those systems will be increasingly distributed internationally. I don’t expect systems created for local markets to die out entirely, but looks to me like there will be fewer of them over time.

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