LYRASIS Launches FOSS4LIB to Provide Guidance to Libraries about Open Source Software


Last updated February 17, 2012.

ATLANTA – (January 18, 2012) – LYRASIS is pleased to announce the launch of FOSS4LIB (Free & Open Source Software for Libraries), a website dedicated to providing guidance about open source software for the library community.

With funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, LYRASIS Technology Services is leveraging the expertise of its open source development team and consulting staff to help librarians and technologists navigate through the planning, decision-making and implementation processes associated with open source. “Open source software enables libraries to improve their services in cost-effective ways. Through the FOSS4LIB website, library professionals will be able to more effectively assess and meet the needs of their staff and users through open source,” said Kate Nevins, Executive Director of LYRASIS.

FOSS4LIB offers a set of Decision Support Tools for the library community to assess open source readiness and related decisions. The tools include:

  • a self-paced survey to determine the best open source hosting option;
  • a list of questions that helps libraries understand open source software requirements and how to integrate with their larger institutional technology environments;
  • a list of factors that impact the true cost of implementing open source; and
  • a document to guide the final software package selection.

The site also details current information about open source software service providers, events and usage. Through its open source software registry, FOSS4LIB enables providers to highlight their software packages and benefits, libraries to submit firsthand experience with open source software, and users to learn about open source software updates and releases.

FOSS4LIB is accessible at Software package creators, service providers and library professionals are encouraged to add their contact information to the registry. LYRASIS is providing additional information about this free online resource via free webinars and online classes, and will present overviews at the ALA Midwinter Conference.

  • January 21st from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM (CST), City Center Marriott Somerset Room
  • January 22nd from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM (CST), City Center Marriott Bordeaux Room


LYRASIS partners with member libraries to create, access and manage information, while building and sustaining collaboration, enhancing library and technology operations, and increasing buying power. For more information, please visit

The Conversation

It would be interesting to organize software packages according to their type, e.g. CMS, LMS, Reference Manager.
For reference managers you could include besides Zotero, Mendeley and Readcube.

Best Regards

Nicole Engard's picture

Thanks for the comments.

Everyone always tells me to look at Mendeley as an open source tool, but there is no where on the official site that is says it's open source (or uses an open source license). It is free of cost, but not free software. Wikipedia lists the license as proprietary (

I also can't find licensing info on Readcube, it too is free of cost, but I'm not sure it's open source.

To see software in categories, simply click on any of the category tags on the software package to see others like it. For example -

Sofia -- We're going to add a way to be able to browse by software category. Thanks for the comment!

ZODML's picture

Hello everyone,
i am new here and still trying to explore this community.
i work with a library here and we are currently working on having an on line library. please what software can i use to make the search options on the web page faster and user friendly.
thank you. i hope i get a reply soon.