Free Software for Libraries Ideas Exchange

I’ve posted quite a bit in the past about different free software products I’ve used in my library such as in the articles below, but I’d love to hear what everyone else is using. Let’s have an ideas exchange about what free software products you’ve been able to make use of in your library or organization. Please submit an entry to the poll below!!

Managing Electronic Resources
“I came across a free open-source Electronic Resources Management System called Coral that’s been developed by the folks at the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Libraries. I’m so impressed with it I wanted to share the details with everyone. The application is made up of four modules, each offering different functionality. They are all interoperable, but you don’t need to install all of the modules if you don’t want to use certain functions.”

Reference Statistics with Zoho Creator
“I’ve been using Zoho for a while now for its word processing and spreadsheet programs. The other day I decided to play around with the Zoho Creator to check out their capabilities with creating databases as I needed a way to keep track of more detailed statistics for our reference department. I don’t have much background with database creation, but I managed to create a Reference Statistical Analysis database in about 20 minutes. It’s all drag and drop functionality and it’s quite simple to get the hang of right away.”

Create Your own Personal Knowledge Base
“Fall is right around the corner, and for many of us that means that life starts to get hectic. One of the ways that I keep everything organized is through a private knowledge base that I created using PBWorks a few years ago. It’s a free cloud-based wiki application which lets you create both private and public wikis. I use PBWorks’ public wikis to teach my workshops, and I use a private one as a brainstorming center, a place to keep important documents, and an easy way to archive past research.”

Create Your Own Library Social Media Monitoring Dashboard
“I decided to use a free start page which allows you to create private pages as I wanted to limit viewing to staff. I chose Protopage since I’m a big fan of their start pages. I used their Widgets tool to quickly add RSS Feeds of searches I did on various sites and ended up with a great dashboard that is going to let us watch and participate in conversations that are happening across the Web.”

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