Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2012

Peer Reviewed



Over the past decade there has been an increasing interest in Free and/or Open Source Software (FOSS) in libraries— especially in FOSS Integrated Library Systems (ILS). Libraries across the globe are implementing programs such as Koha and Evergreen. Like any topic in the Library and Information Science (LIS) field today, there are several voices weighing in on FOSS ILS, coming from differing epistemologies based in theory and philosophy, and practice. In an ideal world, these voices would inform each other in a circular pattern, perpetuating a fruitful development of practice based in theory and theory based in practice. In real life, there are always tensions. This paper will explore FOSS ILS using the philosophical as well as practical perspectives present in the larger discussion.


Free and/or Open Source Software, FOSS, Integrated Library Systems, ILS, library labor economics, critical technology theory, library impact on the local economy, library software selection


Copyright © 2012 Kelly J. Thompson

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.