OpenBiblio Commence!

I gave up on Evergreen.  It became an everloving pain to try and set up.  I moved on to OpenBiblio.  It was not my first alternate.  I wanted to use Koha, but I didn’t find any installation instructions for Koha.  Maybe I was too lazy to look.

OpenBiblio does not have the same poetic history as Evergreen.  Instead, OpenBiblio is just a no-nonsense, extremely simple to use ILS.  It’s best suited to small libraries.  It is released open source with the GPL license, so it’s free.

Not as elegant as Evergreen, but it was a lot simpler to set up.

First, I installed LAMP on my computer.  LAMP is an acronym for Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP.  These are four tools typical for a web server.  Linux is the operating system, Apache is the web server, MySQL is the database, and PHP is a scripting language that makes it all go.

I mostly followed the handy dandy instructions that came on the OpenBiblio download.  It was pretty straight forward, but since it was not written for Ubuntu, I had to use my noodle (and google) a bit to get stuff started.  I got a little hung up on installing PHP as a module for Apache, but it seems that Ubuntu will do that for you pretty easily (yay!).  But as soon as you configure the database, and web server, OpenBiblio just kinda goes.  Very simple.  And that screenshot up there is the result.

It’s nice, but not entirely great.  The OPAC does not have an advanced search function.  The catalog is a bit too simple and plain, and there’s not a lot of options for customization.  You can change colors and the header picture, but I don’t think it’s skinnable.  Catalog records are entirely text, no pictures.  Still, it was easy to set up and really easy to use.  We’ll see how long it takes for me to get fed up with it and change it.  I also need to figure out if there’s a way to export the table into some universal form that can be uploaded into a different ILS if I so choose.

On to the cataloging!


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