Story Submissions


Everybody is allowed to create accounts and post stories at To keep things somewhat consistent, please follow the following guidelines.

  • All posted stories should be about free/open source software/systems or libraries or both. It is definitely okay to post stories that ask for help within these topics. But, we won't do your homework for you.
  • Before you want to post a story, contact me. You won't be able to create a story until I twiddle a bit in your profile. Think of it as an email-based captcha. :)
  • If you post a story about a software release, please:
    1. Make the story title explicit: if you're releasing version 3.14 of FooLibrary, call the story "FooLibrary-3.4".
    2. Include working links to your project page, and a separate download page. Please double check your links, only you know where your stuff is and if links are broken, we can't see it. :)
    3. Attach a copy of your software release if reasonable; compressed tarballs/zipfiles preferred. It is not reasonable to post 100+Mb files. By posting your software to, you increase the likelihood that the rest of us have a reasonable chance of finding it if your own site goes away. This happens all the time, and for several interesting projects, files cached at are the only known copies of released software.
    4. Keyword tags are a very useful way to find your project, and browse everything at oss4lib, so please assign one or more keywords to your project from the provided list. If you're not sure if a keyword fits, browse other stories posted with that tag to be sure. If you think you need a new keyword added, contact the administrators. Fwiw, though, seven years and 450+ posts have fit into the vocabulary we have now, so, there's probably at least one existing tag you can use now, and it's easy for us to add another if your new tag idea makes sense (we can add it even after you post your story, so go ahead and post it).
  • Site editors/administrators reserve the right to edit content for consistency, and the right to remove posted stories or comments for any reason. It's likely we'd only actually remove content if it is considered by the editors to be grossly offensive, discriminatory, lewd, or just out of scope. We don't ever want to remove content, but we will if we have to.
  • Site editors/administrators reserve the right to ban users who repeatedly post content that does not follow these guidelines or who otherwise abuse the system. is back!

NOT SAN ANTONIO, TX - In a gala closing reception held nowhere near the ALA Midwinter Conference, the longest-running-if-barely-so library tech blog came back. Bananas were eaten; drupal modules were installed. Reached at an Ikea store in Georgia, Ross Singer said "I use OSS4Lib, the /only/ source for OSS in Libraries." It's true, he said that - you could hear the slashes in his southern drawl. mdxi, of upstate #code4lib, added "oss4lib is the leading no-longer-purple web news source for developments in the intersection of libre software development and the evolution the library."

Updates include:

  • Uses a real backend that wasn't written in 1998
  • All old content has been tagged by topic
  • Anybody can sign up and submit stories
  • Anybody can create a project page for their open source/library project
  • We're aggregating "oss4lib" tag feeds from and unalog; use the tag "oss4lib" on relevant links when you post to those sites, and your links will show up on the right over there -->
  • All stories come with easy links to save or look up story bookmarks at unalog,, digg, reddit, and technorati
  • You can sign up to get email notifying you of new stories again

Things left to do:

  • A better theme (looking for volunteer contributions!)
  • Some old links are probably broken; old list archive in particular needs a new home
  • Figure out a good way to recreate the old project list and file cache
  • Profit!

Come have a look around.

Comments/suggestions for the new backend


Please kick the tires a bit, and leave any comments here. Only registered users can comment or post, so create an account and sign if you want.

Thanks! -dchud

About oss4lib


Our mission is to build better and free systems for use in libraries. Toward this end, we maintain a listing of free software and systems designed for libraries (the physical, books-on-shelves kind), and we track news about project updates or related issues of interest.

oss4lib started at the Yale Medical Library in early February 1999 thinking there were probably other folks like us out there who might be working on free library software or looking for same. Our reasons for wanting to see Open Source take off in the library software arena are straightforward, fairly typical, and mostly outlined in the Open Source Systems for Libraries: Getting Started piece. You would think librarians would have figured this shared software thing out years ago. :)

Dan Chudnov (dchud) started oss4lib and maintains it, along with the many readers who often post news. Everyone is welcome to sign up for an account and post news, so long as it's about free software or libraries or the intersection of both.

oss4lib is a volunteer effort. If you like oss4lib, consider buying snazzy oss4lib tshirts and mugs; we'll get $3/shirt or $2/mug, which doesn't sound like much but actually really helps.

Open Source Orgs Invited to Fourth Annual SoCal Linux Expo


SCALE is inviting all Open Source organizations to participate in the fourth annual So Cal Linux Expo.

Looking for an effective way to tell your product story and demonstrate its latest features to both new users as well as Linux veterans? Join other prestigious members of the Open Source community as they combine forces at the preeminent Linux exposition in the West. The fourth annual Southern California Linux Expo brings together businesses, academic institutions and the Linux community in Los Angeles on February 11-12, 2006.

KDE, MythTV, NetBSD, Debian and other organizations will be making their presence known alongside with corporate sponsors such as IBM. Meet the users and the industry influencers; get your name and your product front and center with a receptive and informed audience.

This year's SCALE will offer an expanded exhibit area to better accommodate your needs. The speaker list reads like a Who's Who of Open Source. Session topics ranging from beginner to expert draw a diverse crowd of enthusiastic attendees. Don't be conspicuous by your absence. Reserve your spot now for SCALE 4x by contacting us here:

Spanish translation of the paper about open source


roberto writes: "A full-text paper regarding some open source ILS (Integrated library Systems), already notified to this discussion list some months ago, has been just translated from the orginal Italian language into Spanish by Patricia Russo."

LibLime Site Launch


Joshua writes: "LibLime is pleased to announce the launch of our website and product demos. LibLime provides full vendor services (migration assistance, staff training, and software maintenance, support and development) to libraries for open-source software like Koha. Our mission is to make open-source software more accessible to libraries. On our website, you can find information about Koha and our other products: Mambo Intranet and DiscrimiNet Filter. Our Koha demos couple version 2.2.2's stable code base with a fresh template re-design. In addition, we've developed several Koha enhancement features: content (item cover images, descriptions, reviews, and ratings), spellchecking on failed search queries, and an auto-completion "Koha Suggest" for the OPAC keyword search, to name a few.

We love feedback, so feel free to visit our site, try out the demos, play around, and let us know what you think. Comments/suggestions/flames are always welcome ;-)."

From Cornell: DPubS


Terry writes: "Cornell University Library is developing an open source publication management system that will provide authors and publishers with a more affordable way to publish scholarly research on the Web. Cornell received a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to enhance and extend its innovative electronic publishing software called DPubS (Digital Publishing System). Read the full-text of the press release."

eWeek articles mention of Dell and open source


Steve writes: "Just thought others would be interested in a thoughtful opinion piece by eWeek editor-in-chief, Eric Lundquist, in the April 19 issue. It discusses his view that Dell, as the acknowledged leader in the world of Wintel PCs right now, should push Microsoft and others a bit more on behalf of consumers. He also specifically mentions the need for Dell to articulate its support for open source applications."

CASPR Embraces Open Source with LibraryNet


Norman wrote in with a press release from CASPR Inc.: "CASPR Inc. today announced at the American Library Association Midwinter Conference an update to its library automation product called LibraryNet, which enables library administrators to easily deploy Web based library solutions on a wide range of platforms using industry standard open source components. LibraryNet 4.0 is an integrated library automation system designed around the industry standard MARC format, Apache Web Server, Perl Programming language, DBFILE indexing system and HTML Web user interface. The program runs on all standard operating systems including Windows, Macintosh, and Linux." Read the full press release here.