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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Library à la Carte resurrected: An open-source CMS for libraries!

Update: As of April 9, 2015 we have discontinued development of Library à la Carte Phoenix Edition.

UPDATE: Library à la Carte Phoenix Edition source now available!

tl;dr (courtesy Eric): Content management. For librarians. By librarians. Free as in speech.  Free as in beer. Hotness. See it.

With great excitement, we announce the upcoming open source release of Library à la Carte, Phoenix Edition. For those not familiar with Library à la Carte or its history, it is a free open source content management system developed specifically for libraries by the Oregon State University Library & Press.  Library à la Carte "enables librarians to easily and quickly create dynamic web pages that integrate Web 2.0 features, such as chat and RSS feeds, with traditional library content, such as catalogs and article databases."

At the end of last year, Oregon State University Library & Press announced the end of life for Library à la Carte. We were saddened to see the end of Library à la Carte, especially considering all the hard work and years of development on a free CMS for libraries by librarians.  So a couple weeks ago, we downloaded the source code for Library à la Carte and got to work on resuscitation and modernization.

Once we've finalized our first round of updates (and we're very close), we'll release the code under the AGPL licence through GitHub.  It will be free as in speech and free as in beer.  Keep an eye out on this blog for updates. If there is interest, we will also offer a hosted version for those who would like to use Library à la Carte but can't host it themselves.

We've been shaking down Phoenix Edition by migrating in LibraryH3lp's documentation site and pages into subject guides so you can see Phoenix Edition in action!

Phoenix Edition runs Ruby on Rails 3, which we plan to maintain for a few years. New development efforts will focus on Rails 4. And like LibraryH3lp's FAQ knowledge module, Phoenix Edition has a fresh look and feel thanks to Twitter Bootstrap.

Finally while we're on the topic, a quick shout out for Subjects Plus - another attractive, open source CMS for libraries!  While Library à la Carte is backed by Rails, Subjects Plus uses PHP.  So whether you're a Rails shop or a PHP shop, there will be good open source options available for you.




3 comments:

Ian Chan said...

This is really great news! Thanks for taking on development of Library a la Carte. We have used OSU's version for the last 4 years and recently started to look at a replacement built in Drupal. However, we'd much rather continue with a la Carte,

Ian Chan said...

If you're looking for beta sites, let me know. I'm happy to help with testing.

Pam Sessoms said...

Thanks, Ian! We'll keep that in mind. Our developers are getting ever closer to our public release. :)