[LINK] Selling the benefits of open source and open standards - need some links to relevant articles etc to round out preparation for a presentation.

Anthony Hornby anthony.w.hornby at gmail.com
Mon Jan 5 16:42:32 AEDT 2009

Hi All,
I have to give a 30 minute presentation on the benefits of open source
to a small mix of of academic and public library technical support
staff and managers from around Australia next month at an informal
workshop / unconference in Tasmania :-)

We use open source software extensively at my university library
wherever it is possible to do so to meet our needs and appreciate the
reliability, flexibility and community it brings. We contribute back
bug reports, fixes and new features where we can. Open standards and a
real community push for more openness and interconnectedness are also
a relief from some commercial software packages we use where answers
about interconnectedness and open exchange of data are often ignored,
or answered with "ka'ching we make one of those too and we have great
terms" :-)

I'd like to sell the community aspect as this is something libraries
are very good at. We love to help each other out and we have a strong
community interest in access to information for all. I personally feel
that it is part of our responsibility in the first world to support
development of high quality open source applications that:

1. Less well off libraries can take, use and extend to their own needs
(not that my university library could be described as 'well off").
2. Allow us to share and build global communities and collaborations
that allow all of us to be more effective and efficient at meeting our
clients needs.
3. Let us take back our own information futures from the few (mostly)
unresponsive large commercial software vendors out there building
library specific applications.
4. Gets libraries much more into the mainstream of information
management (oh oh, controversial - please don't shoot me).

I'd also like to do some myth busting and cover risk management. The
most common questions I get from senior managers are all about
managing risk (fair enough).

I'd appreciate any links to well-reasoned relevant documents,
articles, books etc to use to make my case well thought out, balanced
and credible. Whatever you can share is appreciated. I'll find the
rest myself and draw on our local experience for the rest.

I am a terrible public speaker, I always get serious nerves speaking
in front of a group of people I don't know. Being as well prepared as
I can and knowing my stuff is how I cope best. I volunteer for these
sorts of things as I am sure I will get less nervous over time (it
must happen eventually!), and I feel it is important to wave the flag
of open source and open standards whenever I can as I strongly believe
both are having a fundamental and positive effect in the information
industry that I love.

Thanks a lot & I hope you can help.

Regards Anthony

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