PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore the professional opinion of LIS with reference to open source software (OSS) adoption, status, problems and future measures in research and academic libraries of Beijing, China.Design/methodology/approachData were collected using a structured questionnaire, and semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted among 20 academic and 20 research libraries in Beijing, China. The convenient sampling technique was used to collect data. The data collected were interpreted using descriptive statistics and independent t-test.FindingsThe results reveal that Chinese research and academics libraries depend mostly upon commercial software and place a great deal of trust on locally produced free software. This situation may be caused due to the lack of professional knowledge in OSS and lack of appropriate technical expertise. Although there were a sufficient number of librarians who have shown interest in OSS, they did not enthusiastically agree to implement it in their libraries. Furthermore, the interviews highlighted the professionals’ opinion that most librarians are reluctant to adopt OSS due to the risk factor, lack of professional expertise, insufficient interest of the Chinese Government and lack of professional training.Originality/valueThe findings are useful for the Chinese LIS community, software developers, technology administrators and library administrators. In particular, it is beneficial for research and academic libraries of China to adapt OSS for library management and provide better library services and sources to their library users.
Library Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 3, 2018
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