At a time when the nation's economic future seems shaky, many school and public libraries are moving to open-source library management systems, which tend to be cheaper, more flexible, and fulfill the same mission a library serves: making a valuable contribution to the greater good.

Open-source software puts the right to make changes to the software in the hands of the public, rather than a company. Users can change, improve, or fix problems encountered in the software, then push it out to a community of users for their consumption. It is free to download, use, and adapt--though there might be costs...

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