The main focus of this discussion is to exhibit the importance of Open Source Software and their integration with other existing local systems on building digital libraries in an environment where budget constraints overburden academic institutions.
Over the past years, the concept of Open Source Software (OSS) has become one of the most important aspects of academic libraries as a source of cost reduction. Consequently, libraries nowadays are trying to embrace the OSS movement fulfilling all their needs at the lowest cost possible. This stratagem is considered a key savior for library decision makers to operate and promote library services at a full load. This discussion will thoroughly shed light on what and how these OSS are interrelated within libraries and Information Technology department which can form the backbone of any future library at “zero cost”. The outcome will boost decision-makers to switch into local investment on their IT teams in a multi-thread challenging and trailblazing academic environment. Several reflections and inquiries will be pinpointed: what are the optimum solutions using OSS in leading academic libraries (ILS, IR, Discovery)? How do librarians and technologists collaborate hand in hand to build the environment fulfilling their desired goals? What are the challenges and opportunities in implementing OSS solutions? What are the pros and cons of local development versus outsourced systems. And finally, how can AMICAL institutions benefit from co-designing embedded digital library experiences at a “zero cost” investment.