List of next-generation library catalogs

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An online public access catalog (often abbreviated as OPAC or simply "library catalog") is an online database of materials held by a library or group of libraries. Users typically search a library catalog to locate books, periodicals, audio/visual materials or other items under control of a library.

As access to the internet became more accessible to more people library users have grown more and more accustomed to these sites and search engines. They have become increasingly dissatisfied with the search mechanisms of older library catalog systems. This has, in turn, led to vocal criticisms of these systems within the library community itself, and in recent years to the development of newer (often termed 'next-generation') catalogs. However, the large cost associated with these new systems has significantly hindered the widespread use of new systems.

The newest generation of library catalog systems are distinguished from earlier OPACs by their use of more sophisticated search technologies, in particular faceted search, and features aimed at greater user interaction and participation with the system, including tagging, reviewing, and RSS feeds.

However, the usefulness of these catalogs is limited by inconsistent metadata standards that vary from publisher to publisher. There is also the concern that only newly digitized material can be found while older material, published on different platforms that are no longer supported is effectively lost. Libraries are then faced with the expensive and time-consuming task of reapplying new metadata tags to ensure these older records can become discoverable. At present there is no single standard for metadata records.

See below for a list of some next generation library catalog systems.


Open source[edit]


The "notes" section distinguishes between:

  • Centrally-hosted websites, and
  • Web-based sites, referring to applications that may be installed on a web server (usually requiring MySQL or another database and PHP, Perl, Python, or some other language for web applications)
Software Developer First public release Latest stable version Cost (USD) Open source Written in Index/search engine Database License Notes
EPrints EPrints Services 2000 2018-03-29 (3.4.0) Free Yes Perl Default: Xapian, sql (Expandable) SQL GPL Web-based
Insignia Insignia Software 1999 Annual Cost No HTML5 SQL SQL Cloud-hosted, Web-based & Smartphone based
Invenio CERN 2002 2018-06-07 (3.0.0) Free Yes Python Own MySQL GPL web-based
Koha Koha Community 2000-01 2018-09-24 (18.05.04) Free Yes Perl Zebra MySQL GPL web-based
Libramatic Libramatic 2012 €49.99 No Web & Smartphone based
PMB PMB development team 2002 2018-04-30 (5.0.5) Free Yes PHP Own MySQL GPL web-based
LibraryWorld LibraryWorld Inc. 2002 425/year No Own cloud-hosted website
Librarika 2013 Free No Own cloud-hosted website
LIBSYS LIBSYS Ltd. 1987 LIBSYS7 No Java Own MySQL web-based
OPALS 2002 Free Yes Perl, Java Zebra, YAZ MySQL GPL web-based
NewGenLib Verus Solutions 2005-03 2015-05-15 (3.1.2) Free Yes Java Lucene, Solr PostgreSQL GPL web-based
WordPress Scriblio Casey Bisson 2006-02 2014-10-30 (3.3)[7] Free Yes PHP MySQL default; Sphinx[8] and ElasticSearch[9] are pluggable options MySQL GPL web-based
WorldCat Online Computer Library Center 2006 Free No centrally-hosted website
Evergreen Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) 2006-09 2018-10-03 (3.2.0) Free Yes Perl, C, XUL Own PostgreSQL GPL web-based
VuFind Villanova University 2010-06-15 2018-10-10 (5.0.1) Free Yes PHP Lucene, Solr MySQL GPL web-based
Drupal SOPAC John Blyberg 2009-05 2009-09-25 (6.x-2.0) Free Yes PHP Drupal MySQL, other SQL GPL web-based
eXtensible Catalog XC Organization 2011-12 2012-04-24 (6.x-1.2) Free Yes PHP Drupal; Solr avail. MySQL, other SQL GPL web-based
Drupal OPAC Drupal community 20012-12 2015-01-06 (7.x-2.3) Free Yes PHP Drupal; Solr avail. MySQL, other SQL GPL web-based
Kuali OLE Kuali Foundation 2013 2018-06-28 (3.0.13) Free Yes Java Solr, Own Oracle, MySQL ECL web-based
SLiMS 2007 2016-10-30 (8.3.1) Free Yes PHP GPL web-based
BiblioteQ Alexis Megas 2007 2018-10-01 Free Yes Own PostgreSQL, SQLite GPL self-contained / offline
Blacklight University of Virginia Library, Stanford University Libraries, and Project Blacklight team 2009 2018-01-30 (6.14.1) Free Yes Ruby Apache Solr Apache License web-based


Name Cataloguing Circulation Acquisitions Serials Reporting Reading lists Textbooks Assets Digital Asset Management
Invenio Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Insignia Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Koha Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
LIBSYS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "O PHL©Elysio - Personal Home Library". Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  6. ^ "SLiMs project website". Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^