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Starting from 1997 Open Society Institute is assisting Armenian library community in using ICTs, enlarging computer networks in the libraries and making Internet accessible for all.
In 2001, an OSI grant supported the creation of the Armenian Libraries Union Catalogue ( for 11 leading libraries, using the ExLibris’s Aleph system (a proprietary product). When this project started, there were no FOSS ILS products available in the library automation market. The FOSS ILS market took off in 2008. There are now many solutions for library automation (the most advanced being Evergreen, Koha, and ABCD).
In January 2010, thanks to funding from OSI, FSL has started a one year project “Introducing Free/Open Source Software Library Automation Tools to the Armenian Library Community”.
Below is a brief description of this two-fold project:
1. Armenian Libraries Union Catalogue: Technical and Software Upgrades. Among the goals is to replace outdated SUN servers (SUN450 servers, OS Solaris, Oracle DBMS) with Intel based server solutions. In addition, there will be an OS migration, from SUN Solaris and Oracle DBMS proprietary products to Linux (RedHat in this case) FOSS solutions.  The result will be increased efficiency and productivity of the work being done by the librarians. Technical and software upgrade of the management centre of the Armenian libraries network is a logical continuation of OSI long lasting cooperation with the libraries.
2. Introducing FOSS products to the Armenian library community. The goal of this phase of the project is to expand the accumulated skills and knowledge on using Evergreen to other Armenian libraries by conducting training sessions. Currently National Academy of Sciences (NAS) institution libraries are using ‘Evergreen’ ILS for developing the NAS libraries Union catalogue. (learn more:
  ).  The server and ‘Evergreen’ ILS are hosted and managed by FSL technical staff. FSL staff organised a series of training sessions for NAS institution librarians to introduce the MARC21 format, Evergreen cataloguing templates, Evergreen circulation system, record import using Z39.50 and much more. Currently institution libraries are actively developing the catalogue. Armenian localisation of the system is finished, and FSL staff is finalising also Russian localisation of the system.