About The FOSSiL Projects

Cód saor in aisce, leabharlanna saor in aisce

Welcome to The FOSSiL Projects, a collection of software and solutions for your library!

FOSSiL is an acronym for Free Open Source Solutions in Libraries. We design software and solutions for libraries that are guaranteed to meet your budget requirements, because all of the software and solutions are free! Building upon a foundation of free and open source software (FOSS), FOSSiL provides ideas and technology to help you streamline workflows, enhance current processes, and make things better.

And yes, it’s free.

Almost all of the software here runs on Linux, a free and open source operating system that is not only a big part of the Internet, but also happens to run extremely well on lower end computers. That means you won’t need big, expensive servers with Microsoft licensing and SQL Server costs and all of that stuff. You can run the majority of the FOSSiL projects on an older desktop computer. In other words, you may not have to buy anything. You certainly won’t have to buy the software.

We recommend Ubuntu Linux or one of the Ubuntu flavours, but other Linux distros will work too.

Created by Daniel Messer, the Cyberpunk Librarian, these FOSSiL Projects are itches he needed to scratch in some way or another. Each project represents a problem that needed solving, a project that needed doing, and method that needed management. Realizing that his problems were likely not unique in the field of library work, he started posting the projects online hoping that other libraries might use them to save themselves some time and money.

This is a growing collection of projects, with more being added as time goes on. If you have questions or need help with set up, well, we’re here for that too. Contact Dan at cyberpunklibrarian (at) protonmail (dot) com.

And hey, if you happen to be using one of the projects, do Dan a favour and let him know! It’ll help spread the word! Or, if you happen to be a developer and want to contribute code or projects of your own, let us know that too!

About Dan

Dan in a paragraph –

Dan Messer is the Integrated Library System Administrator for the Maricopa County Library District, located in Phoenix, AZ, USA. He maintains a broad background in technology including operating systems, mobile operating systems, CMS and blogging platforms, integrated library systems, web development and design, and digital media production. Under extreme duress and the influence of intoxicating substances, he’ll develop web things in PHP, Python, and MariaDB. Beyond the web, he’s a staff and public instructor who teaches classes on library technology, eReaders and digital devices, and online services.

Public Key:


More about Dan –

Hello, my name is Dan and I’m from the Internet.

While some people log in, do their online stuff, and then log off, I pretty much stay online twenty-four hours a day. Sure, I sleep just like everyone else, the biggest difference is that I’m sleeping next to a tablet computer, smart phone, and occasionally a laptop computer — all of which are jacked into the Internet.

I earn my living online. For over 20 years I’ve worked in libraries, and I still work for a library. Now, instead of wandering the stacks as a circulation guy, I’m a public library ILS Administrator. I work with, manage, and support the computer systems that give the library its ability to put items in the hands of our patrons. My expertise revolves around Polaris ILS, which I’ve used for almost two decades.

My specialties lie in open source software. I’m a slider, an operator who slides between operating systems, desktops, and frameworks and uses the best in each of them to create, solve problems, and build sites. I have a preference for Mac OS X, but I’m very proficient with Linux, Windows, iOS, and Android.

Outside of the cyberworld, I’m a historian specializing in the history of science. I’ve written a book called Hyperlinked History which is available on Amazon. It’s based off a podcast and a series of online videos I’ve made under the same title. I’m also the author of All My Rattling On, which is a collection of essays on libraries, tech, and science. Most recently, I wrote Digital Outback, which explores the philosophy and culture of cyberpunk.

I’m also a musician in both the acoustic and digital realms. I’m a pianist and keyboardist as well as a drummer and conguero. I compose the occasional tune and record the occasional album. I’m an artist, similarly working in traditional and digital mediums. I love graphite and acrylic and I love the digital aspects of making art. In the digital realm, I use Pixelmator and Photoshop with occasional work in Manga Studio. For music, I use both Audacity and Logic Pro X.

Basically, I’m your open source, uses-everything, cyberpunk librarian. A guy who does his best to make libraries awesome using open source and tech. After all, open source is accountable to, and partially owned by, a community, which makes it very similar to a library.

You can contact me via cyberpunklibrarian (-at-) protonmail (-dot-) com or you can find me in various social networks: