Dear Web Opac App users, Dear libraries,
our app started out in 2012 as a volunteer effort and in the beginning was compatibly with around 50 libraries. Over the years, the app has grown rapidly and now offers comprehensive features in more than 1,400 libraries world-wide.
Unfortunately, the app is a lot of work for us: Those 1,400+ libraries use more than 20 different library software systems that we need to stay compatible with and every single day, one of those many library websites changes and we need to adjust our configuration or reprogram our software. In total, we received and processed more than 10,000 e-mails over the last seven years. This is more work than we can do as a volunteer effort.
Therefore, we have started a couple of years ago to complement our free app with a commercial offering. With our Plus Edition, we've built tailored apps for more than 20 libraries. Those apps use the corporate design of the libraries and have some additional features, such as connections with digital media offerings like Onleihe and Overdrive, acquisition lists or event calendars. With this offering, we've been able to finance the support for the free app for quite some time.
Sadly, it's no longer enough to provide support with the level of quality that we strive for. We haven't added new libraries in nearly a year, since we're just missing the time to work on the 300 requests that we have on our list.
Compared with the number of libraries, the app doesn't really have a lot of users – making any commercial efforts through advertisement or in-app-purchases infeasible: The money we would likely make with such offers wouldn't be enough to really change the situation here. Last November, we tried to do a promotion compaign and sent posters to over 900 libraries, hoping to increase the user count of the app and to make libraries more aware of our app and thereby increase sales of our Plus Edition offering. Sadly, it didn't work.
Therefore, we're now making a few changes to significantly reduce our support effors: We stop providing free e-mail support for our free app. For now, the app won't change, but we won' reply to your questions any more and we will not fix most bugs.
Instead, we now offer this as a paid service to the libraries. If you are a member of library staff and would like to continue receiving technical support from us and make sure that we fix bugs thaat affect the usage of the app in your library, you can sign a support contract with us for a yearly fee. You can find all details on that in our order form.
If your library has signed a support contract with us and you encounter technical issues, please directly contact the library and ask them to file a bug with us.
The app continues to be available as an open source project on GitHub. Technically skilled users can still provide improvements and bug fixes in the form of pull requests there.
We hope that you might understand the reasons for our decision and we want to thank you all for your patience, support, kind words and conversations over the last seven years.
Your Web Opac App team