Managing technologies and automated library systems

Managing technologies and automated library systems in developing countries : open source vs commercial options : proceedings of the IFLA pre-conference satellite meeting / edited by Bernard Dione, K.G. Saur, 2008

This funny little hardcover has academic papers on library automation in Africa. The book is partly in English, partly in French. It is not at Amazon, and that makes it rare! Read the paper by Norwegian students who used the open source Koha ILS in a Kenyan library. Maybe OPL should be using Koha because it is or will be better than Lirico/sirsidynix, so OPL can save money for more book purchases.

Barbarians at the Gates of the Public Library

Barbarians at the Gates of the Public Library – How Postmodern Consumer Capitalism Threatens Democracy, Civil Education and the Public Good, Edward D’Angelo, (- 2006)

This short, philosophical book looks at the purpose of libraries in a democracy. The book is an academic and philosophical history of public libraries and is well written but will exercise your faculties. It sees library funding cuts as a ‘downward spiral’ in democracy. 100 pages.

Safari Stopped

Safari, O’Reilly’s online book access, has lots to offer.  It has lots of current tech books, it is searchable, and you can read books before they get to the stores.  However, you have to read books on your computer, which may be inconvenient, or you have to print out chapters, which is really inconvenient.  Oh, and Safari costs $20 or $40 per month. I discontinued my subscription to save money, then re-subscribed to search out a problem that I was having (in a threaded program in gnu c++, what are those large ‘arena’ anon mappings, that use relatively little resident memory, and why).  Safari helped where Google had not.  But I much prefer holding a book in my hands, and I have not visited Safari in a week.  YMMV.

The library used to have a Safari shared license so any three people could use Safari via the library site.  The service was stopped recently because it was not getting used much.  To bad.

A new building for the Ottawa Public Library?

A new building for the Ottawa Public Library? Maybe, but let’s look at the options. They are asking for a big new public building in central Ottawa. But the way we use the library has changed; we place holds online and pick up the materials at the local branch. There is no longer a need for a downtown architectural monument. The large sum they are discussing could buy warehouse space near the 417 and stock it with Amazon’s ‘long tail’. Mark Sutcliffe, the Citizen columnist, writes about this option.