Holding Your Vendor's Feet to the Fire

Debut "Technology Matters" column for Collaborative Librarianship. This article, Holding Your Vendor's Fee to the Fire, talks about the importance of standards in library technology and encourages libraries to be more demanding about the importance of adherence to those standards.

The article begins like this:

"The nut. The bolt. When you go to the hard-ware store with a bolt in hand, you probably feel pretty confident that you’ll be able to find the nut you need to tighten that bolt. When I hand over my bolt to my local Rex Ace Hardware man, he strides down a nearby aisle and within seconds, I’ve got my bolt’s mate. It screws on perfectly. Do I care who made the bolt or the nut? I do not. This is because nuts and bolts have standard on sizes and threads. Any quar-ter inch nut will screw onto any quarter inch bolt.

The Open Source ILS: Why So Many Are Choosing Koha or Evergreen and How To Include Them in Your Next Procurement

This was a joint presentation with Henry Bankhead of Los Gatos Public Library, Kevin Pischke of William Jessup University, Scott Hines of Palo Alto University, and Deborah Lipoma of Santa Cruz Public Library. I began with an overview of the ILS and Open Source ILS marketplace.  Then, each presenter talked about their own benefits and challenges along the way to moving to Koha or Evergreen. Finally, each presenter provided some useful procurement tips.

SNAP ILS Procurement

Developed requirements for an integrated library system. The project included providing a set of "starter requirements" appropriate for this library system and working with focus groups to finalize and prioritize the requirements. The final requirements list will be utilized in a forthcoming RFP. Working in partnership with Quipu Group.

SirsiDynix and the FUD Factor

Two online tidbits led me to check in with the folks at SirsiDynix about what they are telling their customers about the viability of moving to an open source ILS. Officially, SirsiDynix states that "we believe that competition is good...Two online tidbits led me to check in with the folks at SirsiDynix about what they are telling their customers about the viability of moving to an open source ILS.  Officially, SirsiDynix states that "we believe that competition is good.

You say Windowshop. I say Shelf Browse.

If you haven't seen the new Amazon Windowshop site, you gotta click on over right away. This is where we are going. It's a complete experience. The user has complete control plus it has audio (music and spoken word) AND it includes great CD and book cover images as well as movie clips. Using space bar to get a bigger view of the items grouped together. Click the space bar again to zoom in. It's fun, it looks great and it walks and talks and sings!
Oh, and you can click on stuff to buy it or download it.

Ten Years of Learned Helplessness Coming to an End

I've been using the expression "learned helplessness" a lot lately because that's how I see the situation libraries have found themselves in after a decade of integrated library systems.
I find it particularly disturbing because so much of the work I do seems to bump into roadblocks that point squarely at the ILS.