the future of libraries in the digital age
Hi there. My name is Truth and though I'm not a librarian, I have a friend with a library who asked me a few years ago how he could share his library online. Since it is a private non-profit library the cost has to be fairly inexpensive. Also, it is not a lending library but one which people can visit, due to the rareness of the materials. When I at first looked I was hopeful but after further investigation I found that I was not able to implement the available options. Taking another look recently, I found the Library 2.0 website and thought I would ask if anyone has any suggestions. Copied bellow is a list of desired features written by the owner of the library:
There are about 10,000+ items in the private non-lending non-profit organization library.
1 To make available for everyone a free searchable online catalogue of the library holdings.
2. That the catalogue is able to generate enough revenue to pay its costs.
1. Must be within my skill level to install and maintain: Working from a template that requires some html is ok. Wordpress is probably ok. Koho was over my and everyone else's head to install.
2. Must be accessible from the web site. A link to another site which is dedicated to the catalogue is ok, as long as they can link back and forth.
3. User must be able to make title, author, and subject searches as with any online library catalogue.
4. A way for the user to make inquiries to the "librarian."
5. Cataloging accommodates book, pamphlet, recording, photograph, microfilm formats.
6. Creating and uploading data is at a level where volunteers may get through the learning curve within a hour or so.
1. A way for searchers to link to selected articles, audio/video recordings, pictures etc. that Alexandria West may offer for download for free or for a fee. Perhaps through links withing the catalog?
2. Thumbnails of selected magazine covers, dustjackets, illustrations etc. Integrated into the catalogue search engine.
3. links to further resources and information on the web site.
1. Since the the collection is of scarce, rare and unique items, they are not for general circulation, though available for researchers to view who are motivated to make the trip here. Therefore, a mechanism for checking books in or out is not needed. "
Two options that have been considered are a custom installation of Library Thing and Scriblio. Koha and Evergreen seeming to be too high a bar set to be managed by volunteers or non-experts. After further searching I've found Sopac 2 though I'm not sure how it's different from Scriblio and need to take a closer look.
Initially, Scriblio looked ideal but I haven't seen recent updates and it wasn't compatible with Wordpress 3.0 when I checked. Whatever option is chosen, it needs to be one that promises continued development so that future compatibility is more likely as CMS frameworks such as Wordpress evolve. It's a lot of work to add 10,000+ items to a sytem and I don't want to recommend a system that doesn't keep up. Therefore, the open source projects seem the most promising because of community contribution.
So here are some that I have found. If you have any suggestions than they will be appreciated. Thank you.
check http://biblios.net/ if it suits you.
I have heard of Scriblio. The technical set up seems to need a lot of work but I'm no system librarian so it might be simple enough for someone who knows.
My library is working with Librarything on 2 things: Book Reviews and Library Anywhere. We aren't using them as an online catalogue, only for their value-added services.I have tried it as a personal library and added some of my books but then I have too many chinese books that are not in LibraryThing, so data-entry became a tad tedious and I lost steam.
I'm not familiar with the other systems so I can't comment.
Why not set up a trial system with a small set of perhaps 100 items with LibraryThing and Scriblio and see how you like them before going further?