Sunday, July 23, 2023

The exciting world of library software systems


There comes a time for any blog reader when, after endless days of seeing alien spaceships crashing down in the Mississippi River Gorge, one's mind, over stimulated, starts to wander and drift. And if it wanders long enough it eventually comes to the subject of library software systems.

The average amount of required time for a mind to wander so far as to come across the subject of library software systems is...

427,032,233,891 days.

Which is longer than I thought it would be. So it's probably a fluke that we all simultaneously thought of it after just a few days. 

This suggests something suspicious going on.

Suspicious, suspicious, suspicious!

But an important lesson I have learned is that just because something is suspicious doesn't mean we will ever know what the hell is going on.

Anyway, here's how I've always thought our library software should be made:

A non profit coalition of all the nation's libraries, or any public library anywhere, should contribute staff and resources to make a free and open source library software that anyone could use. This would be a very library solution. But as brilliant as libraries are, it doesn't take a ton of scratching at a library to get to the capitalism underneath.

So instead, what we have is something called SirsiDynix. And our software comes from them. Whatever this company has been, it has been eaten by larger companies over the years. For awhile it was owned by a venture capital firm with over 81 billion dollars in assets.

Now, I know that among my library oriented readers, people are saying: "Well, 81 billion dollars really isn't that much money. What's that? Like the budget for an averaged sized large urban library system?"

But for regular people who are simply thinking of buying a few yachts and retiring to the Cote d Azur, it is quite a lot of money!

And so many of you are wondering: "What's your point?"

Here is a list of possible answers to this question:

1. It is not a good idea to let one's mind wander.

2. I wish I got in on some of that sweet SirsiDynix action back in the old Ameritech days.

3. Library systems are a growth industry!

4. We should all appreciate pictures of crash landed alien spaceships more than we do!

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