Barcode question.

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
2 messages Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view

Barcode question.


Members of the list:

We have here in Seattle Washington a project in which I thought this
list may have some interest.  Of course, this involves Koha.

Some background is in order.  There was a library here called the "As
You Like It Library", a private and not-for-profit collection dealing
in unusual materials and, in particular, the esoteric, religion and
all manor of stuff not normally of interest to the public libraries.
It was, years ago, a most interesting collection of things unusual.
It was known to it's members affectionately as the "Love It Or Shove It"
and there was, within its walls, something to offend anyone.

The library was well conceived, but poorly executed, having had a
significant endowment originally and a few substantial donations along
the way and, at one time, it boasted an active membership of around 600
paid members.  It was an important community asset.  I cannot speak
before any politically active group in this area today without running
into someone involved in the old library.  It was more than anything,
a haven for intellectuals.

The downfall was that it did a poor job of controlling it's assets.
As the old books achieved a value over the years, they were, one or more
at a time, removed from the library by various scallywags and sold for
private profit, and as this ravaged the resources of the library over
the years, it also caused the membership to withdraw not only monetary
support, but many people became afraid to commit their prized collections
knowing they would wind up on eBay or book dealer shelves.  The library
degenerated from a 3000 sq. feet of floor space to 300 sq. ft. in a
basement floor and can no longer make it's rent, holding about 10,000
titles, few of which are ever checked out, and, almost all available at
any library or any "New Age" book store.  A very few patrons, dedicated
to what the library once was, keep coughing up pennies each month keep
it afloat.  I can't tell you why.

A few of us, dedicated to the spirit of the old library, have come up
with what we believe to be a better idea.  We want to create a virtual
library where the books remain in the control of the members, those with
books to lend to be listed as their own branches.  When a bibliography
is reserved, the library can look for someone with that particular book
to find if he is willing to lend to the particular potential borrower.
The lender is never required.

It is a most important aspect of this system that we keep tabs of the
return history of members, not by name, but by identification (card)
number and it is expected that those with even a slight hiccup of
dissatisfaction will have a very tough time borrowing.

We believe we will be able to deal in rare and hard to find materials
this way.

We have been working on a set of rules to address many of the issues
that harmed the old library, so we gain from the old experience.

As to Koha, there will probably be some modifications required, which
we will certainly offered up to anyone who is interested in doing something
similar.  The first modification is that the installation is being modified
now to be installed on OpenPKG systems under RPM.  One of the people
involved here are a very experience perl programmer who has been with
perl since the very first days, and I am a perl hack myself of some sort,
so such modifications are well within our abilities.

What we lack is real library experience, especially as to cataloging
and all, but we are working at that.
There is a significant number of people interested and knowing each
other to allow this to get started here, but we are just beginning and
have much work to do.  As this requires little financial support and
has no money to get started, it will remain a hobby for us all for some
period of time, but we can see where it can easily reach a critical mass
and begin to operate on it's own.

I have a general question now which I'll post in other message, and I'm
sure I'll have a few questions as time goes on, but I look forward to
working with you people and pray that in time, we can be of assistance
to you as you have already been to us in making your wonderful Koha
project open source.

Thank you.

*  Tom Redfern | Address: 12225 Fremont Av N, Seattle WA, 98133   *
*              | Phone:   (206) 365-4077                          *
*              | Email:   thos at                    *
Koha mailing list
[hidden email]
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view

Re: An esoteric library model (was) Barcode question.

On Mon, Mar 20, 2006 at 08:28:08AM -0600, Josh Stompro wrote:

> Have you taken a look at and or, they allow
> for cataloging and sharing of personal collections and seem to be going
> the way of allowing loans to friends.  Before you roll your own it might
> be something to look at.  Listal allows you to create groups of members
> and their collections, and there are numerous feedback mechanism, plus
> tagging etc.  Just an Idea in case you haven't looked at those.
> Josh

First off, I would have to apologize for the irrelevant subject line.
I had intended to post a question obviously, and then decided to introduce
myself first.  I got a bit carried away and posted without changing
the subject line.  Oh well.

We have discussed the idea of working trough existing systems, but we
decided to set this up as a community library and somewhat specialized.
This library is more a social thing and, if you will, a screening process.
What will allow it to work is the fact that we can set it up on a DSL
and run with virtually no cost so we can be selective about listings and
membership; we are after a quality here, not a quantity.  We won't
be boasting of the number of listings.   It's a different model; call
it a flight from the pabulum.  We intend to continue the spirit of the
old library.

I see the whole direction of as the opposite direction.
That isn't to say it's wrong, it just won't do the same thing.  It's a
good place to trade novels.  No one here is very excited about it or has
even joined because he's trying to be too broad in scope.  I wouldn't
post my "best" books there because people who don't know me wouldn't
understand why I'm even interested in them.  I would be branded and get
hate mail I know.  Looking through their catalogs makes it very obviously
that there are others out there that feel the same, that's why, in all
the thousands of books, I can scarcely find anything I would regard as
compelling to read.  Our library is intended as an avenue for a different
set of interests.  It is an alternative library, not more of the same
in the public library vein.  We should probably put a link on our home
page to to send as many people as possible there.
I support what the guy is doing, but it can never be a library of
esoteric materials.  His model precludes it.

Here, you'll have to contact people and come to a meetings to join.
People who will be listing here will have some understanding of what
kind of materials this library is designed to list, they won't be listing
their movie and sports magazines so, in short, we can further the intent
of the library.

The idea here is that many of us have pretty special interests and
the kind of material we are interested in can get very hard to find.
This gives people not only an audience and a mechanism to meet interesting
people, but a way to keep track of where their books have gone.

We can also give local and personal assistance to help barcoding and
more rapid entry and, if we choose to hold dues and if we find adequate
membership, we can take on a floor space.  We have discussed a coffee
shop.  We intent is to set up a place for meetings etc.  a social thing.
You can call it a club that operates on line.


> Tom Redfern wrote:
> >Members of the list:
> >
> >We have here in Seattle Washington a project in which I thought this
> >list may have some interest.  Of course, this involves Koha.
> >

snip ...

* Tom Redfern | Address: 12225 Fremont Av N, Seattle WA, 98133    *
*             | Phone:   (206) 365-4077                           *
*             | Email:   thos at                     *
Koha mailing list
[hidden email]