or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

NELA-ITS Spring Program 2007 – Randy Robertshaw

   June 6th, 2007

Randy Robertshaw speakingRandy Robertshaw, Tyngsborough (MA) Public Library
Randy has converted his small public library over to as much open source Linux applications as possible.

His goal in this conversion was to save the library money by paying less for hardware and software, and by saving staff time in supporting the library computers. Randy's presentation focused mostly on available open source applications, such as Firefox, Drupal, Open Office, and on a company they use to maintain their Linux clients, Userful, and offered a lot of practical implementation tips (download his presentation below).

But Randy does not see open source software (OSS) as the be-all and end-all or library computing. He covered both pros and cons, in that it offers reduced cost and high flexibility, but the trade off is that the software isn't necessarily as high-quality or as stable as commercial software. When deciding to go with OSS, we really need to evaluate both what we want to accomplish as well as the available OSS tools, to find the best fit.

   [download Randy's presentation: pdf (5.2M)]


drupal, firefox, libraries, library, linux, nela, nela-its, open office, open source, randy robertshaw, userful

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One Response to “NELA-ITS Spring Program 2007 – Randy Robertshaw”

  1. Remaining Relevant » Blog Archive » like a chia pet Says:

    […] I was sorry to miss the NELA-ITS workshop on Open Source Software last week. But, thanks to the wonders of the internets, I did get some of the content. Particularly fascinating to me was Randy Robertshaw’s presentation on using open source software solutions on all library computers. Now, I’ve long thought this was an interesting idea, especially considering my deep admiration and sympathy for our country’s underfunded and underappreciated small and rural libraries. And he’s not the first to try it, of course. […]