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Hello all, I'm a Linux newbie (a refugee from the Windows OS) and I have an idea which I'd like to throw out there for comments please. I'm a professional ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
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    Linux for libraries??


    Hello all,

    I'm a Linux newbie (a refugee from the Windows OS) and I have an idea which I'd like to throw out there for comments please. I'm a professional librarian and think that a distro built specifically for libraries would be a good idea. I think there are already one or two open source library catalogue systems out there, but a purpose made Linux base would surely be more than ideal for libraries, which sometimes need to run on low budgets. Think of developing countries in particular.

    The following would be essential, though no doubt I've left a lot out here:

    * An OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue).
    * A free and flexible classification system.
    * Something to generate 'Cutter Numbers' (part of classification).
    * Plenty of office tools - Open Office would be perfect.
    * Internet tools... Mozilla etc.
    * Something to help with planning and tracking a library budget.
    * Multimedia stuff (modern libraries are very MM!)
    * Games for those boring afternoons.
    * A database to help with ordering booklets, journals and other materials... basically a stock control system.


    There are other things, but I hate long lists...

    As libraries nearly always require networks with powerful servers perhaps Redhat would serve as a good starting point? Above all, everything would need to be very stable, well tested and user friendly: Debian? Many librarians are techies, but a lot have no-ooooo idea

    All the best
    Fingal.
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer Nerderello's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
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    North East England
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    as a starting point I'd choose one of the "standard" distros - Suse, Redhat, Mandrake. These will give you the general tools that you're after, and are reasonably easy for a newbie to get to know.

    As to your list of requirements, I have no idea what these are :-
    * An OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue).
    * A free and flexible classification system.
    * Something to generate 'Cutter Numbers' (part of classification).

    which suggests that they are specialised software tools/applications required by libraries. Hopefully you'd be able to get these for Linux. I note that OPAC is available for download from :- http://www.opac.ch/opac/oldies/download/sources.html .

    have fun

    Nerderello

    Use Suse 10.1 and occasionally play with Kubuntu
    Also have Windows 98SE and BeOS

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