The Eclectic

Time moves in one direction, memory in another. – William Gibson

The Librarian and Ubunutu

Posted by David Leslie on May 14, 2007

OK, so a librarian filmed herself as she took two donated computers and installed the new distro of Ubunutu on them. She posts the video to YouTube and poof, instant geek cred with the open source folks not to mention the Librarian Bloggers.

Yet this points out my problem with what is happening in the library space right now. Nobody stopping to ask questions like:

How do you plan on using the computers? Public access / Staff only?

If for Patron’s do they even know enough Linux to do what they need to do?

Can you printer’s work with it?

What do you do when the new distro comes out?

People think free software is going to save the frigging world but guess what, it’s not. Because the money is not in the code, it’s in the support. That’s how Red Hat stays in business. Half the guys who work on Bugzilla all run firms to help companies deal with the scaling issues that come up if you are using it across the enterprise. Needless to say, it’s not cheap to have one of those cats save your database after it goes poof.

I guess the bigger thing is that there is a geek DIY gist that in Librarianship now. But this isn’t punk rock. If librarians are so worried about the preservation of knowledge and meeting patron’s needs, why go with something that is DIY?

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