We tend to buy a pretty powerful server.
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I think the one we have now has two dual-core processors on it. That helps the traffic flow through the network. We have a little [more than] 30 thin clients on the same server. The server uses a bit kernel, but I think it serves up bit software. The Linux terminal server project has a Web site. They have a wiki on there that has a lot of information on how to set it up.
Ubuntu also has a lot of documentation on their Web site about setting up a linux terminal server project LTSP server. Those are good places to start. You can create different profiles. All the configuration files are text-based, so you can edit those and create a profile for your various user types — like I have one for the online public access catalog OPAC , one for the [circulation] computers, one for the public Internet computers. Also, we have another one, because we have an on-staff software developer.
We created a profile just for LIBKEY so that instead of the desktop, a patron first sees a login screen, and they have to log in with their user name and password, and they get half an hour to use the Internet. Then it kicks them off.
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- Cincinnati Cemeteries: The Queen City Underground (Images of America).
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We wanted to change quite a bit of it. We made our own interface for the [circulation] system to suit ourselves. But you can get support from various vendors, like LibLime. There are vendors that do hosted solutions. We just finished migrating our third library to it just this past weekend. We have nine libraries in the county. We found that it was really slow at the farthest library from the system headquarters.
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I had to use a hardware solution to get the encryption to speed up. Skip to main content. Some open-source programs run from the command line and intimidate non-techies.
FOLIO | Open Source Library Services Platform
On the other hand, well-known programs, such as the ones at Open Source for Windows and the major Linux distributions, are highly polished, reliable and easy to use. In these cases, you can almost always get free, informal support from volunteers or formal, paid support from the software developer or a third-party company.
If your library is on a tight budget, a no-cost solution has to be tempting. However, nothing in life is entirely free. You and your staff will spend time learning the open-source software, installing it, customizing it and maintaining it. There are no restrictions about what you can do with open-source software. Moreover, the open-source community might latch on to one of your improvements and develop it further.
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FOLIO, an open source project, aims to reimagine library software through a unique collaboration of libraries, developers and vendors. It moves beyond the traditional library management system to a new paradigm, where apps are built on an open platform, providing libraries more choice and delivering new services to users. The FOLIO platform includes core functionality found in current library management systems and is extensible, allowing libraries to meet ever changing needs.
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