IUG 2024

The logo for the Innovative Users Group annual conference for 2024.

👋 Welcome!

Thanks for checking out my presentations! I try and make sure everyone with an interest has access to my materials, extras, goodies, and helpful information. So along with the usual slide decks and notes, you’ll find extra info that’ll help you discover even more about my topics. My contact information is below so, if you have questions, feel free to throw me an email, or a message on Mastodon, or hit me up on the IUG Discord!

✉️ Email: cyberpunklibrarian [at] protonmail [dot] com

🐘 Mastodon: CyberpunkLibrarian on Hackers.Town

💬 Discord: cyberpunklibrarian – Want to join the IUG Discord? Drop me an email or a message on Mastodon!

Tales from the Dark Side: Lessons Learned from a Life in Shadow Libraries

A meme featuring Mickey Mouse as Steamboat Willy at the wheel of the steamboat. He's smiling broadly and a word balloon above him reads "If buying isn't owning, piracy isn't stealing." At the bottom of the image is a credit to Tyler James Hill and his Blue Sky account: @tylerjameshill.bsky.social

Description: Circulation, acquisitions, online catalogues, patron management, statistics and analytics. Your ILS helps you manage all of these things and so much more. But there’s a flip side to the library world, where laws are skirted if not completely ignored. This is where you’ll find shadow libraries. From quasi-legal to illegal, shadow libraries provide access to materials regardless of propriety. For many people around the world, a shadow library may be the only way to obtain a book, movie, or academic paper.

And, as it happens, shadow libraries deal with many of the same issues and tasks that we find in traditional ILS administration. It’s like a ‘mirror universe’ episode of a sci-fi show – while the reflection isn’t perfect, there are lessons we can learn from the other side and, hopefully, use those lessons to improve our library systems.

Slide Deck – Download as: Keynote | PowerPoint | PDF

Transcript – Download as: PDF

SQL Code – List of Items Checked In Through In-House Check In – IUG Forums | GitLab

Shadow Libraries

Terminal City Ricochet

Also available on The Internet Archive.



Recommended Reading

Drawing Down the Data: An Introduction to the PolarisTransactions Database (Or, The Mystery of the Checked Out Item)

Astrid, a character from the TV mystery series Astrid & Raphaëlle. She's standing in shadows with sunlight on her face.

Description: The PolarisTransactions database is a massive repository of information about almost everything that’s happened in your Polaris system since the time you went live. Within those tables you can find the answers to complex questions about circulation, patron activities, item and bibliographic records, and so much more. From the statistical to the historical, this is the database that answers all those weird questions dreamed up by administrators and curious librarians.

Unfortunately, this database can be confusing because it’s a sea of references, cross-references, codes, types, and sub-types. So let’s take a look at PolarisTransactions and discover not only how it works, but more importantly, how to make it work for you and your library.

Slide Deck – Download as: Keynote | PowerPoint | PDF

SQL CodeThe Mystery of the Checked Out Item: Walkthrough

Polaris SQL Repositories

There are two major repositories of Polaris SQL queries available online for reference and use within your own systems. The primary repo, that’s easiest to use and search, can be found on the IUG Forums in the Polaris SQL Repository. I also maintain a GitLab repo called Useful Polaris SQL that collects code from myself and other ILS admins. When I update the GitLab repo, I always drop the same queries on the Clearinghouse. So they’re usually in sync.

PolarisTransactions – A diagramme of basic layouts and connections

Click/tap on the image for a larger size.

The Polaris Database Repository Help File (Compiled HTML)

The Polaris Database Repository Help File is updated with every version of Polaris and is available as a Compiled HTML (.chm) file. You can download the latest file (version 7.5) as of the IUG 2024 conference. (Innovative Supportal login required.) But keep in mind you’ll want to get the file that matches the version of Polaris you’re currently running. You can find them all on the Supportal.

Bricks Without Clay

You see, no one else was writing a book about the PolarisTransactions database, so I figured I would. It’s full of code, examples, randomness, jokes, and information about navigating this weird and wonderful database. It’s totally free and copyrighted under Creative Commons By-NC-SA 4.0, so feel free to share it with your friends. More info below, or you can just, ya know, download the book!

Bricks Without Clay: Demystifying PolarisTransactions – Download as: PDF | ePub | Mobi

TV Detectives