Support your open source librarian coder!
I rarely refer to myself as a “software developer” because I’m not exactly a great programmer. The way I see it is, I write code. I create programmes large and small both for personal and occupational use. And I occasionally share that code online for others to look at. If they want to use the progamme, that’s great! If it gives them an idea for something they can do? That’s even better because they’ll likely do a better job than I can. So I call myself a coder, because I write code.
Useful Polaris SQL
I’m a systems librarian and my job revolves around Polaris ILS, a day-to-day business software mostly aimed at public libraries. It handles the patrons, checking items out and in, cataloguing, online access, etc. On the back end, it uses a massive Microsoft SQL Server database. I started this project to help share code between other Polaris admins, especially those new to the job. I’m not a fantastic SQL writer, but I typically get the job done.
I kinda wanted a self-hosted Pinterest/Tumblr like image board software, but I wanted simplicity. Just pages of shared images with some basic metadata. Click the smaller image, get the bigger image. Weirdly, everything else I could find had features I didn’t want. So I’m trying to make my own. Kopifiguro is Esperanto for “effigy” and ya know, that made sense to me.
If you’ve been to a library recently, you may have seen machines that let you check out your own materials. The cost of these machines tends to lie somewhere between “stupidly expensive” and “are you freakin’ kidding me?” I started experimenting with an idea where I could build an affordable, “bare bones” self-checkout system that could run on a Raspberry Pi. While I’ve not tested this system in an actual library yet, I can confirm that it does work. And it would cost less than US$500 to set up.
Maniphestopheles is a simple tote manifesting system for use with Polaris ILS, though it could be targeted toward other ILS solutions and products. As an automated materials handling (AMH) solution, it aims to optimize the processing involved with shipping and receiving materials through a library’s multi-branch courier system. In short, rather than dealing items on the individual level, Maniphestopheles deals with bins full of items.
Signbrary a digital signage system that also allows for content distribution. For example, a library could set up a stand alone digital sign at an event that displays events and notices and enables patrons to connect to the device and download eBooks, music, video, and more.
The software itself is aimed at running as a standalone system on a Raspberry Pi, or as an online system connected to an intranet.
CargoCult is designed to print tote tags and shipping tags on demand. In many multi-branch libraries, there’s often a courier system that transports library materials from branch to branch. These are often shipped in plastic tote bins and the bins are marked with removable tags that state their destination. Libraries will typically have a bunch of tags that they’ll need to dig through when marking the bins for shipment. Either that, or they’ll make a tag on the fly using a marker and scratch paper.
This makes the outgoing shipping process take longer. It’s far easier to generate tote tags on demand.