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NewsForge: Getting Open Source Into Public Libraries

Dec 17, 2003, 13:00 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bob Kerr)

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"Why are open source CDs not available in libraries for borrowing? The answer is because no one has asked librarians why.

"I have been spending the last six months working to get the first open source or free software CDs available in libraries as lending CDs. I have now succeeded; 415 public libraries out of a possible 507 have accepted them in Scotland.

"The first reaction from the open source community is usually 'Great, I'll burn a whole set of CDs and donate them to my local library.' This is completely and utterly the wrong thing to do. It is wrong because you will not be taking into account the responsibilities libraries have for their patrons. The CDs you burn will have to be thrown away. You will also be trying to force libraries to do what you want them to do, and nobody likes that..."

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