Re: Donating Debian CDs to libraries
Martin Schulze <firstname.lastname@example.org> replied in this
> > I was thinking of donating a copy of my Debian CD
> > collection to a university library. However I'm
> > that libraries usually using cataloguing data to
> > track of their materials.
> Personally I believe this is a good idea. However,
> I once heard that
> a library turned down such a donation. They did
> fear that they have
> to support the CDs/system which they cannot since
> they are a library
> and not a computer store. They also feared that
> customers will
> request updates which they cannot provide since they
> don't have any
> spare money to purchase them.
IMHO, that sort of argument doesn't wash; a library
only stores materials, there is no contract to update
them, only maintain them. In the case of CD media,
that might mean keeping a duplicate in storage, to be
kept in case the one on the shelves gets damaged or
If you consider a update to Debian as being analogous
to a future edition of a textbook being released,
there is no prerequisite to immediately go out and buy
the latest edition.
Keeping Linux in a library is nothing new: it's just
that up to now they usually purchase a
"learn-to-use-linux" book and store the Linux CD
(typically Red Hat) that came with the book either
alongside the book as a separte resource or with the
In my opinion, it would be better to donate a Debian
distribution separately, as at least then:
a) It would be fairly apparent to the borrower how old
the Linux distribution is,and whether or not the
library has it, as the Linux distribution would be the
primary resource held by the library, not a how-to
book that may or may not have a CD with it;
b) A whole distribution could be borrowed, not just a
"easy install" single CD;
c) Better choice of distribution for a borrower (most
books in my experience do not come with Debian Linux);
d) People wouldn't feel as great a compulsion to steal
the CD's (big problem at some libraries), as the
distribution could be tracked and replaced more easily
(bit harder when a CD that has been bundled with a
book gets nicked, a larger problem than one might
> It may be helpful if some non-profit association
> (maybe SPI, maybe the
> FSF, maybe another one) creates a contract with such
> a library to
> assure them that they will receive updates in a
> timely fashion
> whenever Debian releases a new distribution.
A non-profit association providing the distribution as
a donation - sounds good... although I see no need for
legal contract (though sending them a copy of the
Debian distribution whenever a major update occurs
sounds better than a once-off donation).
I haven't heard of SPI or FSF before.
> > Is there any cataloguing information for the
> Debian CD
> > collections (past or present) available?
> I don't think so.
> > How does one go about generating that sort of
> > information, or do libraries do the job
> *shrug* I'm not a librarian. You should probably
> get in touch with
> your library and ask them.
Will do :-)
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> Please always Cc to me when replying to me on the
Done :-) Cc'ing away... <bad pun>
Matthew Briggs <spamisevil.org>
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