Software for a Library




A small library seeks a software system to catalogue its collection and keep records of materials checked out of the library. Currently, the records of who has
checked out what, when materials are due, and the like are kept in a file drawer behind the check-out desk- These records are confidential- Patrons are
assured that these records are not accessible to anyone other than library personnel- But, of course, drawers can be opened when no one is looking- What
assurance is there that the software systems under consideration will provide as much, if not greater, security? Assuming that no one in the library is a
software specialist, the library has no alternative but to place its trust in someone who presumably has the requisite expertise- How concerned should that
expert be (again, bearing in mind that even the best system is not completely sleuthproof)? Furthermore, what assurance has the library that it is not being
oversold or undersold in general? To what extent should software specialists be concerned with determining precisely what the various needs of the library
are-and to try to meet those needs rather than offer more than is necessary in order to secure greater profit or less than is needed in order to come in with
a lower bid?