Creating a small library for a non-profit
July 3, 2009 3:29 PM   Subscribe

Looking for resources on creating a small library for a non-profit company

I am currently a MLIS student and for the summer break I found a volunteer opportunity with a non-profit to assist them in creating a library. I have quite a few texts but nothing that involves a step by step guideline to assessing a variety of media and organizing it. I am interested in helping this organization set up a scaffold so that material Is accesible and available through an OPAC and would make it easy for a novice to come in and add new materials. I found a few older threads that had similar information but mostly on the OPAC side and not on getting started. Any input would be welcome.
posted by andendau to Grab Bag (7 answers total) is pretty much tailor made for this.
posted by cosmicbandito at 4:51 PM on July 3, 2009

I was going to suggest that you look into LibraryThing's service for small, non-profit organizations but on re-reading your question, I realized that you have a "variety of media" that you have deal with. So instead, I'm going suggest experimenting to see whether your library could be organized and made searchable using Zotero instead.
posted by copystar at 4:52 PM on July 3, 2009

I worked in a small library that used Endnote to catalog its collection. Zotero is free, so it's a better option.
posted by mareli at 8:31 PM on July 3, 2009

About how big is the collection currently? How big do you think they'd want to grow it in the future? If you're looking for an OPAC, does the non-profit currently have a website up and running? Do they have their own server, or would you need an OPAC hosted by someone else? If that's the case, do they have any budget to pay for it, or are you looking exclusively at free resources? Who are the primary users of the library (i.e., why is being online-accessible a requirement)?

Off the top of my head, I don't know of any online resources that give an overview or general intro to answer your question, but with some more details some Mefibrarians might be able to point you in good directions or suggest possible solutions.
posted by booknerd at 9:34 AM on July 4, 2009

Response by poster: @booknerd:

The institution is a Dance Company with 40 years worth of history. The library contains books, videos, pamphlets, programs, posters, audio, and other items related to the institution and their events. I am not too sure how big the collection is at this moment but I would guesstimate that it has a few hundred items. I do not believe that they are looking to expand it by much as items have tended to accumulate over time. They do have their own website that is being revamped and I believe that they are trying to go as free as possible but i think they would be open to spending a little if it served the development of the library. I believe that they would be able to have their own web developer to host the library though I still need more details from them. They are looking to serve the students that they serve but they would like the overall dance community to be able to browse their collection.
posted by andendau at 4:11 PM on July 4, 2009

Best answer: Check out Archon. It's an open-source software solution for managing archives, and you can host it on your web server. It sounds like your collection is mostly interesting from an archival perspective, and that the actual circulation might be secondary to just having the information freely available online for people who are interested.

I'd recommend using something like Archon to organize it and put it online, then restricting actual use of the material and access to times when users could make an appointment with someone who works for the institution. That way, they're not spending a lot of time babysitting the collection and trying to track down missing items. As far as texts go, I think you should also focus on looking at intro archival texts. They usually will focus much more on how to deal with the "variety of media" that you're dealing with.
posted by booknerd at 9:53 AM on July 6, 2009

Response by poster: I will give Archon a try.
posted by andendau at 2:31 PM on July 15, 2009

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