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Wanted: a better proxy server

We in the library world have a problem. We spend a zillion-with-a-Z dollars subscribing to online databases, purchases which presume our ability to make sure only authorized people can look at them. The alternative is to be in breach of contract law, which I’ve been assured is something we’d like to avoid. The problem I see is this: The limitations of our proxy server software restrict how we can write contracts with our vendors. The standard approach is to define two types of access: By IP address. The person is sitting in front of the right computer (or has hooked…

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Psst. We’re not printing cards anymore

[From a series I’m calling, “Things About The Library I Think Are Stoooopid”, part one of about a zillion.] I’m going to wallow in a little bit of hyperbole here, but only a little. The problem Suppose, just for a moment, that you’re a computer programmer working anytime in the last twenty years, and someone wants you to set up a data structure to deal with a timeless issue — how to keep track of who’s on which committees in a library. If you’re a computer person Easy enough. First off, what’s a committee? Committee Committee name (string) Committee inception…

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