SirsiDynix Corp [Not Very] restricted lobby paper against Open Source technologies, Sep 2009


David Lee King pointed out A Post On Wikileaks about SirsiDynix: "This document was released only to a select number of existing customers of the company SirsiDynix, a proprietary library automation software vendor. According to our source it has not been released more broadly specifically because of the misinformation about open source software and possible libel per se against certain competitors contained therein."
[Update]: See Also It's About a Respectful Discussion for a discussion from the author. He's also posted a link to the "restricted" paper.


Isn't getting sued by a customer enough bad press for one month? Go for broke Sirsi and layoff some more employees with those 2 year non compete agreements that effectively keep talented people from remaining in the library industry. It's still early on Friday in Provo.

Stephen just posted a link to download it on his blog. It's about what I'd expect from a vendor.

Sirsi memos about the dangers of:

steam engines
unleaded gas
VHS tapes
cell phones
compact cars
protein bars
solar power
lever action rifles
dissolving sutures
the free market
the Internet

This document is so nutty I first thought it had to be a fake. After indirectly calling people "stupid" and implying open source is a terrorist threat - Stephen now wants a "respectful" discussion? All I can say is "wow."

We're not as dumb as we look. Librarians know open source is not a silver bullet - and of course there are problems and drawbacks, as there is with ANY software development model. However, the open source "way" has been proven to be a practical development model in the wider world (likewise as has the proprietary model). Like the previous commenter said, as I read this, I expected SirsiDynix's rail against dangers of electricity. Stay with candles, people!

Libraries should select what is best for their situation... and this document is a perfect example of what NOT to listen to when making those decisions.

The biggest selling point for me and my library is that open source can't pull another Horizon 8 snafu. An open source vendor also cannot end-of-life my ILS and force me to upgrade. An open source vendor cannot charge for "training" and demand a NDA in order to use their "open" API (I'm looking directly at you, SirsiDynix). I also like the idea of being able to switch support companies and not have to switch ILS's.

Yes, there are drawbacks. The open source support companies and their products are relatively new. Open source demands engagement and communication in order to get full benefits - there is no free lunch. There is an overall lack of good documentation and the communities are pretty "geeky."

Go look for yourselves and make your own decisions. Ask for demos, ask for RFP responses, do what is right for you.

My 2 cents. Cheers all!