21 January 2008

EZProxy...alas is gone...long live EZProxy!

Today, I found out EZproxy has been bought out by the library giant OCLC.

For those of you who might have never worked behind the scenes in the library world, you might wonder about this post. For those of you who have, then this might be old news or new news, depending on your situation.So what? Big deal, right? Well, first a little background....

Access to databases is not cheap. Someone has to pay and as a result, databases are usually restricted to those who carry a library card or pay the subscription fee. For library patrons, these costs are paid for by your library. A question remains however:

How do they provide access yet restrict it so that only patrons can use it?

There's a variety of ways, each of which has good and bad points. EZproxy was a good point. As a professional library support person, I worked quite extensively with this software and its creator. It was the best in class and quite easy to configure and use....especially on Linux. Quite stable, I was able to run multiple instances of it on a single Linux box.

I hear this morning from the Dispatch that EZproxy and its author have been acquired by OCLC. I guess that's a pretty good thing as OCLC I'm sure has the resources and personnel to improve the software quite a bit. I hope, however, that it does not lose it's quaint (?) charm as well as easy access to its creator. OCLC seems to think:

"...OCLC will also continue to develop and support EZproxy by working with commercial vendors to create new connectors to authentication systems and online content resources to libraries...."

Source: http://www.oclc.org/news/releases/200690.htm

I'm curious to see how this platform-agnostic (runs on Win and Lin) will be intermeshed into the OCLC software world, which uses Win quite extensively. Let's hope to continue to hear good things about this.

Talk to you later. Look below for some links for more information. Long live EZProxy!!!!



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