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My baby's done grown up
Emory University Libraries has released Reserves Direct(2). I left for Georgia Tech during the redesign process and it far exceeds anything I could have imagined. It shares little to nothing from 0.9 (I was always too self-concious to label it a 1.x release).

One of the bigger changes is that it's now in PHP5/MySQL. PostgreSQL, for several reasons, was a rather large barrier to adoption for many libraries. The database has been completely redesigned (that was really the only part I participated in), since the old version was built upon a very awkward legacy data model (see the history for more on this). They also consolidated the three interfaces (staff, faculty and student) into one which should clear up much of the confusion faculty members would have when they couldn't edit their class from the student interface (see the demo). Actually, the new interface is so much more user-friendly, it's obvious that Maurice York (who did most of the actual interface design) put quite a bit of work into it. Jason White did the bulk of the actual coding, which I'm sure will be an improvement over the mess of code that passed for a reserves system previously. I'll know more about that soon, since I'm supposed to add the Voyager integration module (it currently only works with SirsiDynix Unicorn). My take is that this job should be a whole hell of a lot easier, thanks to Jason et. al.

One thing I find pretty slick about their site is the promotional video. That's Andy Ditzler doing the voiceover (and I'm assuming he directed it). It's seldom you see an OpenSource project with a marketing video, and even less by one sponsored by a library. I mean, who cares if the documentation is spotty if there's a slick promotional campaign, right?

I don't mean to sound so much like a shill for Reserves Direct, but it's really amazing to see something that started by being disappointed at an Eres demo turn into this.

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