Future of QuickDoc

Eric Schnell writes an interesting post  regarding the precarious future of QuickDoc now that its creater and maintainer, Jay Daly, passed away this Spring. Unfortunately even the National Library of Medicine is uncertain of the future of QuickDoc since they were not the producers of the program. 

Eric brings up a very good point, “As a community, libraries should not have to reply on innovative people like Jay develop systems that bridge the functionality gaps we expect from our systems.”  Eric is completely right.  Unfortunately this seems to be the case within the library community as well individual libraries.  Why are we still treating technology and programming as a add on feature?  These improvements and programs are valuable services and features.  We don’t treat cataloging or document delivery as whole like this, so why do we do this with the tools that help make these services possible?

3 thoughts on “Future of QuickDoc”

  1. This is a blow! In Australia, many small medical libraries use the services of Prosentient, a company which has developed many useful tools for libraries, including document delivery systems and now hosting Koha. Fortunately for us, we discussed Escrow very early on, to ensure that if anything happened, copies of the programmes – all written in standard software – would be owned by and available to the library community. A timely reminder!

  2. I think we fell into this trap. Many hospital libraries when Quickdoc was first developed were (and many still are) small understaffed facilities with small budgets for anything but books and journals. Hospital IT Departments didn’t know about or care about applications of use by just a few people (the library staff) and didn’t see the significance to the hospital as a whole since it was an “behind-the-scenes” software.

    Jay developed the product, as I understand it, for his own use and use by friends in his consortia. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) It proved so useful that others wanted it and so on and so on. The needs of small hospital libraries who use Docline almost exclusively didn’t fit then and don’t fit now the more sophisticated programs developed for OCLC users. The original Docline allowed us to minimize online time and to do most of our work offline at a time when online use was new to many hospital librarians. Jay UNDERSTOOD and APPRECIATED the needs of often timid technology users in isolated hospital libraries. He talked to us in a way that big sophisticated academic institutions with large academic IT departments didn’t need. This alone is a great legacy of service the Quickdoc community much appreciates.

    Can we switch to a product that costs us several thousand dollars a year when hospital budgets are increasingly strained–maybe not so its back to paper for us. Can we switch to a product that needs elaborate interaction with the IT Department, access through the hospital’s firewall, access to servers that IT is reluctant to grant us–oh, boy, my head hurts and my stomach aches just thinking about it.

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