I have a technology need. You have technology information, O Internet Braintrust. I come seeking oracular wisdom.
I am the treasurer of SUNYLA, a statewide librarians’ organization. We are in a transition period as an organization, working on streamlining and reorganizing a lot of processes (including moving the website to Joomla). As Treasurer, I’m looking to reorganize, as well.
The problem at hand is this: I take in a huge amount of information from members as they pay for the year’s membership. I share this information with the Membership Chair, but sadly we’re very print reliant, and spend a too much time doing double data-entry, both input and removal. Add on the need to create a dynamically updated web-based member directory, and you can see why we’re looking for the tech solution. Interested parties are having a meeting on December 16 to try to figure this problem out, and I’d like to go into that meeting with some idea of how to go forward.
Our current needs:
- Must allow basic membership management — who paid, at what level, when, for how long, etc.
- Must have basic security features to prevent inappropriate data use and access.
- Must be remotely accessible and editable by multiple people.
- Does not have to be free, but cannot be enterprise-level expensive.
- Can be hosted or installed, though local installation would require finding a volunteer server somewhere, and a volunteer systems geek.
- Would be nice if it could import data from standard delimited files (ie, Quicken exports). And then export it again.
- Must be easy — to install, to set up, to maintain, and to use. (The major people working on this are, by title, a Collection Development/Tech Services librarian, a Reference/Instruction Librarian, and a Web Services/Collection Development librarian. We’re all savvy and motivated, but none of us is knee-deep in servers and SQL.)
All advice or suggestions appreciated, here or in email, rogersurbanek at gmail. A bunch of SUNY librarians thank you for your help, whether they know how grateful they really are, or not.
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