April 19, 2018

Brad LaJeunesse | Movers & Shakers 2005



It’s gutsy. No matter how you look at it, the decision by the PINES (Public Information Network for Electronic Services) Consortium to develop its own integrated library system (ILS) with open source software is daring. But Brad LaJeunesse, system administrator for the 251 public libraries (in 44 different systems) that comprise PINES, is quick to turn the question around. Is it any more daring than “installing a closed source proprietary software that you are not confident can handle the massive load and you are positive doesn’t have the functionality that the PINES libraries require?”

Ultimately, LaJeunesse says, “When you get past the vendor blame game… there is one person responsible for making sure that the system runs: you.”

LaJeunesse, who came to PINES right out of graduate school, became interested in librarianship when he heard some buddies in the library school program “talking about this thing called ‘Linux’ and open source software.” Meeting Bob Moly-neux, then a faculty member at the University of South Carolina, moved him toward systems librarianship. PINES was exactly where he wanted to work. “I like big and complex problems.”

PINES, LaJeunesse admits, has the resources to tackle such an ambitious project. “We have a wonderful and motivated staff and a top-notch software development team…. We have the right stuff.” The decision to use open source software fits philosophically with that of the public library, LaJeunesse says.

Isn’t he just a bit intimidated? Or overwhelmed? “No. We’re empowered and in control of our destiny.”



Current Position PINES System Administrator, Georgia Public Library Service, Atlanta

Degree MLIS, University of South Carolina, 2001

Hobbies? “Some people play golf, some fish, but I’d rather have my head stuck in a server rack any day”