** apologies for cross-posting **
We have a database of performers that we use in our libraries. Currently,
the data is stored on one person's computer in a file maker pro db that only
this one person has access to (Hooray for legacy systems!). In order for the
rest of the staff to have access to the performer listings, this one person
runs yearly reports and they are posted on the staff intranet in a
rather unwieldy series of pdf documents for staff to browse. For a sense of
scale, we have over 80 libraries, about probably around 300-400 staff people
accessing these documents, and there are probably around 400 or so
performers in the database. Clearly, we need a new system of managing these
What we would like is something like a Yelp-like system for the performer
database (online obviously), where performers have the ability to go in and
update their contact information, the kinds of programs they offer, their
program descriptions, the price of their programs etc. Staff would have the
ability to search the database in a myriad of ways, mark favorite ones, and
submit an evaluation of the performer (that the performer cannot see). The
evals could be anything from "This person was great and I would use them
again in a heartbeat" to "Don't book this person. They were late. gave me a
hassle about the invoice and smelled like cheap wine." Ideally, the
moderators of the database would also have the ability to make some of the
comments "public" to the performers for their own use in advertising, etc.
but this is not a requirement.
So here's what we're grappling with:
1. We can purchase a product that would give us the framework to do this. I
realize that something like a wiki would let us do some of these things, but
really we are rather freaky about our content control, and a wiki is just
2. We can hire a developer/programmer to design a custom solution for us.
So my questions for the list are:
1. do you know of any products that do what we want?
2. if we were to hire someone, how much is a "reasonable" fee - we have some
money in our budget, but we don't really know what a real person would
charge for this, and if the money in our budget would cover it. And I don't
want to go through writing an RFP for it if in the end we won't be able to
afford it anyway.
Usually we develop most stuff in house, but this is outside the scope of our
Many, many thanks for your thoughts!
Internet Services Coordinator
County of L.A. Public Library