Chief executive (12) launches library system


WHILE MOST schoolchildren are enjoying their summer holidays, a young boy from Dublin has been busy getting on the career ladder, establishing his first technology company.

Shane Curran (12) last night launched software business Libramatic, which specialises in smartphone and web-based library systems. In doing so he became one of Ireland’s youngest chief executives.

The Libramatic system allows librarians to manage books easily. The loaning-out and returning of books can be done simply by scanning the book’s ISBN code using a smartphone camera.

Shane said he came up with the idea after his school spent a large amount of money on a library system that did not do much to help librarians as all the book details had to be typed in.

“Unlike most library systems, Libramatic does not require information to be manually inputted. The librarian/user can simply scan the book’s ISBN code using a smartphone camera, and the service finds the book’s information online and stores this in the library’s database so that the book can be loaned out and returned,” he said.

Speaking at the Dublin Beta start-up event last night, the young coder said his system had a global audience and could be used by schools, public libraries and people with home libraries.

It is not the coding prodigy’s first job. When he was just six, he learned how to programme and created several websites.

“I was playing computer games since I was about four or five and I decided to make a few websites for cheats. I taught myself HTML so I could make a cheat website for the Club Penguin computer game,” he said.

Last year, the youngster, who has just finished primary school, worked as a software developer and chief technical officer for CreditCroc – a platform for saving people money on their mobile bills. There he created mobile phone analytics solutions which compared consumers’ usage to various price plans on different network operators and calculated which plan was cheapest for the user.

“I’m an active tweeter and Roman Grogan, the founder of CreditCroc, contacted me through Twitter and asked me to join the company,” he said.

Shane is also a frequent participant in the CoderDojo initiative, where he helps train other children in software and computer programming.

Dublin Beta co-founder John O’Rourke said the start-up event allowed young entrepreneurs such as Shane to meet like-minded people, demonstrate their product and talk to investors in an informal setting.

The event featured 11 start-ups, including online video and movie maker Video Crisp, search engine SeenBefore and Cast Interactive, a cloud-based start-up that allows companies to virtualise communications online in an interactive format.