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        Our media center has been automated for circulation and inventory
for 4 years, and we just completed the automation this fall by adding the
computerized catalog.     I agree that automation has allowed us to produce
better records and track overdues and fines more efficiently.  However, as
yet, it has not freed up my time to spend more of it working sith students!

        This year, many hours of frustration have been spent trying to get
our networked printers to work!  Also, our shelflist records were converted
retrospectively by Brodart.  We sent AV as well as print records.  There
was a misunderstanding about general material descriptors, so our AV call
numbers now begin with the GMD, which I don't like and will probably
change.  In addition, we keep several old sets of various encyclopedias for
times of high demand.  Our shelf list cards differentiated among the
different editions through the copyright dates.  When the records were
converted, we had to be sure that the LC number was on each card to make a
hit.  Anyway, ALL of my World Books, for example, have been converted and
listed as having the same copyright date!  It seems that the LC number was
unchanged from one edition to the next.  HOwever, the ISBN was unique, but
that wasn't the search code.  We have the same problem with our almanacs.
Needless to say, correcting this will take time.  Subject headings have
also been a problem in that many different cataloguers have created the
records, and some subject headings are variations on a theme; e.g. Mystery
and Detective Stories, Mystery & Detective Stories, and Mystery and
Detective Story.  It will take a long time to find and consolidate variant
        However, we have noticed that books that haven't circulated in
several years are being checked out.  We attribute this phenomenon to the
fact that students eagerly use the electronic catalog, whereas before, they
rarely used the card catalog.  This year, they are finding more books about
their interest and are checking them out.
        Even with all the headaches of troubleshooting and refining our
records, I love the electronic catalog.  It is a vast improvement.

Monica Byrne                    Bitnet Address: BYRNEM@FIRNVX
Media Specialist                Internet Address:  BYRNEM@MAIL.FIRN.EDU
Rock Lake Middle School         (407) 831-7864
Longwood, FL 32750


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