LM_NET: Library Media Networking

Previous by DateNext by Date Date Index
Previous by ThreadNext by Thread Thread Index
LM_NET Archive

In our middle school of 1000, we have some CD-ROMs in a tower
networked to our library catalog and the school network.  We have not
had many CDs on here yet because a lot of the CDs are made for Windows
and our workstations have not been Windows.  At any rate, we have 6
workstations at the present time.  This has been adequate although at
times there may be some waiting.  Our LMC seats 90 although there's
usually 60 students in here.  As we get more CD-ROMs and Internet
access on all terminals, I believe we will need more stations.

We have SIRS Researcher and SuperTOM, Jr. which are in constant use.
We also have Jr. Discovering Authors, which gets little use. (We have
7th and 8th graders.  Maybe the 6th graders we are getting next year
will use this more.)

I guess I would want to have some workstations but also be able to
build up a print collection. I have been pondering the need for having
as many books in print form, as we turn more and more to CDs and the
internet.    I also think we may have to have a station or two just
dedicated to the catalog.  As of now, this has been no problem.
Students just go from one program to another.


We've got 1 tower with 6 cd-roms (will add more later) and have everything
available on all stations.  The kids use the cd-rom much more than the card
catalog so having seperate catalog stations would be a waste of equipment for


We are pretty much in the same boat. I would be very intersted in the responses
 you may receive on this topic.  We currently have a standalone GEAC network wh
ich seven students may access simultaneously (even the same CD)  we like it but
 it has its faults and a sometimes slow.

We are building a 33 M renovation which will double the current size and expand
 to 12+K sq ft.  Any information would be helpful.


I just moved into our new library serving 600 students in 9-12.  We have
recently networked all classrooms and the library to our CDR tower and
file server.  Yes, a CDR tower is a good way to go.  Start with a tower
with at least 14 slots.  (My first one had 7, and I needed more right
away, since Ebsco magazines on CDR comes on 4 CD's).  We now have two 14
slot towers.  Cost varies:  approx $6500 for a 14 slot tower.

Yes, every station can access the same program at the same time.  I have
had students at our 12 pentiums all using the same encyclopedia on CDR
at the same time with no problems.  All our classrooms have a computer
linked to our fileserver, and students can take AR tests, do research,
or surf the net from workstations in their classrooms or the library.

We have an automated circulation system and catalog.  The files are on
the file server, so that each computer station and the check-out
can call up the library's catalog.  Teachers can also access it in the
classroom.  You won't need any more or less computers because of being

The way it works:  The main file server holds all your programs that are
not CDR, like your automation program, Accelerated Reader, etc.  The CDR
tower holds your CDR programs like Encarta, World's Best Poetry on CD,
Gale's Biographies on CDR, Multi-Media Animal Encyclopedia, etc.

The person setting up the work stations will go to each computer, and
set up a student programs folder that lists each of the CDR programs,
the library catalog and whatever else you have on the file server.
Users will then be able to access the programs from the workstations.

It would be a good idea to get a security program that won't let a user
tamper with your program manager files, win.ini files, or go to DOS and
change your BIOS, Autoexec.bat or Config.sys files.  Believe me, someone
will, either on purpose or accidentally.  We use Fortres.101.  It won't
let students change anything important, or exit from the open student
folder.  They can access the programs or use the word processor as
I don't have Windows 95, but I assume Fortres is available for 95 as

Also, we have already had big problems with viruses.  Norton 2.0 for
Windows '95 is the top AntiVirus program.  It catches even unknown
viruses as well as the new macro viruses.  Call Symmantec for
information about which software to buy for your particular situation.


Hi! I am the media specialist for a junior high - grades 7,8,9 - about 1,000
students. We moved into our new media center last January.
Here are my thoughts:
1. I think the trend is to move away from CD Towers and to run things off
servers.  This is what we are doing. And yes, more than one student can access
the same program simultaneously.

2. I have two older model computers that I use for dedicated catalog search
stations.  They are labeled as search stations and are used for nothing else.
When I first set this up, I didn't think 2 stations would be enough at all. I
was in a panic about it.  However, it seems to be very sufficient. No problem at
all! We have the capability of networking the patron catalog to all the
computers, but after a year of use, I have never seen the need to do it.

3. I would spend any extra money on fiction books (paperbacks) and reference
materials.  More and more, students and teachers are utilizing electronic
resources for their non-fiction research.  You will still need a good core
selection of non-fiction, but the students and teachers will be looking for
good, current fiction books.


> 1.  Is a CD-ROM tower networked to workstations in the library and to
> classrooms the right way to go?  If so, what should the capacity of the
> tower be?  Will more than one user be able to access the same program at the
> same time?  What is a ballpark figure for the cost of such a tower?
> Recommendations on brand, other variables?  If this is not a good idea,
what is?

It is a good idea, but only if your teachers can guide the students as
they use the CDs in the classroom. Otherwise, just network to the
library.  Over estimate the capacity since you don't want to change CDs
in the towers.  What do you need to network?  An encyclopedia, a
periodical index/full text program, possibly SIRS.  Other programs can
probably work on free-standing machines (and will be much cheaper.) Acess
is dependant on the license you purchase.  Look for site licenses as that
will give you unlimited access.  Reader's guide prices their products
based on numbers of concurrnet logins, for example.  Site licenses are
more expensive.  Brands?  Get one that maps the CDs as server volumes.
SCSI Express and Microtest Discview are good ones.  Cost will be over
$3000 for a decent setup.

> 2.  Should we plan to have our automated catalog on the same workstations as
> our CDs?  Or separate stations for each?  Seems logical to me to combine but
> I've never worked in that situation.  Will we need more or fewer stations if
> we combine?  We can/will have internet access on any or all stations.

Why not?  Don't maintain separate networks.  TWO headaches for the price
of one.

> 3.  How many stations should we have at a minimum?  There will be no card
> catalog and our print collection will necessarily be small to being with,
> making the demand on electronic resources higher.  Is it cost effective to
> spend for an additional station or turn that same amount into print materials?

We plan for 10 student stations per middle school.  We also make at least
half the stations standup stations so students don't "park."

Mary Helen Fischer, District Librarian
Buckeye Union School District
Shingle Springs CA

LM_NET Archive Home