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Hello 'Netters,

We are grappling with an issue concerning our district's automated
circulation system (which happens to be SIRSI) and access to the automated
system in the absence of a library media specialist. This is an issue which
affects our elementary schools primarily because not all of them are staffed
by a full-time LMS. Some principals want special training on our system for
teachers and parent volunteers, so that students can have access to the
collection and check-out on those days when the LMS is not on duty. We have
some concerns about this, especially in light of the fact that all student
and staff circulation records for the entire district are available to
anyone with a password on SIRSI, and the other reason being maintaining the
integrity of the item records, and finally that all the data for the entire
system is stored on one server. If data gets corrupted at one site, it can
cause our entire system not to function throughout the district (over 100
sites, over 48,000 students). This is not speculation. It has already
happened once before. Our other concern is that with site-based management,
which we have, administrators could decide to further decrease the
allocation of LMSs to our schools.

We have developed an alternative circulation system using MS Access, which
can be uploaded into SIRSI, but this requires really specialized training to
use, more then just scanning barcodes, but at least that system is secure.
Another simple solution is to just go back to card circulation on those
days, since all our items still have cards and pockets. But I'm not sure
this will be met with enthusiasm.

Do any of you have similar problems, and if so, how have you addressed them?
I am getting knots in my stomach over this! It's one thing to train LMSs on
the system, and another thing altogether about training non-professionals. I
also really want to protect our program.

Meg Schimmels
Campus Support, Library Media Specialist
Wichita (KS) Public Schools

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