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Hello again,
     I'm getting a lot of friendly advice from librarians explaining how
they use their library automation program to circulate AV equipment, and
while I appreciate the help, that is what I am trying to STOP doing.  I
am lucky enough to NOT be in charge of AV equipment, and I am not
interested in assuming the responsibility.  However, when our district
recently bought over 500 calculators, I agreed to try signing them out
to teachers via our Horizon system. BIG mistake.

     For one thing, our library system is a county-wide consortium, so
all records are shared.  I am messing with the integrity of everyone's
database when I do "creative cataloging" to add records and holdings
that don't belong there.  Also, when I generate reports for the state,
our library numbers are skewed, including circulation numbers, because
of all the stuff now in my collection that does not really belong to my
library.  Another problem is that a large number of calculators come
back missing their barcodes because there is no good place to put them
big enough for a barcode protector.  Additionally, I cannot generate the
kinds of reports the tech people want (for example, I stored serial
numbers in the holding source field, so now I cannot print out a list of
serial numbers with the list of calculators signed out under a teacher's
name.)  I am trying to force inventory control capabilities out of a
program designed for library automation.  Lastly, I have a
philosophical/ethical problem with hijacking our library automation
program for what is essentially non-library inventory control.  We are
paying our BOCES for library automation services, not equipment
inventory control capabilities.  Adding a library-owned laptop or two
into the equation is one thing; adding 500+ calculators, Visiscreens,
DVD players, cassette recorders, VCR's, Lightwares, Smartboards, digital
cameras, CD players, etc., that have nothing to do with the library and
are not under my control, is something else.  

     We want to start doing this correctly, not add more holdings to a
program not designed for that purpose.  Can you recommend a separate
system for tracking AV/computer signouts to teachers?  This system will
be installed on the tech person's computer elsewhere in the building,
not used by library staff.
         Thanks for the input!
    _________________  _________________
   ||                \/                 ||
   ||  Bonnie Fulmer, |   Librarian     ||
   ||    Spackenkill  |   High School   ||
   ||     112 Spack-  |   enkill Road   ||
   ||   Poughkeepsie  |   NY  12603     ||
   ||    voice: (845) |   463-7810      ||
   ||      fax: (845) |   463-7817      ||

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