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Some asked for a hit, so here it is. Thank you to all who replied.

We love Follett's InfoCentre.


It is easy to use and has a great cataloging module.

The OPAC has a wonderful interface and elementary students can easily use
it. There is a tab on the OPAC where one can search in other district

We are in our second year of using Alexandria, after having Molli and Athena
for many years.  We've been very happy with Alex.  It does everything we
need it to do, is a stable system, has good technical support, and is
responsive to users.  Often I've asked whether Alex has a particular
feature, and they've told me that the issue will be addressed in the next
upgrade (and it is!)

We had Winnebago Spectrum for many years, and overall I liked the program.
When it was announced that the program was no longer going to be updated, I
started considering new programs as my son, who is an IT geek, warned me
that when a program is no longer updated it only gets supported for a
certain length of time. Then, in 2007 it was decided to go ahead and replace
the program while we had money for it in the budget (good thing, too,
considering what has happened to California's budget!) We purchased a new
program, then ended up having to wait for almost a year before we got the
upgraded server to run it (*sigh*).


One of our biggest considerations was that whatever program we picked had to
be compatible with assistive technology software. We looked at Alexandria,
Destiny, and BookSystems Atriuum. Alexandria wasn't compatible with the AT
software, so that eliminated it from the running.


In the end I picked Atriuum (Follett is such a huge company I figured we'd
just get lost among all the "big" clients), and we finally had it up and
running in June 2008. You can see our catalog by going to
and clicking on "online library catalog".


The on-site training I received was very good - I spent a whole day with the
trainer here at CSB learning how the system works. He really knew the
system, and glitches had more to do with our network than the program.


I really like the way you can do all kinds of reports, and generating
letters to staff about items out is much easier. For our blind teachers, I
can cut and paste the "items out" letters into Duxbury (our braille
translation software) and with very little editing transcribe them into
braille. It was much harder to do that in Spectrum.


The cataloging feature is VERY different from Spectrum, and it's taken me a
while to get used to it. There are still features I miss about Spectrum -
for example, I really liked being able to see the whole MARC record in one
screen. And, it gets annoying to have to keep toggling back and forth
between the regular bibliographic record and the MARC format. I also miss
being able to cut and paste MARC records, but I do like the quick cataloging
feature in Atriuum. Since most of our braille books list the print ISBN
number, I can usually find a similar cataloging record somewhere, and adapt
it for our catalog. 


I still haven't gotten the e-mail part to work, but I haven't really had a
chance to sit down with our IT department to get it working.


I have also had some problems with the "Circulation Desk" view (which is
similar to the circulation view in Spectrum). I had seen other complaints
regarding the Circulation Desk view on the Atriuum listserv, so I ended up
switching to the standard view. I haven't any problems with the standard


Sometimes the system is slow, but I think the problem has more to do with
our very slow network and the ancient library computers than the software.


The biggest problem we had with the conversion was a mistake of my own
making. I often have to use a print record and change it to fit our
alternate formats (large print reproduction, braille, etc.) when cataloging.
Problem is, many times I forgot to delete either the print record ISBN
and/or LCCN for all of those different formats (large print, braille,
print/braille, cassette, CD, CD-ROM). The result was all those records that
were listed separately because they were different formats got merged into
one format the first time the conversion was done. It was a mess. The
conversions department at BookSystems was able to strip out the ISBN/LCCN
numbers so that the records would stay separate upon conversion. They were
very helpful in working out all the problems that basically I had created


use Athena and am currently changing to an Open Source system called OPALS.


You can learn more about this system at:

I went from Circ/cat to Destiny this past summer.  I will tell you this.
You might as well change when and if you can get a deal.  I did two campuses
and for about $2,000 more I could have done the other 2, but I had two
principals who will have to find more than that to change later.  FSC is
going to quit supporting Circ/cat eventually.  They have quit doing patches.
I know a gentleman up in the management end of Tech support.  He says that
it has not been discussed yet BUT>>>!!!!!!!!!!!! it is coming  just a
question of when.

Pros of Atriuum

     Less Expensive (at the time we did it)

     Support is excellent

     Report generating is VERY flexible

     It does not require a unified catalog for all your schools.

     New company that listens to you and takes suggestions.. frequent
updates Cons

     Menu system is not totally intuitive

     Is not totally compatable with the Winnebago portable inventory device

     Is not as well know as Destiny or other systems Cons of Follet

     Requires a unified catalog for whole system

     I am not sure about support - look at all the Destiny questions on
LM_net.. why is Follett not helping these people!

My district uses Alexandria and I love it. it is easy to learn and easy to
use.Their tech services are amazing- friendly and always there.
muti-platformed, too, depending on your preference- MAC of P.C. It was a
good choice for us.

We have Caspr (Library World) in our district and I HATE it with a white hot
passion.  Slow, clunky, fragile (crashes regularly) --  friends don't let
friends buy Library World.  

I'm in the process of switching from Athena to Alexandria right now. 

Yesterday I got all the preferences set, and this afternoon I'm going to try
moving patron and circulation data from Athena to Alexandria. I believe that
all of our holdings data has already been put into Alex.


We also seriously considered Koha. Their big advantage is that they host
your system, so they do all of the work. You do pay for that service,



Knowledge is free at the library. Just bring your own container. 
- Unknown

LHS Mission Statement: "The art of caring, the mission of excellence in
studies, and the pride in achievement ensure success for all. Logansport
High School---a school of champions."


Tedine "Teddy" Soule, Librarian

Logansport High School
P. O. Box 549
Logansport, LA 71049


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