School Library Automation The term ‘Library Automation’ is being used extensively in library parlour to mean the application of Computer to perform some of the traditional library activities such as acquisition, cataloguing, circulation, stock verification etc. Library automation can be defined simply as the use of computer and networking technologies in the library.
Intellectual Access To title, author, subject and notes on all materials for fast retrieval
For students and teachers
Preparations for using academic and public libraries
• Collaboration Time for teachers and librarian to plan and co-teach well developed units and lessons
• Management of Catalog
Material and Patron activity
Where Should You Start?
What’s on your shelves?
• What’s in unopened boxes?
• What’s in offices or book rooms?
• Just Books?
• Are there non-print, including video, CD-ROMs and DVDs?
• What is the age and condition of each item?
• Is the collection appropriate for students?
• Sort everything you want to keep by format and call number.
How are Software Applications Different?
First generation software (client and catalog)Stand alone computer
Search on computers with installed software only
• Second generation software (client and catalog) L ocal A rea N etwork is a server and several computers connected to the server in one building
Search from many different computers within the school library connected by the server
Librarian designates computer for circulation and is responsible for the server
Third generation software (web-based) Central server (located at Metro Tech)
Search from school or home
Search other school catalogs using the same server
Central is responsible for the server
Automation Features to Consider
Provides access via web-based or school building-based
• Provides website for school library
• Allows commercial database links to the school library Website
• Allows importing and cataloging of URLs
• Generates standardized and custom reports for circulation, bibliographies or material management
• Provides Z39.50 access to other library catalogs (This feature requires a web-based application)
• Provides ease of use for patrons and librarian
• Allows different foreign language interfaces for website and catalog
Barcode – A printed horizontal strip of vertical bars which represent numbers used for identification
2. Database – A digital file, containing many records, all of which has the same set of fields
3. Integrated System – A library automation system that offers all 4 necessary modules
4. Licensing – An automation system that requires the library to use a license
Module – A software segment which performs a specific library function
6. OPAC – Online Public Access Catalog
7. Protocol – An electronic standard by which libraries conduct the flow of information – Z39.50 allows libraries to share MARC records
8. Retrospective Conversion – The process used to convert shelf lists into searchable, computerized database of library holdings – after conversion, records can be used in an automation system
9. Shelf List – A catalog of items owned by a library, arranged in shelf order
10. System Upgrade – A new or better version of automation software –makes us all old before our times!!
11.Vendor – Manufacturer, distributor, and seller of library goods and services
12.Z39.50 – A standard for info retrieval that makes it possible for library collections to be remotely searched
Library Automation Using RFID
RFID is a technology that is sparking interest in the library community because of its applications that promise to increase efficiency, productivity and enhance user satisfaction. Current library management systems use barcode technology and security strips. Using barcodes, a library management system can keep records of lending, borrowing and shelving status of items such as books, audio or video tapes, CDs, DVDs, etc. Security strips on library items tag their movements. But barcodes and security strips (electronic article surveillance or EAS) have their limitations. They are slow to read and are prone to sabotaging by thieves. All these lead to irreparable loss to a library and its valuable inventory stock. This is where RFID technology can come to the aid of library managers and users.
Application software :
RFID application software is generally a browser-based management interface for centralized monitoring. The software enables safe, secure and highly efficient movement of library items by asset tracking and prevents loss or tampering.
Tags and readers: The microchips on the RFID tags can be programmed electronically. Similarly a reader (technically known as an interrogator) has to be programmed to send and receive correct information from a tag.
There are three types of tags:
Write once (WORM: Write Once Read Many)
All of the RFID tags used in libraries are passive types of tags.
Generally data stored on the tags have the following options:
Generally data stored on the tags have the following options:
date of circulation
The barcode of an item and its item id are kept identical.
Readers are RF detectors that can read tags to obtain the information stored within them. It has an antenna that sends and receives signals. A reader generates an RF field. When a tag passes through the field, the information stored on the chip in the tag is decoded by the reader and sent to the server.
There is software in each reader to facilitate communication with the server and therefore automate the whole library system.
Today's library RFIDs mainly operate in the high-frequency (HF) 13.56 MHz band, the most widely used of the RFID HF bands because it's the global standard frequency for contact-less smart labels. These tags have a read range of about 3 feet.
Benefits to library management :
Uncompromised security within the library
Efficient collection management system (can be located suitably and made 24x7)
Uncompromised collection security
Flexible staff schedules
Labor saving methods free the staff to help customers
Higher customer/patron satisfaction levels
Improved inter-library cooperation
Better preservation of inventory because of less handling by staff
Same security and labeling formats for all items such as books, CDs and DVDs, hence better management of databases
Benefits for library staff:
Time saving devices free them to help customer better
Labor saving devices free them from doing repetitive, physically stressful tasks
Can have flexible working schedules
Benefits for library patrons :
Self check-in and self check-out facilities
Check-in and check-out of all types of items (books, audio tapes, video tapes, CDs, DVDs, etc.) at the same locations
More staff available for assistance
Quicker service such as payment of fees, fines, etc.
Better inter-library facilities, more efficient reservation facilities, etc.
Faster and accurate re-shelving means patrons can find items where they should be, hence quicker and more satisfying service
Height adjustable self check-in/out tables are liked by children and physically disabled persons who use the library