Throwback: Automating a Library

Updated: Mar 5, 2019

The Cover of the first issue of Upper St. Clair TODAY, September 1994

Throwback with TODAY

Library News

September 1994 (First Edition) page 60

The most important fall activity at the Library is the computerization of the circulation and card catalog system. All Library patrons should obtain a new bar-coded Library card from the circulation desk. The OPAC (on-line public access catalog) will allow Library patrons to call and learn if a book is in, out, on reserve or on the shelf and will let you know how many books you have checked out and if any books are overdue. Library patrons with computer modems will be able to access the information directly.

Fall Library Programs for Adults include a World War II Group, the Mystery Reader's Group, and a program by Deborah Miller-Gurchak entitled "Selecting the Dog Which is Right for You". Fall Library Programs for Children include Pre-school Story Hour, Mother Goose and Toddler Story Time, and a Program by Marty Wolfson, a well-known TV illustrator from the 1950's, on self-esteem and positive attitudes for elementary children and their parents. Children will actively participate in the program and will draw right along with Mr. Wolfson. Children's Library activities also include a Fall Craft Program, Halloween Party, and Christmas Party. For Young Adults, the Library is offering programs on beauty care and a babysitting course. For information and to register for all Library programs, please call the Library at 835-5540.

Left to Right: Lois Hoop, Director of Library, Shirley Hoffman, President of Women's Club of Upper St. Clair and Pat Pavlak, Children's Librarian

A new "production company" formed by the Library, Upper St. Clair Woman's Club and Mary Lou Einloth's High School Video and Film-making Class will produce video tapes for Cable 7 featuring book reviews for adults and special story hours for children entitled Auntie Clair's Rocking Chair Stories.

Automating a Library

September 1994 (First Edition) page 60,61

The Exciting and long anticipated automation of the Township Library will be in place this fall, culminating a year of many faceted, time-consuming technical procedures. The Process began in the summer of 1993. Library staff, the Township Systems Administrator, the Friends of the Library and other interested residents attended demonstration of three major library automation vendors. Dynix, the largest library automation company in the United States, was chosen due to its innovative leadership and special features such as colored computer monitors and Kid's Cat.

The automation process began during the fall of 1993 andwinter 1994. The Township Public Works Department wired the Library for the new Central Processing Unit to connect with all areas of the Adult and Children's Library floors in the preparation for circulation and catalog terminals. The Librarians culled our collection of books. The card catalog was converted to machine readable records with Library Technologies, Inc., and Dynix created authority control and built a data tape involving complex indexing and coding.

Library staff was trained to in-put data into the new system during the spring and summer of 1994. Library patrons were asked to complete new application forms for their Library cards. All 70,000 books and media were bar coded for computer usage with the help of sixteen volunteers from our community.

Just in time for back to school is the new Library automation system. Circulation and OPAC (on-line public access catalog) are completely automated. The card catalog system is a reference from the past and will not be used. Now a telephone call to the Library will let you know the status of a book. Is it in or out? On reserve? On the shelf? Do you want to know your Library status? A phone call will be able to tell you how many books you have checked out or if any books are overdue. Reports from the automation system will be an effective tool in development of the Library collection.

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