ERIC Number: ED352055
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Automating Reference Desk Files with Microcomputers in a Public Library: An Exploration of Data Resources, Methods, and Software.
Miley, David W.
Many reference librarians still rely on manual searches to access vertical files, ready reference files, and other information stored in card files, drawers, and notebooks scattered around the reference department. Automated access to these materials via microcomputers using database management software may speed up the process. This study focuses on how two divisions of the Main Library of the Akron-Summit County Public Library--Science and Technology, and Philosophy, Religion, and Education--acquire, store, distribute, and use reference information, and examines four software products to determine which one would best meet these needs. Thirteen criteria were established for ranking the software, the most important of which were low-cost, user friendliness, IBM-compatibility, full-text capability, and searching ease. Such a system should be easy to use and low in cost. Four software products were selected and tested: askSam 5.0, Info Select 2.0, FoxPro 2.0, and Q&A 4.0. Test results favored askSam, although automation can be achieved with a number of different products and methods. It is concluded that automating reference files could be a worthwhile project. (Contains 105 references.) (KRN)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Akron Summit County Public Library OH; IBM Personal Computer; Vendors
Note: M.L.S. Thesis, Kent State University.