For some time the Battelle Columbus Laboratories have been promoting its BASIS data management system to support library automation in technical and newspaper libraries. The recent meeting of the Special Libraries Association in New Orleans was the occasion for the unveiling of the BASIS Technical Library Package, described by Battelle as a "turnkey" package that integrates the automation of the major functions of the technical library.
Battelle's use of the word "turnkey" differs from that which is standard in the library automation market, where a turnkey system is generally accepted as one in which a single vendor supplies both the hardware and software together with installation, documentation, training support and ongoing hardware and software maintenance. The turnkey approach described by Battelle refers to the provision of the BASIS software package, tailored to meet the individual requirements of the specific library. Training is provided to ensure that end-user staff are self-sufficient, requiring little or no assistance from computer center staff. The concept also encompasses software maintenance and updating.
BASIS will operate on a wide variety of computer hardware. Suitable mainframes include the IBM 4341 II (and larger) machines, the IBM 370 and 3OXX series, the CX Cyber and 6000, the UNIVAC 1100, and DEC 10 and DEC 20. The software is also available for DEC VAX, Wang VS, and IBM 43XX minicomputers. The wide range of suitable hardware is promoted as a selling point for the software, enabling libraries to automate while taking advantage of existing hardware.
Features of the library automation package include cataloging and book processing, circulation control, acquisitions, and online catalog access from onsite terminals and-through dial access-terminals in remote locations. The functions share a single data base. A serials control module that will handle check-in, claiming, routing, and ordering in a separate data base is being developed and is expected to be released later in 1983. Further enhancements of the Technical Library Package are guided by a Technical Library Advisory Group, which analyzes the changing needs and roles of libraries and information centers.
The mainframe version of the software is priced at $54,950 (with thesaurus capabilities) and $50,550 (without the thesaurus); the minicomputer versions are priced at $40,265 and $37,185 respectively. These prices include up to 40 hours of applications assistance via telephone or telex, two copies of documentation, and maintenance through-out the contract period. Travel expenses for on-site support are not covered. Under these conditions of purchase, BASIS may only be used for technical library applications. [Contact: Battelle's Software Products Center, BASIS Marketing Office, 505 King Ave., Room 11-8-112, Columbus, OH 43201; (614) 424-5524.]