Bookline Alert: Missing Books and Manuscripts (Bam Barn) went on-line in September, 1981 and while still limited in size (8,000 entries) and utilization, has become a data base of considerable value. The data base contains records of stolen or missing books, manuscripts, book printing plates, photographs and other materials of interest to libraries and dealers. Any organization can report any item believed to be stolen if it is valued at more than $50. An organization need not be identified in the data base as the owner of a reported item.
Libraries and dealers purchasing expensive items can check the data base to determine whether the materials in which they are interested have been reported as stolen or missing. This is particularly important when the material is offered by other than a regular source for the library or dealer.
The listings already in the data base came from the U. S., Australia, France, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The charge for entering a title is $1.00. The start-up cost is $10 for a password and user manual.
The data base is maintained on the computer facilities of American Book Prices Current. Access is through Telenet, with data base use charges of $60 per hour plus the Telenet telecommunications charge.
The rates are intended only to cover costs and will be altered to reflect the experience of the first few months.
The average length of time to enter a record is approximately 2 1/2 minutes according to Katherine Leab, one of the administrators of the data base. Searching time is comparable to any of the major bibliographic data bases.
A hard-copy edition of Barn Barn is planned, primarily for historical research use.
[Contact: American Book Prices Current, 121 East 78th Street, New York, NY 10021--2l2-RE 72715.]