At the Midwinter meeting of the American Library Association, Brodart, Inc., demonstrated its integrated approach to library automation.
The company offers a series of services on remote computing facilities based on an IBM installation in San Diego. The system is accessed by libraries using IBM terminals or telex-type terminals. Brodart presents the advantages of its approach to library automation as including the fact that a library has to make no hardware commitment, and it can undertake phased implementation— “trying” a function before signing up for its use. The combination of services offered has resulted in Brodart being recognized as a bibliographic utility in California for the purposes of library fund expenditure.
The system currently offers data base development and maintenance capabilities, cataloging support, and an online patron access catalog. Circulation control is planned, as is a link to the company's OLAS acquisitions system which is being substantially modified and upgraded. The OLAS linkage is scheduled for late 1984, and circulation is scheduled to be installed in the Anaheim Public Library in April 1984. This function is expected to be demonstrated at ALA Annual Conference in Dallas.
Records can be retrieved using control numbers such as Brodart number, LC card number or ISBN, or by author, title and subject searches. Terms used in cross—field searches of data from the author, title and subject areas are automatically ANDed by the system. Keyword access is available to any field that a library chooses to have indexed.
The source files for the system include the MARC tapes for books and audiovisual materials. Access to relevant Brodart customer files can also be arranged. The company is of the opinion that, for public libraries, its system offers a hit rate equal to that achieved on the OCLC data base. Records are mounted in full MARC format.
Libraries are offered a wide range of choices in the options they can select for the construction of their individual data bases and the formats for screen displays. They can also choose their own parameters for indexing the records and thus the selection of searchable access points.
Online authority files are supported using the data in the LC name and subject authorities. Authority control can be implemented in batch or online modes. The system does offer the capability for the online global changes of authority terms in bibliographic records, but the company attempts to restrict the use of this feature because of its potential impact on system performance. Batch processing of global authority changes is recommended.
In the cataloging support function a library searches the system data bases to retrieve relevant records which are edited on the user's screen. The system will produce catalog cards and COM catalogs as well as a machine-readable catalog of the library's records. The library's file of records is accessed for the patron access catalog functions.
Online circulation capabilities will utilize barcode technology. Overdue notices will be produced in batch mode and mailed from the Brodart facility. Some report writing functions will also be performed in batch mode.
The charges involved in using Brodart's integrated approach to library automation include:
telecommunications: these are estimated at between $1,000 and $1,500 per month. Generally, they are expected to be unaffected by the number of terminals a library has linked to the system. equipment: may be purchased or leased. The purchase price for a Telex 479 B terminal was cited as $2,500 with modem rental of $150 per month.The system carries no processing or transaction charges.
storage: it is estimated that the cost of storing a data base of 200,000 full MARC records will be approximately $800 per month. other: a miscellany of lesser charges will be levied for services, e.g., access to the full MARC data base is $25 per month.
There are currently two libraries using the system in fully online mode. Another four are scheduled to begin once the circulation function becomes available.
[Contact: Brodart, Inc., 10983 Via Frontera, San Diego, CA 92127. (619) 451—0250.]