This issue of Library Software Review comes due shortly after the American Library Association (ALA) midwinter meeting in San Antonio, Texas. When I attend library conferences and technology trade shows, one of my greatest interests involves announcements of new library technology products or of business developments in the library automation industry. As editor in chief of LSR and as one heavily involved with the implementation of technology for the libraries at Vanderbilt University, I need to keep myself well informed of developments in the field.
Last year was a relatively quiet year for library automation. Judging by the ALA annual meeting in Chicago, the first half of the year saw many of the library automation vendors rallying to produce Web-oriented products. Many such products were announced or demonstrated in Chicago. There was no such flurry of activity for the ALA midwinter meeting. Many of the vendors demonstrated new versions of existing products. Some of the more notable announcements and enhancements were as follows.
SIRSI Corporation showed off its new product called SmartPort. This software uses a Z39.50 connection to bibliographic sources such as OCLC to incorporate records into the local database. Although not suitable for original cataloging, SmartPort offers a very attractive solution for routine copy cataloging.
Personal Bibliographic Software, Inc. (PBS) demonstrated its new ProCite for Windows. Joseph Combs, Jr. reviews this software in his regular software reviews column. PBS also demonstrated a Z39.50 interface for incorporating records into ProCite. Look for a review of this software in an upcoming issue of LSR.
In the mergers and acquisitions category, it was announced at the ALA midwinter meeting that Data Trek, Inc.
has purchased IME, Ltd. IME develops and markets software known in North America as the Information Navigator or in Europe and elsewhere as TINLIB. Data Trek offers two well-respected PC-based integrated library systems, Professional Series and Manager Series. Data Trek is a subsidiary of Dawson Holdings PLC, which also owns Faxon, a major library serials vendor. Details of the relationship between Dawson, Data Trek, and IME have not yet been announced. It is assumed for the time being that both IME's and Data Trek's products will have continued development and support. IME had just announced its new "Q Series" library automation product. The Q Series is a Microsoft Windows version of the automation concepts embodied in the Information Navigator.
Bibliofile demonstrated its new Intelligent Cataloging Workstation (ITS). This product is a Windows-based cataloging utility that offers a graphical MARC record editor and a number of help files that provide information about MARC cataloging. ITS uses a collection of MARC records provided on CD-ROM as a resource for creating the library's local catalog. Bibliofile also includes a module that incorporates authority records. At this conference, Bibliofile demonstrated ITS's latest enhancement-the ability to access from other systems through a Z39.50 interface.
These products are just a few of the ones that struck me as most relevant to the readership of LSR. I am planning articles on each of these products in the next few issues. As always, we welcome your input on other library products, trends, and business developments that should be considered for review in this journal.