McHENRY, IL - January 31, 1997 - One of the critical components of a library's automation system is its data. Data needs to be accurate, well-maintained, and regularly updated, in order for libraries to offer the best quality service and information access to their patrons. Through 1996, the Data Services Unit at Follett Software Company remained the country's leading provider of quality and difficult-to-obtain data, providing data expertise to thousands of librarians around the world.
Together with Follett Library Resources, Follett Software has spent more than 20 years building its database of MARC (MAchine Readable Cataloging) records. The database contains enhanced records, which include review sources; summary and content notes; annotations; Sears and LC Children's subject headings; and reading and interest levels. Since 1991, Follett Software's Data Services Unit has converted more than 39 million shelflist cards. During 1996 the team converted more than 5.9 million shelflist cards and performed 6.4 million electronic conversions (in addition to other Data Services' offerings).
Michael Johnson, Director of Follett Software's Data Services Unit notes, "Maintaining quality data within your automation system is crucial to providing patrons with the best access to information. The more accurate and complete the data, the more access points available to patrons. Additional access points mean patrons will find what they need more quickly, and most likely, find supplementary information through features such as cross-referencing."
As a leading provider of K-12 library automation software, Follett Software has become familiar with the needs of library media centers firsthand. "Librarians come to Follett for their data needs because of our reputation, established through years of providing quality MARC records," says Susan Rayfield, Product Manager at Follett Software. "We offer the most comprehensive selection of services available, and we've been meeting CE (Curriculum Enhanced) MARC record standards for years - far ahead of other providers. We understand the teaching methods being used in the classroom today, and by meeting CE standards, our records are helping educators achieve their curriculum goals."
With more than 100 staff members, the Data Services Unit includes catalogers with masters degrees in library science in addition to professionally trained MARC entry staff, software engineers, and data processors. Together, the group fulfills a wide array of data needs at varying budget allotments, through original and enhanced MARC entry alternatives, data conversion options, and through its Authority Record Service.
With options for complete or abbreviated shelflist cards, and for circulation purposes only, Follett Software's MARC entry alternatives meet almost any library's needs. The company also offers MARC entry for the difficult-to-acquire audio-visual records. For each MARC entry option, Data Services searches the Follett database by LCCN, ISBN, ISSN, title, and author to find full MARC record matches.
Data conversion services enable libraries switching platforms, automation vendors, or software programs, or libraries adding additional software to make current data meet industry standards. Each of the services available includes record enhancement, in which subject headings, annotations, and reading and interest level information are added to existing records for greater information access.
Authority Record Service aids patrons in finding the information they seek by "cleaning up" a library's database, updating headings to current cataloging standards, and matching authority records. It's a simple, cost-effective procedure that produces valuable results. Bibliographic headings are updated to current standards and made more consistent. This service also aids in building "SEE" and "SEE ALSO" cross-references, which offer patrons a wider range of searching capabilities.
Beyond experience and training, Follett Software's dedication to quality data is evident in the Data Services' staff's memberships to associations and committees including: the American Library Association (ALA), Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), American Association of School Librarians (AASL), American Society for Information Science (ASIS), and Online Audiovisual Catalogers (OAC). Follett's Michael Johnson serves on the USMARC Advisory Group.
"Time, tradition, and quality service are the cornerstones behind our data services at Follett," says Johnson. "We're dedicated to providing librarians with everything they need when it comes to data, from a single, reliable source. By choosing Follett's MARC entry options, libraries can be up and fully running in a matter of weeks with the best data available."
About Follett Software Company
Since 1985, Follett Software Company has provided school, public and special libraries with leading-edge library automation, Internet and curriculum resource software and services. Its Circulation Plus software, with more than 29,000 installations worldwide, is the number one selling library automation system in the K-12 marketplace. Follett Software Company is a division of Follett Corporation, and is headquartered in McHenry, IL. The company was recently ranked among the top ten largest software companies in Chicago. For additional information, call (800) 323-3397 or go to www.fsc.follett.com.
Follett Software Company
(800) 323-3397 or (815) 344-8700, ext. 7205