Sigma Data has been offering its automated library system-DATALIB- since the product was developed in 1978. A recently released product summary and pricing schedule apparently signals a new marketing push consequent upon Sigma Data's acquisition by M/A-COM, Inc., late in 1981.
The product summary stresses the degree to which DATALIB is customized to meet each library's unique requirements. Customization in the DATALIB context entails the selection of the modules that will be included in the system; the definition of the associated data bases, including record types, data elements, searchable data elements, prompts, print names, authority files, and stop-word lists; design of customized reports and forms; creation of the library codes that will allow the individual libraries within an agency to enter, retrieve, and print reports showing their own data; and the establishment of authorizations which govern the modules, functions, library codes, record types, and specific data elements to which each user has access.
Emphasis is also given DATALIB enhancements made possible by the recent incorporation of a new version of the SIMS data base management system. These enhancements include expansion of the hardware options to include DEC VAX and Data General ECLIPSE minicomputers; the support of multiple users and multiple independent data bases; Boolean searching with up to 10 levels of nesting, including free-text searching; unlimited record and file sizes; use of variable length fields; support for both and batch updating of the data bases; multiple key access to records; storage of search requests for later execution; and enhanced data base security measures. Further enhancements still under development are the ability to impose security at the data element level, comprehensive report generation capabilities, searching of non-indexed fields, and the provision of full-screen formatting for online data entry and editing.
DATALIB consists of a number of modules that can be purchased and used independently or integrated for a total system. The modules that are currently available are:
Base System: The only required module. It contains the setup programs that establish specifications such as the customer's profile, data bases, and the record type files that are used by other modules.
Acquisitions: An ordering system that allows users to create and track the status of purchase orders through receipting, invoicing, and transfer to tape by editing and searching bibliographic, financial, and name records. The acquisitions module can be purchased and used independently of the accounting module, although the accounting module cannot be used without the acquisitions module.
Accounting: This module expands the capabilities of the acquisitions module (with which it must be purchased and used) to include tracking funds obligated or spent in relation to money budgeted.
Cataloging/online Catalog: The cataloging module enables users to add, change, delete, and display bibliographic records in unlimited user-defined record formats. An associated user- created authority file instantly validates authority terms in bibliographic records. Printed and microfiche catalogs, copies of bibliographic records, and sets of book cards, pockets, and spine labels can be produced.
Bibliographic records added through cataloging module are indexed for retrieval through the online catalog. Two levels of Boolean searching are available through the online catalog. Easy Search, which accesses titles, authors, and subjects, is designed for patron use. Trained information specialists can search all keyed data elements in the bibliographic records using Super Branch, which also includes relational searching and the capability to save and review searches. Records are displayed and printed in user-defined formats in both search systems.
Circulation: The system allows users to charge, discharge, reserve, and check the status of items, and to add, change, and purge patrons' records. Items can be checked in and out using a bar-code scanner (under development) or by manual keying. Temporary bibliographic records can be created to c check-out vertical file and other uncataloged materials Overdue notices and reports of circulation statistics can be produced.
Copyright: The copyright module allows users to record and report information about the photocopying of library materials as required by the Copyright Act of 1976. Users record each instance of copying by editing and searching copyright, bibliographic, and name (publisher) records. The fees owed to publishers are calculated and shown in various reports.
OCLC: This module offers the capability to convert and process OCLC archival records from tape to user-specified DATALIB formats. The company says that an enhanced OCLC module under development for release in late 1983 will provide a direct interface with OCLC computers for interactive extraction of OCLC records and conversion to DATALIB format, a non-MARC format. The cataloging module is required to use the OCLC module, and a special microprocessor is required to directly interface with the OCLC computers.
Serials Management: Also under development for release in 1983, this module will perform all major serials control functions automatically, including: check-in, claiming, routing, binding, and union list reporting. Multiple copies will be checked in simultaneously, and user-defined system alerts will notify users of renewal dates, missing issues, bindery cycles, and other journal requirements. Users will be able to edit and search bibliographic, serials management, and name (patrons, publishers, and binders) records. Management reports, customized claim slips, routing slips, and bindery slips will be available.
Autodial: This is a separate module, independent of the integrated system, which enables users at libraries with terminals connected to a Data General ECLIPSE computer to communicate directly with external online data base systems to which they subscribe in order to produce reports using the information received from those data bases. All data exchanged with the external system can be transferred to a disk file and edited using a text editor or word processing system.
DATALIB is available through licensing or leasing the software for use on Data General ECLIPSE or Digital Equipment Corporation VAX minicomputers or by time-sharing through the MSDI Computer Service Center. The initial license for all basic modules (all modules except the OCLC interfaces and the autodial feature) is $75,000. Detailed pricing schedules for individual modules and for the time-sharing option are available on request.
At a customer's request, MSDI can provide DATALIB as a turnkey system, assuming total responsibility for hardware as well as software from the design Through installation, and ongoing maintenance and support of the system. Under this approach, MSDI can act as the sole source for the procurement of Data General and Digital Equipment Corporation computers and equipment such as terminals, printers, and modems. [Contact: DATALIB, M/A-COM Sigma Data, Inc., 5515 Security Lane, Rockville, MD 20852; (301) 984-3636.]