Information Update - Fall 1993
Summers are always especially busy for libraries as we work on special projects and prepare for the new academic year. This summer we undertook two major projects: the migration to a new online public catalog and library automation system and the beginning of the Library's core collection development project.
By the time this newsletter is published, Data Research Associates, Inc. (DRA) of St.. Louis, Missouri, will have installed its software on the VAX 6610 processor located in Alumni Memorial Hall. Founded in 1975. Data Research is one of the oldest vendors in library automation, serving more than 800 libraries worldwide. The implementation of the DRA System will not only provide a new state-of-the-art online public catalog, but also will handle electronically such functions as acquisitions, serials control, cataloging, and circulation/reserve services.
DRA's vision of the future of library automation lies beyond the walls of a library. Data Research has harnessed networking technology to provide a single point of access to an incredible range of information. Not only can local databases be searched, but also a virtually unlimited selection of remote databases: periodical indexes, other libraries' catalogs, and even full-text databases.
This capability is known as the Information Gateway - Data Research's evolution of the "Online Public Catalog." When used in tandem with DRANET, the information Gateway software provides access to vast data resources beyond the physical boundaries of our library.
DRA continues to be a strong advocate of, as well as leader in, the establishment and implementation of library automation standards. Our library will especially benefit from DRA's dedication to standards such as the Z39.50 standard for information exchange. the ISO/OSI networking protocols, the Common Command Language, and other critical standards.
In our other major project, the Library began purchasing new books for the core undergraduate collection development project this summer. It has been most gratifying to see the high level of faculty involvement in the project. Faculty input is critical to our collection analysis and the list of hooks we target for acquisition. The University has allocated $250,000 in capital funds for the project in 1993-94, part of a special five-year allocation of $1.5 million that has been reserved for the core collection provided the funds are available. The University is also seeking contributions to support the project.
Summer is also a time to look back. In its first year of operation the Weinberg Memorial Library saw nearly 460,000 users pass through it doors — a 105 percent increase over the number of persons who used the Alumni Memorial Library during its final year of operation. The Library's circulation statistics showed an impressive 29-percent increase: 79,255 volumes charged out as compared to 61,308 in 1991-92.
Community use also rose, as measured by area residents who registered through the Library's reciprocal borrowing agreement with the Lackawanna County Library System. Registrations for 1992-93 were up 50 percent over the previous year.
In closing, stop by the Library to try out the new DRA System or access it over the campus network.
From The Library Director