Reviews / Releases
Computer Based Library Information Systems Designing Techniques / by Professor Madan Mohan Kashyap. New Delhi: Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd., 1999, xxii, 377p. with index. ISBN 81 207 2093 8PB, 81 207 2159 4HB (hard board). Price Rs. 500.00
The book is a well-conceived and organised effort in an attempt to focus on various aspects of the designing techniques and computer-based library information systems. The main purpose of this book is to give an account of systems theory so as to help the target user to understand the process of system analysis and design, besides designing better information technology (IT)-based systems in libraries and information centres. The book also describes at length the methodology for conducting systems study and to explain the use and application of systems analysis and design tools and techniques. The book has been divided into nine chapters. Chapter 1 focuses on systems philosophy wherein, aspects like general systems theory and various types of systems are included. The systems view of the library has been handled in detail in Chapter 2 which highlights the topics like basic concepts of the system, library as a system, elements of library systems, computerised library information system besides other intriguing issues. Library systems analysis and design technique have been discussed at length in Chapter 3 which focuses on very important practical issues of system analysis such as know-how and skills required by a system analyst, library systems analysis and design process including the various phases of system analysis and design study, library system development life cycle, tools of systems analysis and design, design of computer-based library information systems, phases of designing and re-engineering, computer-based library information systems and other related aspects. Chapter 4 gives a case study on prototypical design of a library sub-system, wherein an illustrative prototypical design of inter-library documents borrowing sub-system along with inter-library borrowing procedure, and other aspects have been given in detail. Systems modeling tools and techniques are presented in Chapter 5 which focuses very methodically on aspects like structured English, diagramming techniques, data flow diagrams, and flowcharts. Various data gathering techniques have been presented in Chapter 6, while Chapter 7 deals with entity-relationship diagrams. Various types of decisions, decision making process, types of decision tables, etc. have been detailed in Chapter 8. The last Chapter focuses on network techniques featuring need and purpose of network analysis, principles and mechanics of the network techniques, network concepts, network planning and construction, PERT scheduling and project completion time calculation procedure, besides other matters. Each chapter is supplemented with references and reading list. The content in the book is substantially supported with schematic and tabular presentations. Though the main focus of the book is on application part, yet some theoretical aspects have been included which seems to be helpful in adding to the clarity of the application concepts and technique towards the later part of this document. The book is primarily targeted for two groups, though others can also benefit from it. The first target group is the practising librarians who sometimes get bogged down in situations where there are gaps between what is expected or what should be done to bridge the gaps while evaluating library programs and procedures to identify the problem areas. The second target group is the students who are undergoing or would like to take up course in computer applications in libraries and information centres. The book thus will be a valuable addition to the collection of all types of libraries and information centres.
Software for University Libraries (SOUL)
Software for University Libraries also known as SOUL has been developed by Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET) Centre, Ahmedabad, India keeping in view the needs of the university libraries and incorporating the latest developments in information technology. The article describes the salient features, minimum hardware and software requirements, and six broad modules. The software has been tested at a number of university libraries and critically evaluated by a team of experts and practising librarians.
Computer and communication technologies have brought revolutionary changes in information acquisition, processing, storage, retrieval and dissemination. University libraries usually possess large collections and serve a huge clientele. Keeping in view the latest trends in information technology and the need of the university libraries, INFLIBNET Centre has developed a user-friendly Windows-based library management software called SOUL that works under client-server environment. The software is flexible enough for automating any type or size of library in India.
It is a Windows-based user-friendly software, having well-designed screens and logically arranged functions with extensive help messages; and is based on client-server architecture allowing scalability to the users.
It uses RDBMS to organise and query the data.
It is a multi-user software, specially designed for large academic libraries and is capable of handling large number of records without having any limit on multi-user accesses, and covers every conceivable operation of a university library.
It supports AACR II and internationally known standards such as CCF; provides import and export facilities ; adheres to ISO 2709 format; and incorporates all features to work in a network environment such as LAN and WAN.
OPAC is versatile, and user-friendly with all in-built functions and is accessible over the Web through GUI-based browsers.
It provides facility to create, view and print records in regional languages; and a comprehensive list of reports, master databases and authority science.
With very little training one can handle the package.
It is given free of cost to university libraries and at affordable cost to other libraries.
Minimum Hardware & Software Requirements
- Pentium @233 MHz with 64MB RAM
- 1.2 GB HDD
- 32 x CD ROM drive
- 1.44'' floppy drive
- Colour monitor (SVGA)
- Windows _ NT operating system
- MS-SQL server 6.5
- Pentium @233 MHz with 32MB RAM
- 1.2 GB HDD with 10MB free space
- 1.44'' floppy drive
- Colour monitor (SVGA)
· Windows _ 95 operating system
SOUL comprises six broad modules as described below.
1. Acquisition Module
Provides facilities to handle acquisition work of all types of documents except serials. It comprises six sub-modules: suggestions, order processing, accessioning, payment, master databases, and reports.
2. Catalogue Module
Apart from cataloguing functions, the module provides such services as recent addition, CAS, creation and updation of authority files, etc. A comprehensive worksheet provides data entry facilities for all types of documents including conference proceedings and theses. It has facilities to prepare entries in regional languages using the respective scripts; to undertake comprehensive searches for existing items; and for import and export of records. The module comprises six sub-modules: Cataloguing process; catalogue search; users' services; authority file maintenance; retrospective conversion; and reports.
3. Circulation Module
The module covers all functions typical of an academic library and comprises the following sub-modules: membership, transactions, inter-library-loan, overdue charges, reminder, search status, maintenance, and reports.
4. Serials Module
The module takes care of all the functions starting from suggestions to report generation with the following sub-modules: suggestions, subscription, payment, master database, check-in, reminder, binding, search status, title history, export/import, and report.
5. Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) Module
This powerful module enables the user to access the internal and external resources including various databases developed by INFLIBNET. Some of the major features of the module are:
There is provision for Boolean operators when the search option is more than one.
Search results can be sorted according to desired option.
There are options to select from a variety of search formats.
Display of records according to AACR II format.
Status of each book starting from acquisition can be known.
Search keys include among others author, title, keywords, class number, and accession number.
It is accessible through the GUI-based Web browsers like Netscape Communicator, Internet Explorer, etc.
A user can see the list of outstanding borrowed items using the borrower number.
Search results can be saved and printed.
Databases can be selected according to one's choice.
6. Administration Module
This module authorises the library staff to use various modules. Some of the functions available under this module are: security, backups, data recovery, etc.
Contact: The Director, INFLIBNET, Opp. Gujarat Guest House, PB 4116, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad-380009 for further details.
Phone: (079) 6305971, (079) 6304695, (079) 630 8528
Fax: 079 6300990
E Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
BOOKS / CD-ROMS RELEASED
World Communication and Information Report 1999-2000. Paris:UNESCO, 1999. 300p., 29.7 x 21cm. ISBN 92-3-103611-4. Price FF250.00
Provides a state-of-the-art report on the development of information technologies and their sociocultural impacts. The book comprises three parts. Part I titled as information and communication technologies devoted to social processes embraces such topics as human development; new directions in education; cultural production and cultural pluralism; freedom of the media; public service broadcasting; impact on the media; information services, libraries and the archives; and governing information and communication technologies. Part II devoted to evolution of information and communication technologies covers two years of technological progress and innovation, multimedia _ products and markets, and the evolution of Internet. Part III provides a worldwide view of information and communication technologies.
Indian standards on CD-ROM. New Delhi: Book Supply Bureau, ( A 68 South Extension _ 1, New Delhi _ 110049), 1999.
Information Today & Tomorrow, Vol. 19, No. 2, June 2000, p.22-p.23 & p.32