Introducing and Managing Academic Library Automation Projects

By John W. Head; Gerard B. McCabe | Go to book overview

PART I

Public Services in Academic Libraries

The five chapters in Part I of this book deal with the changes that automation has brought to libraries, and how librarians can manage this change to provide good services. While the six chapters in Part II deal mainly with technical services and database maintenance, these chapters deal mainly with providing services to readers.

In Chapter 1, Paul F. Burton provides an overview of library automation, its impact on libraries as institutions and librarians as professionals, and the changes it has made in the nature of library work. He explains that the first round of organizational change as a consequence of automation will inevitably be followed by further changes, and that librarians must manage change well to produce good services. Mr. Burton skillfully reviews a key portion of the literature dealing with the management of automation and how automation has and will change libraries and the work of librarians and other library staff.

The remaining four chapters all deal with one of the most significant technological changes that librarians must learn to work with and to use successfully. This is the technology of networks, especially local area networks (LANs), but larger networks as well. LANs provide many functions that were lacking in early library automation systems. They allow distributed computer power so that complex systems can operate on microcomputers. Since microcomputers are typically much less expensive than larger computers, costs may be less, even though several computers have replaced a single computer connected to terminals. Since each microcomputer in the network has processing power, the loss of one computer may not stop all

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