Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Circulation Plus & Circulation/Catalog Plus

Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Circulation Plus & Circulation/Catalog Plus

Article excerpt

Vendor:                Follett Software Company                        809 North Front Street                        McHenry, Ilinois 60050                        (815) 344-8700; (800) 323-3397 Demo Available:        Yes Number of Customers:   20,000 of all types (Apple/IBM in all versions). Version, Modules       Circulation Plus, v7.82n, $895 single user, $1,895; & Prices:              multi-user (10/29/92); Circulation/Catalog Plus,                        v7.82n (11/01/91), $2,190 single user; $3,190                        multi-user. Apple versions are also available and                        are reviewed elsewhere. 


Micro:                 Single user - IBM compatible computer, 286 or higher,                        with 640 K RAM, floppy drive, monitor, hard disk,                        printer Operating System:      PC/MS-DOS 3.3+; DOS 4.X versions not recommended LANs Supported:        ICLAS (IBM Classroom Local Area Network),                        LANtastic, Novell. 




Circulation Plus, by Follett, is a popular microcomputer product providing circulation functions, database management routines, MARC record handling, and system utilities. The system is simple to use, with a special focus on school libraries and small libraries of all types. Circulation Plus/Catalog Plus builds upon the database created by Circulation Plus by allowing the creation of lists, bibliographies and reports. Search Plus, another component of Catalog Plus, provides an online catalog with boolean operators and other features. Circulation Plus/Catalog Plus also adds some utilities, such as a Keyword Builder, to generate access points in the online catalog.

System Setup

Installation of Circulation Plus/Catalog Plus is straightforward. Depending upon the version (networked or non-networked), users configure and load the software, define the estimated number of patron and item barcodes, and establish access levels.

The initial menu after starting Circulation Plus offers options to print miscellaneous reports, to run utilities (backup/restore, "Category Linker," and diagnostics), setup a printer, export data, add/update from floppy, and run Circulation Plus. Selections are made by using the arrow keys to select an option and then pressing the key. After selecting the Circulation Plus option, the operator is taken to the circulation menu. Number five in the circulation menu is "system setup," providing a variety of profiling options. This hierarchy is different in Circulation Plus/Catalog Plus where the first menu offers Catalog Plus, Circulation Plus, Portable Scan Plus, and Search Plus.

System set-up includes user-defined fields, fine/daily backup, printing, library address, library hours and calendar, password protection, and an editor template. The last item was not available on the Circulation Plus test software. Users can also define patron categories and special call numbers (e.g., FIC, REF), establish patron types and parameters, update yearly and monthly reports, and change wording on notices.

Moving through the various menus is straightforward for those familiar with the PC keyboard. The arrow keys move the user between options. Hitting the key will allow the user to go back to the prior screen, but only after confirmation that the current data is correct. Help screens are not available, and defined elements (e.g., patron type lists) cannot be accessed at the points where they might be needed-for example, when registering a patron.

In addition to establishing system parameters, users must also add item and patron records. Within the patron menu, options include adding or updating individual records, updating special locations, updating patron types, and removing patrons by year. The latter selection would be particularly useful for schools, who would be graduating whole classes. …

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