Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Athena

Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Athena

Article excerpt

Vendor: Nichols Advanced Technologies, Inc.

3452 Losey Boulevard South

La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601

(800) 658-9453; (608) 787-8337 Fax

Demo Available: Yes Version: April 1995 No. of

Customers: 560 customers Modules/Prices: Single user,

$1,995; Multi-user, $2,995. Athena for the Macintosh,

$995.

PRODUCT REQUIREMENTS

Micro: 25 MHz 486 or faster PC with 8 MB and a color Super VGA monitor are recommended Operating System: DOS 5.0+ and Windows 3.1+ LANs Supported: Novell, LANtastic, Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT

FUNCTIONALITY

                        Fair       Good        Excellent
                        1   2   3  4    5   6   7   8   9

Features                                                9
Data Storage                                            9
Performance                                             9
Ease of Use                                             9
Documentation                                           9
Customer Support                                        9

Overall Rating                                          9

EASE OF USE

                                        Average
                                1   2   3   4   5   6   7

Simply and Natural Dialog                          6
Minimum User Memory Load                           7
Consistency                                        7
Feedback                                           6
Shortcuts                                          6
Error Prevention                                   6

Overall Rating                                   6.4

FEATURES

Athena, from Nichols Advanced Technologies, is a Windows-based integrated library system. (Since 1983, Nichols has been supporting MOLLI, a non-windows-based integrated library system.) Athena currently provides an Online Public Access Catalog, Cataloging, Circulation, Inventory, and Reporting functions. Acquisitions and Serials Control are planned for a 1996 release.

The graphical user interface employed by Athena incorporates a series of tabs similar to those found on file folders or section dividers within a notebook. These tabs are arranged horizontally along the bottom of the window and allow the user to move quickly from function to function. On the initial menu window, the labels on these tabs include Welcome, Searching, Circulation, Cataloging, Inventory, System Administration, and Exit Athena. The buttons displayed on the righthand portion of the screen are oversized and allow Athena to be used in conjunction with touch-screen monitors. The menu screens include four Quick Start buttons that provide immediate access to the frequently used functions of Checkout, Search, Add Patron, and Add Title.

Searching

Athena can build a keyword index for the entire MARC record, if desired by the library. The software indexes all words not found in a Stop Tag Table (tags or fields not to be indexed) and the entries in a Stop Word Table (words that are never indexed)-which can be edited by the library. The tag and subfield of each index occurrence are a part of each index entry. When the user asks for a particular type of search, e.g., subject, only occurrences matching the tags and subfields corresponding to that index, i.e., subject, are displayed.

Figure 1 shows the starting point for any search, Search window, in which the user enters a word or phrase in the search request area. The user can enter as much of the word or phrase as is known-an explicit truncation symbol is not required. Once the search has been entered by the user, the Search button is clicked or the key pressed to initiate the search. The Options button allows a user to browse a list of searchable terms. Possible indexes include All Indexes, Title Words, Author Words, SubJect Words, Notes Words, Title Index, Author Index, Subject Index, Publisher, Series, Barcode Number, Call Number, ISBN, LCCN, Location, Format, Fund, and Date of Publication. …

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