Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Brodart Automation

Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Brodart Automation

Article excerpt

500 Arch Street Williamsport, PA 17705 Telephone: 800-233-8467 Fax: 717-327-9237 E-mail: URL:


Founded in 1939, Brodart offers a broad range of library-oriented products and services. As discussed by VanFleet and Gehrig (1995), the company has been involved with library automation--including computer-assisted cataloging, catalog production, and retrospective conversion--since the early 1970s. Its product line includes a microcomputer-based integrated library system and much-publicized CD-ROM systems for public catalog access and union catalog implementations. They are described in various publications, including Beiser and Nelson (1989), Bills and Helgerson (1988), Epler and Cassell (1987), Johnson (1988a), Schaub (1985), Watson (1987), Watson and Golden (1987), and Weide (1990). Brodart offers two computerized cataloging support products: the Interactive Access System (IAS), a bibliographic utility that provides timeshared access to cataloging records, and the Precision One Cataloging System, a CD-ROM product. A hybrid variant, called the Precision One Cataloging System Plus, combines CD-ROM cataloging capability with timeshared access to the IAS systems. This report discusses the Interactive Access System. Brodart's CD-ROM cataloging support products are described elsewhere in this issue.

Brodart uses the Interactive Access System for its own cataloging and retrospective conversion services. It has offered it to libraries as an online cataloging support service since 1982. As a general-purpose bibliographic utility, the Interactive Access System is available to libraries of all types and sizes, regardless of geographic location. It is used for online cataloging by a number of public libraries, school library systems, and academic libraries--the markets where Brodart has traditionally been strongest. Reguerio et al. (1992) describe its use in the Tri-College Project, database government documents prepared by the Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore College libraries.


The Interactive Access System operates on computing equipment located at Brodart's headquarters. Participating libraries can access the system through leased or dial-up telephone lines. Internet access is becoming increasingly popular with IAS users and is frequently chosen over the leased-line or dial-up telephone options.

IAS installations originally employed 3270-compatible terminals manufactured by Telex Corporation, and no longer used. Most IAS customers now employ microcomputers as cataloging workstations. Using software, the microcomputers emulate 3270-type terminals. For card and label printing, Brodart Automation sells the UltraCard MARC program.


Like other bibliographic utilities discussed in this issue, the Interactive Access System provides online, timeshared access to a large database that supports descriptive cataloging, subject cataloging, classification, and pre-order bibliographic verification. The IAS database contains more than 14 million cataloging records derived from two broad sources: (1) resource files and (2) cataloging records contributed by participants.

As its largest and most important resource file, the Interactive Access System offers online access to Library of Congress cataloging records, which are obtained from the LC Cataloging Distribution Service. The IAS database includes the books, serials (including CONSER records), maps, music, sound recordings, and visual materials segments of the LC MARC database. The books segment includes cataloging records for English-language monographs since 1968, as well as cataloging records for books published in other languages as they were phased into the LC MARC database. The visual materials segment of the IAS database includes computer programs (software, computer disks, and Compact Discs), kits, pictures (portfolios and spirit masters), and slides. …

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