Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

A Catalog of Success

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

A Catalog of Success

Article excerpt

A Catalog of Success

Since the early 1980s, the Audio-Visual Services department of our university has anticipated a problem in making our collection of media holdings more accessible to both faculty and students.

The University of Toledo has both a main-campus media center (Audio-Visual Services) and a center on the two-year college campus, approximately two miles away.

The two centers collectively own the following: motion pictures--800; VHS tapes--2,500; slide sets--2,600; records--8,000; audio tapes--2,900; and other media--200.

Beginning in the middle 1970s, the Computer Services department at our university would generate a hardcopy of media holdings (alphabetical by title). The hardcopy was generated every six months and included recent acquisitions. A copy was available at each media center for faculty and students to peruse.

But the hardcopy did not solve a growing problem--that of both the patrons and the staff of Audio-Visual Services trying to search for information about non-print holdings for any field of interest.

The Invisible Resource

The prime area of difficulty was in information retrieval. Media resources tend to be invisible to the extent that they have no index or table of contents through which the patron may browse.

The obvious answer was an electronic catalog of some sort. We wanted an analytical electronic catalog, primarily based on the Waterloo Media Catalog System but modified for an electronic media environment.

The Standford Public Information Retrieval System (SPIRES) was chosen as our database management system because it allows one to create, own and manage a collection of data. …

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