Magazine article Multimedia & Internet@Schools

Impact/VERSO Library Automation System

Magazine article Multimedia & Internet@Schools

Impact/VERSO Library Automation System

Article excerpt

Company: Auto-Graphics, Inc., 3201 Temple Avenue, Pomona, CA 91768; Phone: 800/776-6939 or 909/595-7004; Internet: http://www4.autographics.com/.

Price: Pricing varies.

We implemented VERSO in seven school buildings for less than $10,000 and will pay about $2,000 a year after the first year. This is extremely reasonable for these systems.

These prices cover the basic automation system. The initial cost also covered the cost of "migrating" from our old system and paying for the records that, by contract, belonged to the old system provider. Included in the migration were the bibliographic databases, item records, patron tile, and current checkout status of each item. We now have a single union catalog.

Implementing Impact/VERSO from other systems may entail different costs, but in general, will still be very reasonable in price.

Additional modules are available at an additional cost.

Audience: School and public libraries.

Format: Impact/VERSO is a Web-based, password-accessed library automation system. Included is Impact/ VERSO Standalone Application 1.0 for use when the Internet is inaccessible for one reason or another.

Minimum System Requirements: A computer with an Internet connection (the faster the better) and a Web browser. Viewing and printing a manual requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free, readily available application.

Description: Impact/VERSO is a Web-based program with a "Public" section that allows anyone with Web access to search the library catalog and a "Staff" section with password access that allows librarians to do their work. The public section has account, search, and a few other standard features and allows the addition of various library resources. The staff section enables most standard library and system administrative functions to be performed quickly and easily.

Reviewer Comments:

Installation/Access: Installation was done by company technicians. In our case, installation took about a week. Access is simply a matter of getting online and going to the Web site set up for that purpose. Everything---even our pen readers--worked with no problems or additional work. The only problem we had was related to the preference information that we provided to the company and, for that, the fault was ours. Installation/ Access Rating:A

Content/Features: The initial screen is a Web page that allows public access or staff access via password.

The public access section allows a basic search of the catalog by subject, title, or author. These specific search pages allow keyword searching and browsing, as well as searching by specifics. The pages also include a good set of illustrated instructions.

An Advanced search page allows a Boolean search and gives simple instructions for use. A Wordlist search offers a kind of generalized keyword search; a Number Search allows a search by ISBN and other numbers.

A Recent Items section allows the librarian to post new titles. An Accounts section allows access to individual accounts by account number and PIN. Subscription or free databases, online encyclopedias, and other sources of information can be added to the public access home page as desired.

The public access section can be seen by anybody, in or out of a school system, who has access to the Internet. If you would like to see an example, check out Hastings' site at http:// has-verso.auto-graphics.com/verso/ public/public_opac.htm.

The beauty of this system is that students, teachers, and parents can easily check from home to see if needed material is present. Some online research also can be done. Since the site (both public and staff areas) is a series of attractively designed Web pages, it is easy and intuitive to use.

The Staff section is entered with an easily assigned user name and password. It took about 2 minutes to set up protected access for the five media specialists who use the system in Hastings. …

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