The initial installation of an integrated library system to automate library functions and services is becoming a distant memory for many libraries. Today, some are into their second or even third automated system. Most have gone beyond automation of basic functions to creating a system of information access that was not even a possibility when their libraries first ventured into library automation. The experiences and skills that libraries gain in the beginning of the automation project should help to build the basic project management approach and personnel and technical infrastructure to move into the later stages of automation. Library staff at the Albert B. Alkek Library of Southwest Texas State University have found that the things we learned, and the project structures we built, have enabled us to progress past the simple automation of library services and functions toward the integration of information access and the synergistic formation of new services, new technical capabilities, and new organizational structures.
As a result of automation, each functional area of the library had changes to make in its daily tasks, training environment, and organizational structure. The cataloging department at the Alkek Library was the first entire department to be directly involved in the automation process. As both creators and caretakers of the bibliographic, authority, and holdings databases upon which our integrated library system is based, we had a central role in the automation process. From