Automation & E-Services
- Published on Thursday, 09 May 2013 07:36
AUTOMATION AND ELECTRONIC SERVICES DEPARTMENT
One of the fundamental aims of the library’s automation strategy is to improve access to the collection for the readers. Not only is speed considered important in this respect; the manual catalogue with its complexity erects a considerable barrier to the effective retrieval of information. The use of OPACs in the library has revolutionalized access to information.
The library is in the process of acquiring a program to automate its services. The program “V-Smart” is anticipated to expedite the library service delivery and consequently ease library chores.
All incumbent and purchased books are entered into the “in-magic database” and bibliographic information is made available to users through the OPAC module. All patron information is recorded in the patron file and their photos scanned and matched against their profiles.
What is an OPAC?
The OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue) is an increasingly familiar piece of equipment in libraries. It consists of machine-readable catalogue files interrogated online by the user through a VDU (Visual Display Unit) or terminal using what computer specialists are fond of describing as a user-friendly interface. This means a set of program or software designed around a menu displayed on the VDU screen.
From the OPACs, users may select from a limited range one of a number of types of catalogue search. These catalogue searches may be the-:
e. Subject index terms
f. Combination of all.
The user receives relatively little instructions purposely designed to be as simple as possible for them to be able to follow and be self contained as possible. Such systems are advantageous to the user. To the librarians such systems;
1. Reduce the necessity encountered in conventional online search services of having to act as an intermediary between the user and a complex system.
2. Takes a shorter time
3. Gives the user an opportunity to see other works by use of key words.