When a puzzle's topic is multi-faceted, it is vital to approach its solution using a logical, step-by-step procedure.
Managing today's media centers, like other areas of district management, is no longer a traditional business. Instead, today's librarians are faced with the daunting work of controlling the availability, maintenance, and access to resources that are - literally - world-wide in scope.
Their tasks now entail quickly, and accurately, assisting students and teachers to locate and use audio, video, and cybernetic materials. They must inventory, maintain, review and purchase a multitude of costly resources and peripheral materials, many of which were unavailable five years...or even five months...ago, and often on topics that didn't exist yesterday.
Each must also ensure the timely availability of these materials to thousands of users annually. They must prepare reports that alert administrators and teachers to new materials, new needs, costs, and historical usage. There's no time left to whisper, "Shh!"
NewGen®'s Library System ensures the smooth flow of materials and reports from media center to classroom, media center to all other district centers, and from the world to their students' minds!
Library System classifies these numerous tasks into three logical operations: Catalog-Search Support (OPAC), Circulation and Inventory, and Reports. Each, in keeping with ISD's integrated philosophy, can be customized to meet the needs of specific school districts.
Catalog Search enables media center specialists to create search options for students, teachers and others. These are based on the abilities of non- readers; beginning, average, sophisticated and disabled readers.
Resource data enter records for display in abbreviated or full-bibliographic formats. The user can then select these individually or in total to print or save to disc. The librarian can set a maximum quantity available for this procedure.
On-line records can cite availability date, total copies available, reserve status, and even visual map displays of the materials' locations in the center.
Typically, information retrieval is defined by author, title, subject, keyword and/or Boolean. Searches by subject keyword will retrieve entries from the subject areas of the MARC record, including LC or Sears headings, annotations, or locally-entered subjects. Author and title keywords retrieve information from their respective areas of the MARC records.
Circulation and Inventory can use NewGen®'s one-card barcode/magnetic strip to track usage by I.D. number, name, picture, grade-level/ homeroom teacher, and/or staff status. The module also uses resource barcodes for check-in (and -out) by date and/or time.
Renewals, confirmations of check-out dates, due dates, outstanding fine status (with manual overrides), self- service check-out, and reservation requests, along with several other specifications, can be configured to meet the individual needs of media centers or districts.
Monitors alert media center staff to unusual data via a flashing highlighter and/or audio signal.
Among these typical safeguards are on-screen alerts that materials being checked out should be on reserve for another person. The module can cite previous users (to trace prior, unnoticed damage) and incorporate item-specific and individual- specific messages (e.g., "in-school use only," "faulty barcode," "query student regarding lost book"), and permits rapid-entry of uncatalogued materials or new users.
Verfication of barcode and title compatibility, and search of current reservation requests-with immediate printed notification to the requestor - are among check-in features.
On-screen inventory and tracking mechanisms include availability-status checks; quantity of overdue materials, their titles and due dates; and automatic deletion from reserve-request lists once an item is appropriately checked out.
Reports on several topics can be created automatically or on a customized basis:
Overdue notices - intial and follow-ups to students and/or parents - can cite data such as the item barcode and cost, the user's homeroom number and teacher, and a field for remarks. Reports can be sorted by location, teacher name, or specified order (e.g., alphabetical by student).
Statistical reports can quantify circulation by Dewey number or category; demonstrate usage of reserved and renewed resources, and count lost items (generated by call number). Circulation statistics reports can be formatted by day, week, month, semester, quarter or year.
Reports to facilitate purchase orders for lost, heavily-used or damaged items can be converted automatically to purchase orders the moment authorization is granted. These reports can include any or all details that simplify the purchasing process, such as barcode, author, title, ISBN and price.
NewGen®'s Library System ensures the media specialist's ability to process
and customize reports with minimal effort, and always creates on-screen
reports with the option to print them.