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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/1461

Title: Automation of the acquisition and circulation systems of the U.S.T. Library
Authors: Osei-Agyemang, Kwaku
Issue Date: 21-Oct-1979
Series/Report no.: 1016;
Abstract: 1.1 Introduction: Information is the essential ingredient in decision making. The need for improved information systems in recent years has been made critical by the steady growth in size and complexity of organisations and data. The time has come when librarians are forced to turn to computers in order to give satisfactory service to their patrons. It is the objective of this project to suggest to the library administration and personnel of this University how automation can improve the Library services and how to make the change from normal to automated systems. No claims are made that an automated system is not as costly as a normal system. I feel, however, that computers make possible better utilization of personnel and under more flexible range of services. The project discusses those of Library activities that ca successfully be automated, the major design considerations, methods of implementing the systems and methods of converting from a manual to an automated system. 1.2 Why this Project? U.S.T. Library is one of the largest libraries in the country. The rate of growth of the community that this Library is supposed to serve makes it imperative fro certain operations to be automated so that information rational which is the basis of the ordering sub-system, the circulation sub-system could be faster. Information as to availability of the circulation or the order of a particular book should be made readily available to who ever needs it. It is my fervent hope that this project will come up with something interesting and useful to the Library personnel and thereby help to improve some of the operations in the library. Since the need fro automation has already well received by the Librarian, the major problem which is the human behaviour towards any proposal for a change has been eliminated. The staff who will be involved in the various operations have also responded favourably to assurances that the computer is not going to displace them to perform those tasks which they have been performing daily much faster. The term Library Automation refers to the processing of certain routine clerical functions in the library with the assistance of computers or other mechanized or semi-automatic equipment. This Automation will release the Library staff from many routines, administrative or clerical functions. Thus it will not replace the Librarian or make for the Librarian any decision involving professional judgement. A conspicuous example is in the assignment of the subject headings. Obviously these must be assigned by a trained cataloguist. There are three main areas main of Library operations – Administration, Management and Library science. The benefits which the Library will derive from this proposed automated system will be as follows: a) Clerical Function The amount of routine clerical work will be significantly reduced. The reduction in positions will be offset to some extent by corresponding increases in Computer costs. The professional Librarians by releasing these tasks to a computer will be left with more time to spend on questions that are more in the Library’s interest. b) Processing Speed The use of automated methods will invariably speed up the flow of work in the Library. New books, reports and other material will therefore be released sooner to waiting reader. c) Work Control Work-load, personnel and transaction statistics and records will be automatically prepared. Because of the availability of improved statistics, improved cost control and improved planning will be possible. d) Protection of Records Because of the ease and economy of producing and distributing multiple copies of catalogue files, the automated systems will provide greater protection against loss of the catalogue by fire, or any natural disasters. e) Financial The automated system will be properly planned so that unit operating cost will be drastically reduced. Expenditures which will be saved from Clerical effort will be transformed to book purchases or to provide New Service to users. f) Increasing Work Load The automation system will remove all the difficulties and caused by several factors which have combined to cause permanent increase in the Library work loads. These complexities have made information retrieval increasingly difficult and will be removed by the automation system. g) Staffing It will be preferable to meet the needs for increase the use of equipment rather than increasing the number of personnel employed. Generally equipment is cheaper than personnel. It is more reliable (in the sense of breakdowns, vacations etc) more flexible and does not become bored. As the computers will never be on vacation or sicks leave and will rarely need pairs they will be more dependable and will work longer hours than people. h) Exception Reporting The Automated system will automatically provide overdue notices follow up notices, location of orders, editing of cataloguing activity. i) Accuracy The automation system will significantly increase the accuracy of files and records. Processing rules will be standardized and given to the computer in the form of a program which can be used to verify that rules for the new data are being followed. The Input will be edited by the Computer and the errors which will be detected will be corrected before the information will be entered into the files and processed. Once correctly entered into the computer file, the information will always be printed or sorted consistently and correctly thereafter. j) Distribution Information to Other Libraries With automated system catalogue information from the Central Library holdings will easily be distributed among the Faculty Libraries.
Description: A Thesis submitted to the Faculty Of Science in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science, 1979
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/1461
Appears in Collections:College of Science

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