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The Application
Service Model
30
Design, one of the most distinguished art schools in the United States, and the organisa-
tion's mission is to be `dedicated to art, and used solely for the purpose of encouraging
the American genius... a living monument to art and American creativity.'
The Corcoran Library is open to all of the College's 3,500 students and staff, and hosts
approximately 28,000 items. For eleven years prior to implementation, the Library had
been considering investing in a computerised system, but the initial costs involved (buying
the software, hardware, and barcodes) and lack of experienced staff meant that this
seemed near impossible. Cost was a big factor in deciding how to proceed.The Library
began looking for other ways of automating its work, finally settling upon the ASP
model which was felt to offer quality at an affordable price.
Library automation includes tasks such as replacing a card-based system with a
machine-searchable online catalogue, facilitating circulation tasks such as using the system
to track check-outs, sending reminders about overdue items, report production, tracking
serials online, placing items on reserve online, allowing patron-initiated renewals online,
and a message centre for staff and users of the Library. At the time of initial enquiry
(2000), many library automation vendors did not offer ASP, and (as is still the case) the
exact definition of ASP differed from vendor to vendor. For example, it varies between
companies whether the client is expected to buy and maintain their server with the
vendor providing and maintaining software, or if the vendor provides and maintains all
the necessary hardware and software.To come to a decision, the Library staff considered
a variety of ASP products, and consulted colleagues in the field.Two nearby art libraries
had recently chosen ASP products; one was migrating from a mainframe system to ASP,
and the other was automating for the first time. Further research was then carried out
on ASP in general, and how it was being deployed in other sectors. After much consider-
ation, the Library selected Sirsi.
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According to Library Director Claudia Covert, time was a definite factor in introducing
the technology: the college was facing accreditation and the Library had not fared well in
the last accreditation, with assessors strongly recommending automation.The staff there-
fore had less than twelve months to accomplish this task.The contract with Sirsi was
signed in May 2001, and the system was up and running by autumn, with the implemen-
tation hailed by Covert as `fast and smooth'. In June the tape of records from the Online
Computer Library Centre
(OCLC)
29
was sent to Sirsi, by August the online catalogue
was completed, and in September the staff began cataloguing online. Online circulation
started in October, and reserves lists went online in January.The longest phases of the
rollout were barcoding, entering serials records, and working out migration issues such as
those described below. Barcoding started in September, as a joint effort between tempo-
rary student workers and permanent staff.The barcoding process was completed within
nine months, but it took around a year to take the manual serial check-in system online.
Each serial title record needed to be found
and uploaded from OCLC, and then the
Library's volume and issue holdings contained
on check-in cards had to be entered manually.
The project's budget of just under $29,000
(
24,500) was divided into fifty-seven per
cent for the system and forty-three per cent
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http://www.sirsi.com
29
http://www.oclc.org
The Corcoran`s
iBistro interface
Cor
cor
an
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