Section 1255

Summer 2001
May 9 - June 13, Monday - Wednesday, 3:30 - 6:15
SLIS 031

Julie Bobay, Assistant Professor (part-time)
School Of Library and Information Science
And Head, SLIS Library
Indiana University

bobay@indiana.edu, 855-3766


Please Note: This document may change during the session. Such changes will always be announced in class.


The focus of the course is on integrated online library systems. Information will be presented from a number of perspectives: technological, managerial, and socio-cultural. While automation such as word-processing or spreadsheet software is an important part of library automation, technologies such as these will only be touched on tangentially.

We can take it as a given that libraries and information centers are constantly changing. One of the drivers of this change is technology. As information professionals, you will be involved in planning, implementing, and managing technological change so that it best meets user and organizational needs. In order to do this, you will need a host of skills and understandings including an understanding of library operations, technological proficiencies, an understanding of human resources development in technological settings, and basic management and planning skills. While L526 cannot provide you with all these skills, it is designed to provide you with a beginning understanding of the issues, some basic competencies, and an opportunity to explore some aspects of library automation in detail.

The structure of this class recognizes that students are preparing for jobs in a wide variety of settings from small school libraries to multi-national corporations. Some of you will be involved in small automation projects such as automating a library for the first time. Others will be planning a move to a larger or more technologically advanced environment.

The course covers issues and concepts associated with implementing and managing "traditional" library automation systems. In addition, we will introduce issues associated with implementing and managing digital or virtual libraries.


Students who have completed L526 Library Automation will be able to:

  • Identify major applications of technology in libraries and information centers and issues affecting their implementation.
  • Identify and describe the building blocks of integrated online library system design: MARC records and other standards, database development, relational databases.
  • Explain the process of evaluating an online integrated library system: specifications, vendor review, evaluation, customization, usability testing.
  • Create specifications for an online database system and evaluate information from vendors about their systems based on those specifications.
  • Identify major issues in the library automation marketplace and discuss their implications for the way that libraries will operate in the future.


Computer Literacy or L401 is a prerequisite for the course. Experience, coursework, or basic understandings in the following areas will be very helpful: the Internet, library operations, reference, cataloging, and management.


The IU Bookstore and TIS have copies of the required readings packet for you to buy. The readings were carefully chosen to provide you with an introduction to issues you will need to understand to work in an automated library or information center. You will be tested on the key concepts in them. Class discussions will supplement, explain, and expand upon the readings.


- In-class Quiz (5/23, 40 points) - 3 question sets (due each class 5/30, 6/6, 6/11, 40 points) - 5-page paper/presentation (due June 12-13, 20 points)


  1. Attend class regularly. If you are unable to attend, it is your responsibility to obtain notes and other materials from another student.
  2. Come to class having read and thought about the assigned readings and assignments for that day.
  3. Turn in assignments on time. No late papers or other assignments will be accepted without previous consent from one of the instructor.
  4. Complete all assignments. All must be completed in order for you to pass this course.
  5. Write succinctly. This is an important skill. You are expected to remain within the page limits set by the instructor. Papers longer than the page limits will lose points.
  6. Ask questions. If you do not understand class material, assignments, readings, etc., it is your responsibility to inform the instructor.
  7. Be honest. Indiana University and the School of Library and Information Science policies on academic dishonesty will be followed. Students found to be engaging in plagiarism, cheating, and other types of dishonesty will receive an F for the course.


The following definitions of letter grades have been defined by the student and faculty members of the Curriculum Steering Committee and have been approved by the faculty as an aid in evaluating of academic performance and to assist students by giving them an understanding of the grading standards of the School of Library and Information Science.

A 4.0 Outstanding achievement Student performance demonstrates full command of the course materials and evinces a high level of originality and/or creativity that far surpasses course expectations.

A- 3.7 Excellent achievement Student performance demonstrates thorough knowledge of the course materials and exceeds course expectations by completing all requirements in a superior manner.

B+ 3.3 Very good work Student performance demonstrates above-average comprehension of the course materials and exceeds course expectations on all tasks as defined in the course syllabus.

B 3.0 Good work Student performance meets designated course expectations, demonstrates understanding of the course materials, and performs at an acceptable level.

B- 2.7 Marginal work Student performance demonstrates incomplete understanding of course materials.

C+ 2.3 or C 2.0 Unsatisfactory work. Student performance demonstrates incomplete and inadequate understanding of course materials.

C- 1.7 or D+ 1.3 or D 1.0 or D- .07 Unacceptable work. Coursework performed at this level will not count toward the MLS or MIS degree. For the course to count toward the degree, the student must repeat the course with a passing grade.

F 0.0 Student may continue in the program only with permission of the Dean.


L526 Course Schedules and READINGS

Summer 2001, Bobay

* indicates full-text available online through Academic Search Elite or Education Abstracts Full-Text

1. Wednesday May 9.

Class expectations and requirements.History of Library Automation. Hardware, Software, Bibliographic Utilities


* Lynch, Clifford. "From Automation to Transformation: Forty Years of Libraries and Information Technology in Higher Education." Educause Review, January/February 2000. pp. 60-68.

Saffady, William. "The Status of Library Automation at 2000." Library Technology Reports. Jan-Feb 2000. pp. 33-65.

Cooper, M.D. (1995) Design of Library Automation Systems. New York: Wiley.
CHAPTER 3: Computer System Configurations, pp. 21-28
CHAPTER 4: Disk Drives and Disk Files, pp, 29-41

2. Monday May 14

Networking. MARC Records. Components of Integrated Online Library Systems.


Mather, Becky R. (1997) Creating a Local Area Network in the School Library
Media Center. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
     CHAPTER 1: What is a Network and Why Do I Need One?, pp. 1-12      CHAPTER 2: Planning Your Network, pp. 13-36

Understanding MARC-Bibliographic: Machine Readable Cataloging. 1998. Library of Congress http://lcweb.loc.gov/marc/umb/

3. Wednesday May 16

Relational database design (records files, databases).


Cooper, M.D. Ibid. CHAPTER 5: Online Catalog, pp. 42-82.

4. Monday May 21

Integrated Online Library Systems.


Cooper, M.D. Ibid.
CHAPTER 6: Library Circulation Systems, pp 83-109
CHAPTER 9: Relational Database Design for an Integrated Library Automation System pp. 151-165
CHAPTER 9A: Integrated Data Dictionary for Library Automation, pp 167-184

5. Wednesday May 23

OPAC design/usability issues. Management issues: evaluation, implementation, training.

In-Class QUIZ (40 points)
Questions 1 distributed (10 points)


Crawford, W. (1992) The Online Catalog Book: Essays and Examples. New York, G.K. Hall, 1992, Chap 3-7, pp. 29-82.

* Chisman, Janet, Karen Diller, and Sharon Walbridge. "Usability Testing: A Case Study." College and Research Libraries 60.6 (Nov. 1999): 552-569

Dennis et al (1997) "Vision vs. Reality: Planning for the Implementation of a Web-Based Online Catalog in an Academic Library." Library Hi Tech 15(3-4):159-71.

Clayton M. and Batt, C. (1992) Managing Library Automation. Brookfield, VT: Ashgate.
CHAPTER 7: Choosing a Library Management System. Pp. 121-138.

Monday May 28: Holiday.

6. Wednesday May 30

RFPs and system specifications. (Guest Lecturer: Mary Popp, Automation Librarian for Public Services, Indiana University Libraries) Z39.50, Union Catalogs

Questions 1 due
Questions 2 distributed (20 POINTS)


* Hammer, Sebastian. "Dr. Metada, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Z39.50." American Libraries October 2000, 54-56.

Dovey, Matthew J. "So you want to build a union catalogue?" Ariadne 23 March 22, 2000. http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/

Stowe, Melinda. "To RFP or Not to RFP: That Is the Question." Journal of Library Administration 26.3/4(1999): 53-74.

Boss, Richard. "A Model RFP for an Automated Library System." Library Technology Reports 35.6(Nov.-Dec. 1999): 717-820. [NOT IN READINGS PACKET. Pages 750 - 808, "Detailed Functional Requirements" is on reserve in the SLIS Library. Browse for class]

7. Monday June 4

The Automation Marketplace and Planning for Automation


How to Automate Your Library. (1997) SIRS Mandarin brochure.

The Guide to Library Automation. (1997) Winnebago Software Company. 3rd edition.

* Bridge, Frank R. "Selecting a Library Automation Vendor." Library Journal 118(4) March 1, 1993: 56-57.

Karetzky, Steven. "Choosing an Automation System: Sorting out the real information from the misinformation and disinformation." Library Journal 123(11), June 15 1998. pp. 42-45.

Saffady, William. "The Status of Library Automation at 2000." Library Technology Reports. Jan-Feb 2000. pp. 33-65. (Re-read this article from week 1)

* Evans, Peter. "Trends, Pressures and Realities in the Library Systems Marketplace." American Libraries October 2000. pp. 51-53

* Barry, Jeff. "Delivering the Personalized Library." Library Journal April 2000. 49-60.

* Barry, Jeff. "Closing in on Content." Library Journal April 1, 2001. 46-54.

8. Wednesday June 6

Integrated Online Library Systems and "Digital Libraries."
Interoperability and Metadata (MARC, Dublin Core, EAD, etc.)

Questions 2 due
Questions 3 distributed (10 POINTS)


* Baruth, Barbara. "Is your catalog big enough to handle the web?" American Libraries August 2000, 56-59.

* Tennant, Roy. "The Print Perplex: Building the future catalog." Library Journal 11/15/98, 22-23.

* Tennant, Roy. "Interoperability: The Holy Grail." Library Journal, July 1, 1998.

Miller, Paul. "Interoperability. What is it and Why should I want it?" Ariadne 24 June 21 2000 http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue24/interoperability

* Milstead, Jessica and Susan Feldman. "Metadata." Online 23.1 (Jan./Feb. 1999): 24-31.

* Milstead, Jessica and Susan Feldman. "Metadata Projects and Standards." Online 23.1(Jan./Feb. 1999): 32-40.

9. Monday June 11

Intellectual Freedom. Copyright. Markup languages (SGML, HTML, XML.)

Questions 3 Due Papers Due June 12, 5:00


Alternatives to Filters. Library Technology Reports March 01. (on Reserve in SLIS Library.)

Copyright handout (Kris Brancolini).

Willett, Perry. "The Victorian Women Writers Project: The Library as a Creator and Publisher of Electronic Texts." The Public-Access Computer Systems Review 7, no. 6, 1996. http://info.lib.uh.edu/pr/pacsrev.html

10. Wednesday June 13 Class Presentations



Paper Due 5:00, June 12
Class Presentation June 13


  1. To understand the major trends in the library automation marketplace
  2. To explore literature and reliable sources of information on library systems.


You are the library automation specialist at [your choice of type of library.] Your library has an integrated online library system that manages the traditional library functions of circulation, serials control, acquisitions, etc., but as it has aged it has become increasingly expensive and difficult to maintain. Also, it does not have any of the "digital library" bells and whistle that current integrated library systems offer.

Your director/principal/school superintendent/CEO wants the library to "get with the times," by upgrading the system. Having experienced several automation implementations in her career, she understands the basics of library automation systems and appreciates the need to do thorough homework. Afraid that her knowledge is getting out-of-date, she enrolled you in this course to help her get up to speed with todayÕs automation marketplace. Your assignment, (IÕm afraid you must choose to accept it,) is to inform her about the important trends in library automation today, and provide initial advice on finding reliable information on systems.

Your Report:

1. Describe your library, its mission, and name of an Integrated Online Library System that is appropriate for your library. (1-2 paragraphs)

2. Discuss the important trends in library automation today as they relate to the decision facing your library. (2 pages)

3. List reasons to consider this system further or remove it from consideration (3 pages). Focus on what sets this system apart from competitors. This may include functionality of components/modules that are particularly important in your library, the level of customer support provided by the vendor, the vendorÕs stability/market share/position in market, the vendorÕs reputation, new developments, etc.

Some suggested sources of information (just a beginning - feel free to explore and find others!):

  • April issues of Library Journal: annual review of library automation market.
  • Library Technology Reports special issues on "Integrated Library Systems for Smaller Libraries."
    "Part 1: Special, Academic and Public Libraries"
         35.3 (March/April 1999)
    "Part 2: School, Academic and Public Libraries"
         35.4 (July/August 1999)
  • ILSR (Integrated Library Systems) http://www.ilsr.com [A compendium of information, including vendor news, sample RFPs, and links to articles about integrated library systems. Check for results of a 1999 vendor survey to find information about individual vendors, including some cost information.]
  • Internet Library for Librarians: Library Automated Systems. http://www.itcompany.com/inforetriever/sys.htm [An online list of major vendors and user groups, including listservs.]
  • Librarians Information Online Network (LION): Automation for School Libraries. http://www.libertynet.org/lion/auto.html
  • ALA Techsource: https://www.techsource.ala.org/#top
  • Bibliotech Review: http://www.biblio-tech.com/index.html
  • Library Technology Guides. Maintained by Marshall Breeding. http://staffweb.library.vanderbilt.edu/breeding/ltg.html
  • Articles in the literature. Try searching Library Literature or LISA

4. Appendix 1: descriptive info about vendor.
Using the vendorÕs website, printed materials on Reserve in the SLIS Library, and the Cibarrelli book, answer as many of the following questions as you can: (some will not be answerable):

  • Name, address, phone number, URL of vendor
  • Name(s) of available products (library automation only!)
  • System requirements (operating system, amount of memory, etc., limitations in number of records or record size)
  • Programming language
  • Available components/modules
  • Recommended types, sizes of library for product and rationale
  • Number of customers, with some examples
  • Cost of project and associated services
  • Services/products/enhancements under development; conformance to standards

Cibarrelli, P. R. 1998 Directory of Library Automation Software, Systems and Services. Learned Information. SLIS REFERENCE Z678.9.A3D56 2000 (another copy on reserve in SLIS Library)

5. Appendix 2: Bibliography/sources checked
Your report does NOT have to be footnoted, but I would advise you to provide attribution for vendor propaganda, both for ethical reasons and to clearly differentiate between a vendorÕs claim and what is your opinion.


Back tp Top