"The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency." -- Bill Gates
The word automation in libraries usually refers to the narrow sense of computerization of circulation, acquisitions, databases and administrative functions. Many libraries contract with automation or systems suppliers which offer a complete range of software and services to the library. Often automation is used to refer only to the services and functions of that vendor.
In the larger sense, automation is the computerization of everything in the library including computers for users and librarians, networks of various types to assist users in their needs, as well as the computerization systems and functions made possible by a vendor.
"A BRIEF HISTORY OF LIBRARY AUTOMATION- 1930-1996" a college student essay. Covers most of the relevant information
The advent of the World Wide Web in the 1990s, with the possibility of color graphics and easy to use hypertext links revolutionized library automation and made it much more popular with users and librarians. The best example is the proliferation of online library catalogs. See the link below as an example.
Library Web Catalogs Look up "Alamo Colleges" in the "Find a library" blank. Once there, you should see several catalogs listed. Click on Ozuna Learning Resources Library. Read the page on the library. Notice the history of our automation. What system are we currently using? Click on "Library Web Site" and see what's available. Go back and click on "Online Catalog." Do a few searches and become familiar with using the catalog. If there are questions, be sure to share with the class in Discussions... By the way, Lib-Web-Cats is a great research and reference tool.
A similar rapid development in networks has made the use of many types of networks possible to help users and librarians in many different ways.
Systems Vendors names, addresses, phone and/or fax numbers, e-mail addresses, and Web pages of library vendors
Library Technology Links
Web 2.0: Building the New Library the new prototype
RSS: What It Is, Where to get it, How to make it, How to use it
Your routine for keeping up with new developments should include reading professional literature, taking classes and workshops which are offered by your library, and professional organizations. Keep files on emerging technologies and possible applications for libraries. If you encounter something new, read up on it on the Internet.
Once you have taken the quiz and achieved a grade with which you are satisfied, return to Canvas and address the Discussions topic for the week.
Colby Glass, MLIS