NIU updates computer system in library

By Chris Cutter

Founder’s Memorial Library’s computer system has been updated with the addition of a new computer database.

CARL UnCover is the new database added to the ILLININET online system, which has over 35 members across Illinois.

Membership to the online system is comprised of both private and public universities.

Also new to the library is the MILO interface. “(MILO) we hope is a easier, friendlier, more powerful interface,” said Byron Anderson, Computer Reference Services Coordinator for the library.

The new system will allow library users the ability to locate journal articles by topic, to limit references to language or year and give access to ILLININET to anyone with a microcomputer and modem, Anderson said.

“The state financed most of the project, which has taken a year and a half to implement, but we (NIU) share some of the cost,” Anderson said.

“The cost for the system improvements is shared and paid on an annual basis from a formula-calculated fee,” said Beth Titus, associate director of the library.

“The fee is based on activity within the system. For instance, the University of Illinois comprises 40 percent of all system activity, while NIU comprises 10 percent of all system activity, costs are proportional,” Titus said.

With the advent of a new system there have been some difficulties setting the system up according to Anderson.

“Anytime you bring up a new system there will be momentary implementation problems, but we should work them out in about a week,” Anderson said.

“The system is on a one-year trial basis and so far the feedback we have received has been very positive,” Anderson said. “People seem to really like it.”

Although the jury is still out on whether or not the system will remain as is, the library is offering several one-hour training courses on how to use the online network.

The classes will be running from Sept. 9 to 19, and Oct. 14 to 17.