New computer terminals to be installed in libraries

By Michelle D. Isaacson

New computer terminals installed in NIU libraries will aid in students’ searches for publish materials.

Seventeen new terminals, which were installed in Founder’s Memorial Library in October and November, cost a total of $40,000. When the system expands into other university libraries, an additional $40,000 will be required, said Carroll Varner, assistant director for tehnical services.

Funding for the new equipment will come from the library’s five million dollar budget, he said.

Jitka Hurych, university libraries associates professor, said the new terminals have a “friendly interface,” meaning a menu-driven program that takes a user step-by-step through the search for information.

“The main benefit over the old system is subject access. The new system is also an on-line catalog of books,” Varner said.

“It is now possible to search for materials by subject. Also, names of editors, translators, and series titles can be entered as search items in the new database,” Hurych said.

The new computer system, which is part of the Illinois Union Catalog, allows access to more than four million titles in libraries across Illinois, Varner said. The number of available materials increases by about $50,000 titles per month, he said.

“The state began developing the system three years ago. The state gives as much as two million dollars per year (to the program),” he said.

Varner said the new system will be installed in other branches, including the Music Library in the Music Building, the Map Library in Davis Hall and the Science Library in Faraday Hall.

Library staff are available at library service desks to help users become acquainted with the machines, Hurych said.