Automation Report No. 98-1
Date: April 17, 1998
Subject: Circulation Systems and Book Codes
For many years, network libraries have been using automated
circulation systems to assist them in the delivery of
reading materials to blind and physically handicapped
persons. These systems differ from standard library
circulation systems in that they provide special selection
functions for the books, mail cards as the primary
circulation method, machine-lending functions, magazine
subscription functions, and other specialized functions.
There are four such systems that were developed for general
use by network libraries. Some network libraries developed
their own circulation systems that are generally not
available for use in other network libraries. Those systems
are referred to as independent systems.
Attached is a list of the four generally available
circulation systems for network libraries together with
contact information for them. In addition, the attachment
contains a list of the libraries currently known by NLS to
use each system. "Currently known" is stressed because
libraries do not always inform NLS when they install a new
circulation system. If you find any errors in the list,
please inform Robert J. McDermott, NLS automation officer
(e-mail address: [log in to unmask]).
Attached you will also find a list of book codes. These are
codes used on the book labels of libraries using the DRA or
READS systems. These codes are useful to network libraries
that receive returned books that do not belong to them.
Again, this list may not be accurate. Corrections forwarded
to Mr. McDermott will be greatly appreciated.
It is very important for libraries planning to change
circulation systems to inform the CMLS coordinator in
advance of the change. The patron IDs for CMLS or the
transaction formats may need to be changed when you install
a new system. You need to have the CMLS contractor test a
file of transactions before you begin sending them from the
new system. READS libraries changing to another system
should also inform the automation officer. If you have
selected a new system, here are a few things you can do to
help the transition:
1) READS libraries should inform the automation officer.
Once a decision has been made to change systems, the READS
contractor will be informed and will provide any assistance
necessary for the conversion.
2) Determine if you will be changing CMLS IDs.
If you will be changing CMLS IDs, inform the CMLS
coordinator. She will inform the CMLS contractor that the
project needs to be planned for. They will also be alert
for the types of problems that have arisen at other
libraries during such a change.
3) Select your cutoff date.
The CMLS contractor needs to know when the last transactions
from the old system and when the first transactions from the
new system will be sent.
4) Plan a test file.
The CMLS contractor will run a test of CMLS transactions
from the new system using "real" patron data and provide a
CMLS edit/update report to allow the library to confirm that
all data are being processed as expected. After
confirmation from the Library, the data will be entered into
the CMLS database.
The CMLS information should be provided to the CMLS
coordinator at least one month in advance of your transition
to make it as seamless and trouble-free as possible. Please
phone, write or e-mail the CMLS coordinator, Barbara
Peterman (e-mail address: [log in to unmask]).
[Attachment: This report contained an attachment that was
mailed to the network on April 17, 1998.]
For more information contact: