For a decade, the Libraries have been engaged in a process of automation, from the installation of the Barton catalog and circulation system in 1986, to catalog access via telephone in 1988-89 and via the campus network in 1989-90. While the CD version of the catalog, inaugurated in 1992 and available only in the Libraries, provided an easy-to-use interface and reduced dependance on the aging original computer, it created a second functioning catalog with its own method of searching. This summer the Libraries moved another step forward by implementing the ADVANCE Library System, produced by GEAC, Inc.
The Barton catalog, again accessible through a home computer or library terminal, offers boolean searching , up-to-the-minute materials status (checked out, in library, on hold, etc.), and the ability to limit a search for materials in a particular language, format or library location. Detailed information on when individual issues of journals are received by the Libraries will also be available on Barton soon.
The catalog, however, is only part of the new library system which will automate library functions such as acquisitions, reserves and journals check-in. The Libraries and Information Systems have also formed a co-development partnership with GEAC to produce a client/server library system.
Work has already begun to make the Barton catalog available through the World Wide Web, WILLOW (a sophisticated search engine), and GEOPAC (a client/server system). These enhancements will be announced as soon as they are available.
To access Barton from a computer outside the Libraries, telnet to . A guide to searching the catalog and a schedule of quick start training classes is available from the Libraries' home page at .
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 27, 1995.