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Libraries select new online catalog system

The MIT Libraries have selected Ex Libris Aleph 500 as the new library management system, to replace GEAC Advance. The system encompasses the library online catalog Barton; the database; circulation transactions; and the ordering, receipt and payment of new library materials.

The change is scheduled for July 2001. This will be the culmination of a process begun in 1999 with a market survey and review of several potential vendors.

The new system will allow for flexibility in how information is used and displayed. The catalog is web-based, and the Libraries will be able to build the catalog to meet MIT community needs. The system will be compatible with other campus systems such as SAP, registrarinformation and MIT authentication requirements.

During the winter and spring, the library staff will begin implementing the system. The design of the public catalog will begin with usability testing, first by assessing the current catalog as a benchmark, and then testing various methods of manipulating and displaying information to develop a user-friendly interface. Members of the MIT community will have an opportunity to participate.

For more information, contact Sarah Shreeves, project manager for the third Barton transition, at or x3-4979.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 7, 2001.

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