Computers in Libraries
Vol. 20, No. 7 ē July/August 2000
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
by Kathy Miller

Itís the most wonderful time of the year! That song is playing over and over in my head, even though there is no mistle-toeing and no marshmallows for toasting right now. For me, this is the most wonderful time of the year because itís the time Iím wrapping up the Buyerís Guide. All together, this project runs about 9 months out of the year, so when itís headed for the printer and Iím facing the short but delightful respite, it is truly wonderful indeed.

As most of you know, the CIL Buyerís Guide and Consultants Directory is always our big summer double issue, and itís chock full of all the information that youíll need to buy just about anything that your library could possibly use. Our listings cover the smallest things (like library cards and plastic bags), the medium things (like printers and CD-ROMs), and even the largest things (like IOLS software and furniture). It includes services too, from consulting to ret con to serials processing. If you need to buy it, you can find it here! (And if you canít, let me know!)

Last fall, we totally redesigned the survey form, took off some outdated categories, and added lots of new ones. We asked all the vendor companies to fill out our survey forms from scratch this spring, to make sure that you get the most up-to-date information. On the inside, we also had a new database guru this year, Jonelle Guy, and a new software program to pull it all together. Jonelle tells you a bit about the whole process in her introduction to the listings, which starts on page 26.

We donít carry our usual departments in this issue (like Newsline and People & Places), nor do we run columns. (Our writers would mutiny if we didnít give them their summer breaks.) We do, however, have two features. The first will be an old friend to you longtime subscribers. Itís the annual article where former CIL editor Eric Flower re-emerges to write about the state of the PC industry and the current buying trends. This year Eric gets a little futuristic; turn to page 8 to find out what he sees in cyberspace. The second feature is a good general-purpose one that we thought fit nicely into the Buyerís Guide, because itís something youíll want to file away to refer to when you need it. William Doering (who also wrote a feature in last summerís Buyerís Guide about getting ready for Y2K) writes for those of you asking the big question, ďIíve just bought a new library catalogóhow in the world do I implement it and manage a smooth migration from our old system?Ē If youíre curious, turn to page 20 to learn the lessons that experience has taught this library professional.

Itís the most wonderful time of the year ... Iím not going to go caroling out in the snow, but I will be taking a couple days off next week. And as I walk out the door, Iíll probably be humming this song.

Kathy Miller, Editor

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