|Unless you're a brand new
subscriber, you already know all about our annual Computers in Libraries
Buyer's Guide and Consultants Directory. You know that we spend half
the year compiling this resource to make your life easier. We get updated
information from all sorts of vendors about what they sell, where they
are, and how you can find them. We hope you'll refer to it all year long!
And even if you are a longtime
subscriber, let me remind you about the otherpart of our Guide—the
Directory. We have four pages that list all sorts of folks who can
help you make decisions about what to buy for your library, or how to set
it up, or how to market your services once they're in place. Don't forget
to refer to this valuable section, which begins on page 82.
Now then, for both old and
new subscribers, we have a wealth of feature articles too. First and foremost,
Eric Flower has contributed his annual overview on the computer industry.
(I believe this is his 10th one!) In a sort of "looking back and looking
ahead" piece, he notes what the three major PC manufacturers predicted
a few years ago, tells you what's happening now, and concludes that their
predictions might be pretty much on the mark. If you're a big-picture person,
this feature is for you!
Next we have the perfect
PC primer, all about "what's under the hood." If you're not a super-techie
person, this is a wonderful explanation of what's going on in there. If
you think you already know all that stuff, and you're about to skip this
article, reconsider: It's written so that it's simple to understand, yet
it is so complete that it explains lots of little things that you always
hear about, but couldn't really define. For fairly experienced techies,
it's not only a great review but also a great way to see what's new today
as far as peripherals and speeds. So, regardless of your technology background,
if you're aiming to buy computers, use this article to brush up before
you make your choices.
Finally then, we have that
after-the-fact feature. You've found and purchased new automated library
system software—now what? How do you begin to use it to its fullest potential?
How do you re-learn, retrain, and revamp your procedures? This author,
a former vendor rep who trained staffs after they bought new systems, will
share all the secrets. Foremost among them are forgetting your old ways
of doing things and your old limitations; reconsidering old procedures;
and having the guts to redesign your work flow to fit your new system.
Blasphemy, you say? Total chaos would ensue? Don't be so sure! Read his
reasoning (starting on page 24) and he may convince you that you really
can teach an old dog new tricks.
Happy shopping, and happy
summer. See you in September.
Kathy Dempsey, Editor