Computers in Libraries
Vol. 22, No. 10 • Noc/Dec 2002

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Going Back to Our Roots
by Kathy Dempsey

Here at CIL Headquarters we've been pondering just what this magazine is about. To me, the focus has always been on the library systems; on all the computers that make everything else run. The software is essential too of course, as are the bar codes, the printers, the databases, etc. But none of it runs without the computers, and without the integrated library systems software that allows libraries to do their business. Hence, the title: Computers in Libraries.

Way back when, this magazine was important only to the systems people, because they used to be just about the only ones who set up computers and dealt with them. Now, however, pretty much everyone in the library has to deal with the PCs: not only the systems/network folks, but also the reference librarians for searching, the circ people for checking items in and out, the directors for decision making and for constant communication, the children's librarians for finding items in the catalogs, and the trainers who teach others how to use library systems. There are other groups too. Now, Computers in Libraries magazine is for just about everyone who works in libraries.

In keeping with our mission statement (see page 5), we will continue to cover all sorts of computer technology in this field, publishing articles that all types of librarians can benefit from. And to top it all off, next year we'll be adding something special. Our 2003 issues will carry a four-part series that will take CIL back to its roots. We'll publish ILS Marketplace: CIL's Quarterly Series on Library Automation Markets. Well-known ILS guru Pamela Cibbarelli will be studying the software and gathering facts about every vendor product. We'll create charts so that you readers, who need to understand, buy, and use these systems, can compare products at-a-glance. Imagine all the time you'll save when you don't have to go to each vendor Web site to learn all the different features of each ILS! We'll be delivering this info to you in one place, along with product ratings from current users as a bonus. For more details, see the introductory ad on page 55, and watch for the first installment in our January issue.

You'll still get our usual feature articles on topics that matter to you. For instance, this issue's theme and the next issue's theme are sort of mirror images. This month we cover Web Site Management. In our next issue (January), we'll cover Web Site Usability. The difference? It's one thing to manage a site, to decide on its content and design, and to divvy up the workload. It's quite another to seriously evaluate your site and to see how well it works for its intended audience. Testing and usability are often overlooked in the process of Web management, but we're devoting a whole issue to it so you can ensure that your site really is the best it can be.

I hope you'll look forward to the January 2003 issue, because it will be packed with facts that you need to know—no matter what type of library work you do.

Kathy Dempsey, Editor

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