WESTMINSTER — With the installation of a Dynix automated library system in the newHoover Library at Western Maryland College, patrons now have easier access to books, research reports, videos, recordings, and other media.
Hoover Library Director David Neikirk said the Dynix system essentially reduces the sprawling card catalogs of old to a high-speed electronic information center housed in a small computer in the library.
Information on publications in a variety of formats available in the Hoover Library can be called up at the touch of a button, from any of 17 public terminals installed in the library and several others located in residence halls and various college offices.
The systemalso has a dial access feature, which enables users to key into the system from their home or office PC through a telephone modem.
Information can be accessed using traditional methods -- author and/or title -- or by providing the system with key words or Dewey Decimal numbers pertaining to subject matter or to the contents of certain publications.
For example, individual titles in many of the college's short story collections can be accessed simply by typing in the name of the story.
Patrons who are looking for a comprehensive list of all publications available in the library pertaining to a certain subject type in a key word related to that subject.
Browsers can see what's on the library's shelves without leaving their terminals by typing in names, titles, subjects, or call numbers.
Other features of the Dynix system include an automatic check on a publication's circulation status, information on library fines, and reserves.
The electronic card catalog can scan 95 percent of the library's 130,000 titles (in 163,000 volumes) in a split second.
"Not only does this system greatly reduce the time you'll need to find the right publication, it can also increase the number of sources that are relevant to your informational needs," Neikirk said. "It can give you a real senseof control over the tens of thousands of works to be found in our library."