VTLS Express


VTLS Express
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 1994 10:22:08 -0400 (EDT)
From: Ann Okerson <ann@cni.org>
Subject: VLTS Express (fwd)

From: Lisabeth King <lisabeth>
Subject: VLTS Express

This title was found by Lisabeth King of the ARL Offices during
a round of cybersurfing. It is not a new title per se, but it
is new to us (and maybe somewhat new electronically?) so we thought
we would share it with NewJour readers.

> VTLS Express, Vol. 10, No. 2, Spring-Summer 1994 (Part 1 of 2)
> SA195

> VTLS Express, Vol. 10, No. 2, Spring-Summer 1994
> A Publication of VTLS Inc.
> Editor: Gail Gulbenkian <gulbenkiang@vtls.com.>
> Welcome to the first issue of the VTLS Express on BUBL. The VTLS
> Express newsletter is published three times a year by VTLS Inc., an
> international software company with head offices in Blacksburg,
> Virginia, U.S.A., and branch offices in Helsinki and Barcelona. The
> company specializes in library automation and provides an integrated
> solution to all aspects of library operations for 300 users worldwide.
> If you would like to receive the printed version of VTLS Express,
> which is a 16-page, glossy, four-color publication, send an e-mail
> request to me: gulbenkiang@vtlscom. Or send a letter or postcard to:
> Gail Gulbenkian
> VTLS Inc.
> 1800 Kraft Drive
> Blacksburg, VA 24060
> U.S.A.
> ****************************************************************
> President's Notes
> VTLS Release 1994 (Phase I) Out the Door
> Inventory Control a Handy Tool
> Dynamic Cataloging Has Arrived
> Multimedia Means Multiuses
> The VTLS Z39.50 Client Interfaces with NCSA Mosaic for Windows
> VTLS Users' Groups Hold International Meeting
> Micro-VTLS Rel. 3.10 Has Something for Everyone
> ASC Promotes a Foreign Exchange of People, Ideas
> Chesapeake Public Library Enjoys Dial-Up Access
> U.A.E. University: VTLS' First Site in the Middle East
> Fifth Polish University Signs on with VTLS
> National Library of Latvia Chooses VTLS
> VTLS Inc. Buys Out Interest in Company
> VTLS Library in Focus: Upper Arlington Public Library
> ****************************************************************
> Those of us that spend a considerable amount of our spare time
> hobnobbing in cyberspace find NCSA Mosaic to be a powerful aid in
> our quest for knowledge. If you have not as yet tried Mosaic, do
> so at your earliest convenience. If you don't know how to try
> Mosaic and belong to the VTLS users community, call us and we
> will point you in the right direction. But we can do more than
> that. Read on!
> In terms of client/server computing, Mosaic is client designed to
> let you browse data on a server. The World Wide Web (WWW) is the
> server to which this client initially connects. For brevity,
> Mosaic is called a WWW browser. It is what computer scientists
> call a "stateless" browser. Loosely speaking, a "stateless"
> system is one where each transaction between the client (here
> Mosaic) and the server is a new and independent transaction. The
> server does not remember (or maintain in memory) what happened
> previously. Each query has a defined, unambiguous and finite
> response. The server responds and moves on to process another
> query, generally from a different client.
> A typical OPAC search is not a stateless search because the user
> (the client) conducts a "dialogue" with the machine (the server)
> and each new query is based on previous results from the server.
> For example, the Z39.50 client standard assumes that the state of
> the query is maintained by the server. In fact, it allows the
> client to "name" previous result sets that use these "named sets"
> in subsequent searches. Such a process is contrary to the
> philosophy of Mosaic.
> VTLS is the first of all the library automation vendors to do
> some innovative things that allow you to get the best of both
> these worlds. First, on the client side, we have enhanced our
> Z39.50 client to interface with Mosaic. If you are using Mosaic
> and see an "anchor" (automatic reference) to a Z39.50 server,
> then the WWW browser can automatically spawn a Z39.50 client that
> directly connects to the server and conducts the necessary
> search! VTLS customers have the added advantage of spawning
> EasyPAC (a full Windows(TM)-based OPAC) from Mosaic. Second, we
> have built a gateway from Mosaic to the OPAC. Thus you can use
> Mosaic as a front end to the VTLS system! Try it. Connect with
> Mosaic to WWW.VTLS.COM.
> If you need help with Internet, WWW, Mosaic, Z39.50, EasyPAC or
> any of the above interfaces, call or write the VTLS Networking
> Department.
> Vinod Chachra, President
> VTLS Inc.
> ****************************************************************
> On January 28, Phase I of VTLS Release 1994 went out to seven
> initial beta test sites. This latest version of the software
> provides 25 new or enhanced features, including four new
> subsystems, based on prioritized recommendations of the eight
> standing committees from the VTLS users' groups here and abroad.
> Although beta testing was completed March 31, Rumy Sen, manager
> of VTLS HP development, advises that the best time to think about
> migrating to the new release is in July when we can promise a
> stable product. "We are making a tremendous effort to put out a
> 'zero-defect' software release," said Rumy. "This effort has
> included early planning, more rigorous testing and more formal
> beta testing." She added that installation procedures for this
> release have been designed to be hassle free.
> The new aspects of the software for both Phase I and Phase II of
> the release can be organized into three categories: new and
> improved subsystems and interfaces, new online features, and
> other enhancements.
> Acquisitions Client/Server.
> We added software to the VTLS server to allow the server to store
> and retrieve acquisitions data. The Acquisitions client software
> interacts seamlessly with the VTLS online software and the
> Acquisitions server software. Data now stored on the old PC
> version of Acquisitions can be migrated to the server.
> Circulation Control Subsystem
> We have reengineered the Circulation Control subsystem. We have
> restructured the code into modular subprograms and have improved
> error checking and warnings. Further, the subsystem offers
> enhanced holds, recalls and loans features.
> NEW--Cataloging Client.
> Integrated with the features of the Intelligent Workstation,
> Cataloging Client is a full-screen editor for online cataloging.
> NEW--Inventory Control Subsystem (see article this issue).
> NEW--Materials Booking Subsystem
> This subsystem handles online reservations for media materials
> and books.
> NEW--Statistics By Command Subsystem.
> This subsystem lets libraries collect statistics for ALL commands
> in the command matrix and commonly used local commands in the
> circulation and cataloging subsystems. In Phase II of the
> implementation, we will provide batch jobs that can manipulate
> raw data and export it to a PC package for state-of-the-art
> reporting.
> NEW--Windows(TM)-based user interface for staff and patrons
> called
> EasyPAC. This interface provides point-and-click searching and
> complete point-and-click functionality as an option. Now you can
> scroll the MARC Bibliographic and Card screens and select a
> button at the bottom of the screen to execute a command. These
> button prompts vary appropriately from screen to screen.
> We have added 16 new online features to VTLS:
> 1. A second ID prompt.
> 2. Masking of blind authority headings for specific users.
> 3. Expanded Boolean search limit to 99960.
> 4. Fine deletion security. DELETE command changed to WAIVE and
> added along with the CLEAR command to the command matrix.
> 5. A warning message regarding headings being copied or
> cross-referenced using TA and TB commands.
> 6. Highlighting an exact match on all authority menus (HP
> terminals only).
> 7. Highlighting NS footer prompts in language files (HP
> terminals only).
> 8. Addition of a location specific parameter for holidays.
> 9. Enhancement of renewal of standard circulation items from the
> PA screen.
> 10. New command /FOOTOFF to suppress footers on MARC screens and
> authority menus.
> 11. Flagging of pseudo headings on authority menus with $.
> 12. Suppression of SETLIMIT hit count in header of intermediate
> screens.
> 13. Access to Status screen allowed from Menu of Copies and
> Volumes.
> 14. Addition of a parameter to let libraries define the layout of
> each line on the Menu of Copies and Volume for user USER only.
> ****************************************************************
> VTLS Inventory Control, an optional subsystem that is new for
> Release 1994, gives your library several new management tools.
> Inventory control lets your library determine the exact status of
> each barcoded item in a certain section of shelving within one
> library location. It reports on items found on the shelf that the
> library believes are missing. It also reports on items that the
> library believes it holds but are actually missing. Inventory
> control is intended to be used with any library item in the VTLS
> system except those items in materials booking and on reserve.
> A librarian needs to run only one simple jobstream to obtain a
> report listing those items on the shelf that the library's system
> indicates are "missing." Thus the Inventory Control subsystem
> reports mismatches between items on the shelf and information
> about the item in the VTLS database. Discrepancies in barcode,
> location, status, call number, etc. tell a librarian that the
> item needs to be pulled, perhaps reprocessed, and reshelved.
> Another jobstream reports missing items. It identifies items that
> inventory control did not find; i.e., items in the database for
> the selected location but missing from the shelf. Librarians have
> the option of asking the inventory program to attach a "possibly
> missing" status to the item so it will be trapped at circulation.
> If the item is trapped, the status can then be removed
> automatically.
> The Inventory Control subsystem uses a file of barcodes generated
> from data stored in a portable data collection device or memory
> scanner. Moving down an aisle in the library, a librarian uses
> this device or scanner to record the barcode of each item on a
> section of shelving. The barcode data is tranferred to a barcode
> file on the microcomputer. The barcode file is, in turn,
> transferred to the VTLS machine.
> Once the barcode file has been uploaded to the VTLS machine, an
> operator can run the inventory control jobstreams, which require
> the input of a number of parameters such as starting and ending
> call number, location, whether to report items without call
> numbers, which statuses to report, and the date of barcode file
> creation. A separate barcode file should be generated and
> separate jobstreams launched for each VTLS location.
> The VTLS Inventory Control subsystem can save your library time
> and money by producing quick, easy-to-read reports about found,
> missing or misshelved items. If you are interested in testing the
> Inventory Control subsystem, please call our marketing
> department.
> ****************************************************************
> In response to customer requests, VTLS has revamped the
> Cataloging Enhancer software, which lets you create and edit
> bibliographic and authority records. The newly designed product,
> called the Cataloging Client, takes advantage of client-server
> architecture and offers full-screen editing, modifiable templates
> and a dynamic link to VTLS. The Cataloging Client features
> point-and-click functionality, function keys and scrolling.
> Unlike the Cataloging Enhancer, which requires catalogers to
> upload and download records, the new software offers seamless
> importing and exporting functions and permits much greater
> flexibility in editing.
> The Cataloging Client, which runs under DOS on a 286
> microcomputer with 640KB standard memory, uses modified aspects
> of the Intelligent Workstation--an interface to the online
> catalog--and the Cataloging Enhancer. It is designed to be used
> by library staff who edit records.
> The Cataloging Client's editing screens are easy to read and
> follow. Each offers a row of modifiable function keys at the
> bottom of the screen. The Help function, which can be customized
> and translated, is available at any point in the program.
> Moreover, once a record is saved, it is automatically shipped off
> to VTLS where it remains in KEEP state until processed. The
> interface with VTLS is transparent and clean.
> If you haven't yet seen the new Cataloging Client, call us for a
> demonstration. We think you'll like it. VTLS still supports
> Cataloging Enhancer, but encourages customers to take advantage
> of the advanced technology in our new product. In fact, we are
> offering the Cataloging Client free to current users of
> Cataloging Enhancer.
> ****************************************************************
> by Becky Shaver, VTLS Regional Account Manager
> Editor's note: In the last issue of the VTLS Express (Winter
> 1994), Becky related some of the ways you and your library can
> benefit from the VTLS InfoStation(TM), which is now priced
> affordably. She wrote about how the InfoStation can provide
> electronic access to information sources such as archived
> material. As she mentioned, no matter what the item, there's a
> method for getting its image online, enhanced by sound
> recordings, full text or video. In this continuation, Becky
> begins by detailing how you might transform that box of donated
> rocks in your library's store room into a multimedia program on
> the InfoStation.
> Using the InfoStation multimedia capabilities, you can display
> and preserve that box of rocks by developing a program that
> features a color photograph of each rock sample. Additional
> information in the form of graphics, sound recordings, full text
> and text recital can be linked to each photograph. Icons can be
> used to direct the patron to multimedia cross-references. A sound
> recording might detail the environmental conditions that formed
> the rock. A full motion video might depict the process of
> sedimentation. Sound and image animation might illustrate the
> plate shifting that occurred beneath the earth's surface to
> position the rock near the surface. A collection of digitized
> slides might show you where the fossil was found. There could
> even be a dictionary of geological terms with a human voice to
> pronounce the terms. Although you still might want to keep the
> "box of rocks," you can provide the information your patron wants
> without it.
> For my next example, I want you to recall the music appreciation
> course you took as a freshman. (I know you've tried to forget,
> but humor me, OK?) You lived off campus and the listening room
> at the library became your second home. Imagine how much easier
> the listening assignments would have been if you could have
> searched the automated catalog using your instructor's name or
> the course number and then clicked on an icon to hear the
> recordings in full stereo sound. Using the VTLS InfoStation,
> today's students have that convenience, which frees you from
> repairing the broken cassette players and allows you to devote
> time to more meaningful tasks such as planning the layout of your
> new office.
> Would you like a way to manage those elementary students who turn
> your tranquil library into a playroom after school? The VTLS
> InfoStation can display a book image on the screen, read the text
> aloud, automatically turn the pages and even box the text as it
> is read. The kids think they're being entertained. You know they
> are gaining valuable reading skills and being exposed to great
> children's literature.
> When it comes time to put together that annual unit on dinosaurs
> for the local teacher, you will appreciate the capability to
> store searches and their corresponding multimedia using the study
> desk feature. Students can simply access the study desk and
> display the results of your original search.
> I could go on giving you examples, but my editor just walked by
> and muttered something about having only so much space for this
> article. The power and flexibility of this product can't be
> described in just a few columns of text anyway. You need to see
> it! Once you have your new office organized, give VTLS a call
> and ask us for a demonstration of the VTLS InfoStation.
> ****************************************************************
> Attendees at ALA's Midwinter Meeting showed intense interest in
> VTLS Inc.'s latest development for quick and easy information
> access on the Internet.
> VTLS now has a World Wide Web server and has developed a means
> for its VTLS Z39.50 Client to interface with WWW browsers such as
> NCSA Mosaic for MS Windows.* The interface allows Mosaic users
> who also have the VTLS Z39.50 Client on their workstations to
> connect to a server on the Client by simply clicking on a
> hyperlink in the WWW browser. A simple change in Mosaic's
> configuration is all that's required to implement the interface.
> The World Wide Web is an information-sharing network on the
> Internet. WWW browsers let users view a variety of "pages," all
> interconnected to form an enormous fabric or web of information.
> The pages contain hypermedia links to other documents, images,
> video and sound on the Internet.
> The VTLS Z39.50 interface to Mosaic gives users the advantage of
> creating WWW hypermedia links to Z39.50 servers. The links can
> then be incorporated into WWW hypertext documents.
> As a stand-alone product, the Windows-based VTLS Z39.50 Client
> lets users search for and access bibliographic records residing
> on any database server, regardless of its hardware or software
> configuration, as long as the server's retriever software
> complies with the Z39.50 standard.
> As a graphical user interface, the Client provides
> point-and-click functionality so first-time users can navigate
> the Client aided only by screen icons and pull-down menus. Users
> can type in any word or combination of words to perform a variety
> of searches on a remote server and can assign up to six
> attributes to a search item in order to narrow the search field.
> Further, with the Z39.50 Client users can view multiple result
> sets simultaneously.
> *The VTLS World Wide Web address is WWW.VTLS.COM.
> *****************************************************************
> The VTLS users groups held their annual meeting March 14-16 in
> Arlington, Va. This year, for the first time, the meeting of the
> Eastern Regional VTLS Users' Group included a 30-member
> contingency from the European VTLS Users' Group as well as
> members of the VTLS Users' Group. More than 160 people attended
> from 22 states and nine other countries. VTLS sponsored a
> three-day training session for about half the registrants after
> the meeting.
> "This 12th Annual Users' Group meeting, which went very well,
> held a lot of firsts," said Bob Holzmann of Virginia Beach Public
> Library and chair of the VTLS Users' Group. "It was the first
> time we made a concerted effort to involve all our European
> colleagues; it was the first time our annual business meeting did
> not take place in conjunction with the ALA meeting in June; and
> it was the first time our meeting was held near an international
> hub, rather than at a specific VTLS site."
> According to Fred Guy of the National Library of Scotland and
> chair of the VTLS European Users' Group, "VTLS European users
> have been meeting annually since 1988, but the international
> meeting afforded them a much-welcomed opportunity to broaden
> experiences, develop new contacts and find out at first hand
> about practices in American libraries. What became apparent very
> quickly was that any differences in approach, methods etc.
> between users on the two continents were soon subsumed by the
> many areas of common experience. Washington 1994 established a
> format which European users would certainly want to have
> repeated, whether in America again or in Europe."
> Likewise, Jo Ann Pinder of Lake Lanier Regional Library, who
> headed up the directors' special interest group, commented that
> the meeting allowed her to get to know colleagues from Europe and
> the United States. "I was struck by how our commonalities far
> outweigh our differences," she said.
> Highlights of the meeting included a keynote address by J.
> Maurice Travillian, assistant state superintendent, Division of
> Library Development, Maryland State Department of Education;
> presentation of new VTLS software developments; an outline of
> VTLS operations in Europe; a panel discussion on networking and
> resource sharing; and breakout sessions involving subsystem
> standing committees and VTLS representatives.
> "We appreciated VTLS' participation at our meeting, " said Ed
> Cherry of Samford University and vice chair/chair-elect of the
> VTLS Users' Group. "VTLS staff always add a great deal by
> fielding questions and listening and responding to users'
> concerns."
> Activities of the various users' groups are organized by the
> users themselves, and the annual meeting was no exception. "It's
> up to us to make our users' group influential and meaningful,"
> said Holzmann, "and judging from the response to this meeting, we
> have been successful at both."
> One of those responses was from Vickie Timms of the University of
> North Carolina/Charlotte, who sent this message over the VTLS
> listserv: "Thanks to VTLS, the Users' Group Executive Committee,
> and especially Claudia Weston for a great conference. I really
> enjoyed meeting all the international people and our own
> Western/Midwestern users. It was an informative, interesting and
> fun meeting."
> ****************************************************************
> (End of Part 1 of 2)
> Gail Gulbenkian
> VTLS Information Officer
> Tel: 703-231-7528
> Fax: 703-231-3648
> [Submitted by: BUBL Administrator (cijs27@vaxb.strathclyde.ac.uk)
> Wed, 31 Aug 1994 15:40:24 EDT]

Original posting date: 
Saturday, July 29, 1995
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