While the Society has an extensive library on our subjects of interest, we have never had a comprehensive catalog, and even the partial catalogs were done only on paper. Thus the colletion is hugely underutilized because few will trouble themselves to ask.
Thanks to a substantial grant from an anonymous member, we now have an opportunity to correct this. The grant will provide for all expenses involved in purchasing the equipment, computers, and software needed to catalog the entire collection. For this, our sincere thanks.
To date, we have spent little on equipment, and nothing on computers and software, due to equipment donations and our use of free software. The bulk of the expenditures have gone to providing space in which to work. In July 2012, the collection was moved into a larger storage space where there enough room for shelving, which should improve access as cataloging is completed.
The learning curve has been steep, both for setting up the software, and for learning how to use it properly. To aid the first, we hired a technical expert to install the software on a public server. We may well find we need to call on such expertise again as the project progresses.
The cataloging software we have chosen is Koha, which is free and open source software with substanital community support. It is fully compatible with modern library standards, plus it has enough flexibility to accommodate our own unique needs.
At present, there are over 1100 books in the system. They are available through our Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC). This allows the world to see what we have in our collection, just as you can for most academic libraries in the world, and perhaps your local public library as well. We expect use of the library collection to grow in concert with the growth of the Catalog.
To access the Catalog, click on OPAC and use the login [guest] and the password [please]. Do please let us know if you have any trouble with the Catalog, or if you wish assistance accessing the books.
Just do not expect all 20,000-odd books and periodicals to be listed at once! Cataloging is a slow and laborious process. While it can be speeded if a volume is on file at facilities like the Library of Congress, many of our books are old or privately printed, and will have to be cataloged by hand. You sould expect these volumes to be processed later, as our initial focus is on putting up a serious number of volumes first.
We hope some day to be able to invite volunteers in the greater Orlando area to join the work. We are working toward having a publicly accessible (if ungracious) work area available, and will especially appreciate those with library training who can help us with the technical aspects of cataloging. At present, no such space is available.
Watch this space, and the newsletter, Augustæum, for news of progress.
This page maintained by the Webmaster in consultation with the Library Committee.