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Current Issue (Issue 169)

Thought of the Week:- "Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living, the other helps you make a life."
Mandarin Library Automation:- Windows based Free s/w (48 MB; Client 41 MB and Server 7 MB).

Mandarin M3 is a library automation system with a user-friendly interface, powerful features, and unlimited record capability. It support 32-bit client/server architecture and full Windows functionality, provide simplicity and power to users. This product is designed to be fully customizable to suit the needs of school, public, academic, and corporate libraries. It incorporates a full MARC search engine specifically developed by Mandarin to search MARC records, which increases search speed and accuracy. It has the following modules -

OPAC - The M3 OPAC is the patron's gateway to your library's collection. It has the features like Boolean searching as well as truncation searches, wildcard searches, and phrase searches ; Index browse; Visual search; Customizable Search result List with various options of saving them; Ability to keyword search everywhere across subject, title, or author fields; Ability to search any or all libraries in your system from all search screens; Ability to search by material type, such as video, map, or Internet site; Ability to refine searches by selecting the author, title, or subject; Ability to sort by author, title, or copyright date; Bookbag; Ability to view record details etc. It also allows patrons to search MARC fields and Librarian also have the ability to add or delete search fields. It can accommodate Union Catalog and has a Bulletin Board to keep your patrons informed of your library's hours of operation, holidays, or special events.

Cataloging - The M3 Cataloging module provides a fully functional, powerful MARC editor for all record formats. All MARC 21 elements including leader, fixed and variable fields, indicators, and subfields are stored and available to catalogers. It has the features like Access to the Bibliographic, Authority, Holdings, and Patron databases through a large variety of indexes; Quick toggle between MARC tag or labeled field record display formats when editing; Multiple default record templates for print and non-print materials; Powerful editing options; Ability to print lists of records or a single record; Ability to link any number of holding records (copies) to a single bibliographic record; Ability to add an "In Process" status for items being cataloged and not yet available; Library can determine fields and subfields included in keyword indexes; Punctuation automatically added per AACR2 and MARC 21 standards; Records automatically added per AACR2 and MARC 21 standards etc. Catalogers can also check their records for invalid coding, non-repeatable fields, and obsolete coding, as well as for common cataloging errors by using ValidationPlus (V+). Powerful Import and Export of records in various formats like MARC, HTML, delimited, and fixed-width.

Circulation - It allows you to view patron, item and transaction information in a three pane split screen visible during loan, return, renewal, or reserve activities. It has the features like Fully customizable screens; Standard or customized patron and item messages and link images; Self-service check-in/check-out options; Flexible calendar interface, including fixed and repeated closed days for holidays; In-house circulation to track usage within the library; Hourly loan capability; Special reserve collection management; Library transaction reports; Circulation Desk receipt printing for patrons; Quick return functionality via a single barcode scan; Ability to set patron and staff circulation rights and authorization levels with Group Editor etc.

Inventory - M3 Inventory allows you to conduct a full or partial inventory of your library's holdings. Once the inventory procedure is complete, the Inventory module compares the results to the contents of the holdings database, producing nine reports: Newly Found Items; Missing Items; Items with Invalid Barcodes; Misplaced Items; Loaned Shelved Items; No Barcode Items; Duplicate Barcode Items; Out of Range(s) Items; Inventory Statistics. These reports can be printed or saved to reconcile the inventory.

Group Editor - Mandarin uses an elaborate, hierarchical security scheme that enables the librarian to assign levels of access for Cataloging, Circulation, OPAC, and database maintenance features. Security in M3 is implemented using the M3 Group Editor module. Group Editor creates, customizes, and modifies the group permissions required to gain access to M3 functions.

The software is having various other very good features like Textbook Management in which Circulation module can be used to store and manage textbook collections. Textbook data such as title, author, and publication can be entered as a bibliographic record and linked to any number of copies. Barcodes can be attached to each copy and scanned when textbooks are loaned or returned by students or staff. You can assign loan periods by semester, day, week, month, year, or hour. A special reserve group can be created for the collection, available for loan to group members only. You can assign to this group desired loan lengths and, if needed, an expiration date, at which point textbooks and other materials return to the regular collection.

Apart from these modules there are various other useful modules available but they are not free.


Site of the Week:-

Describe This (DCS) turns the dissimilar content of Internet resources into Dublin Core metadata registers, making the web more manageable for information specialists and software applications. Giving to DCS the URLs of online documents, images, etc. or keywords, its engine parses the content and returns specific information about the resource, like submitting dates, keywords, creators, extension and more. There are three forms of search expressions recognized by DescribeThis: keywords, URLs and with operators. Based on the query each of these search types will find different sets of resources.

That's all for this week. See you next week.

Madhuresh Singhal