Library goes high-tech with Web Catalog

Personal computers now can be used to check the Cambria County Library System's card catalog, allowing patrons to find a book at any time.
Patrons also can look at accounts and reserve books online.
"You can visit the library without leaving the comfort of home," said District Consultant Mary Lou Repsher. "We're very excited about this Web Catalog and we want everybody to use it."
Repsher said the library's old system could be accessed by computer, but only one connection was permitted at a time. Now it is possible for many simultaneous connections, each able to browse through the Web Catalog at leisure, viewing the library's list of 134,000 holdings.
"When you get to the opening page, you have two choices," said Repsher. "Put in your library number and make a choice at the top of the screen that either takes you to the calalog or your personal account."
Future enhancements may include simultaneous searches of other libraries' holdings and the ability to request materials on-line.
Repsher said the library's 10, older, text-based terminals will remain scattered throughout the library for the time being, but eventually will be replaced with modern computers that use a mouse.
The change, she said, will be done slowly because some patrons prefer to use the older terminals.
Repsher also said that training sessions will be held in October to acquaint patrons with using a mouse.
The library's internet link went online July 23. Repsher had applied for a $79,000 state grant, made available by Gov. Tom Ridge through a program called PENconnect.
The address for the Web Catalog is
Used with permission of The Tribune-Democrat
Wayne Fournier is a feature writer for the The Tribune-Democrat.

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