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ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Podcast


hosts: Randy Kindig, Kevin Savetz, Brad Arnold
email: antic@ataripodcast.com
twitter: @AtariPodcast
Facebook: facebook.com/groups/ataripodcast

 

Aug 26, 2018

Greg Gibbons, Automated Library II 
 
Greg Gibbons was the creator of Automated Library II, software for running school libraries, which was available for the Atari 8-bit and Apple II computers.
 
There's an article about the software in the April 1985 issue of American Libraries:
 
“The Automated Library II is a bar-code circulation system that runs on the Atari line of microcomputers. The program, designed for school libraries circulating 30 to 500 items per day, checks books in and out, compiles overdue lists, and prints class records and daily circulation summaries by Dewey Decimal numbers.
 
Software developer Gregory Gibbons studied the day-to-day activities of a junior high school librarian and then designed a system to automate as much of the repetitious work as possible. The program was extensively tested in a Los Angeles school for over a year before its release.
 
All inputs are prompted with simple English. The system is so easy to use that the test library used students to perform most of the operations.
 
The program produces bar codes for the books in the library and student-ID bar codes, which are entered into the computer and attached to books and student IDs. … If the student is authorized to check out books the computer will make a short beep and print ‘OK to check out books’ on the screen. If the student is on the overdue list, the computer makes a different noise to alert the staff.
 
At the end of the day, the librarian instructs the computer to perform a daily update, which incorporates all transactions into the database. The update takes about 15 minutes per 1,000 students, and automatically generates a new overdue list that can be printed at any time.
 
The program works best with 200 to 3,000 students, although a larger number of students will simply cause the program to take a little longer to update each day.
 
The Automated Library II runs on the Atari 800, 800XL, and 1200XL computers…The system costs $700, including the light wand.”
 
This interview took place on May 24, 2018.
 
Atari-Based School Library Circ System at Internet Archive
 
Atari-Based School Library Circ System at jstor
 
Automated Library II Software and Documentation