Aug 26, 2018
Greg Gibbons, Automated Library
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
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 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
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
This interview took place on May 24, 2018.