Alice For Windows

Aquisition Module

The Acquisitions module is designed to assist the librarian with:

  • Budgetary control of purchases (resource and general library expenses).
  • Production of orders.
  • Processing of items received.
  • Recording of suggestions and requests onto a “wish list”.

Features

  • Standing orders, subscription renewals, items held on approval and non-book expenses such as organisation subscriptions, are catered for by the system.
  • Future orders are placed on the “wish list”. Cataloguing of potential requirements and “on approval” items can proceed prior to the items being ordered. At this time as much or as little information about the item as desired may be entered. Items on the “wish list” or “on approval” are selected for ordering and a purchase order is printed. When items are received the relevant details are automatically transferred to the catalogue. No re-entering is required. The system also handles the return of items that are “on approval”.
  • Money/Budget available for each purchase fund are recorded and the cost of items ordered and received debited against this budget. Information on funds remaining uncommitted is readily available at any time.
  • Orders and requests to suppliers, lists of resources purchased from a budget dissection, claims for late orders, budget reports, wish list reports and “on approval” reports are all available.
  • Prerequisites

    • Management

    Suitability

    • This module is suitable for all libraries with a need to control purchasing budgets.

    Benefits

    • Provides budget control of purchases.
    • Prints order forms.
    • Prints reminders for late orders.
    • Eliminates double handling.

    Internet Suite Module

    Internet Suite allows the library to make its collection searchable by the public over the World Wide Web.

    Features

    • Searching the catalogue is possible from any common World Wide Web browser.
    • The module is accessed directly from an HTML link placed on the library’s web server.
    • Authorised users may place reservations, requests and advance bookings remotely.
    • Authorised users may view their current loans, reservations and bookings, as well as their SDI profile, remotely.
    • Access to the library catalogue can be made available to computers running operating systems other than Windows, such as Apple Mac.

    Prerequisites

    • Management
    • Inquiry

    Suitability

    Internet Suite is suitable for any library wishing to make its catalogue searchable over the Internet or wishing to provide catalogue access to non-Windows computers.

    Benefits

    • The interlibrary loan process is facilitated by allowing other libraries to search the catalogue and request items.
    • Library users can view the collection, reserve items remotely, and see their current details.
    • Non-Windows users can gain access to the catalogue

    Periodicals Module

    The periodicals module provides rapid and simple management of journals:

    • Subscriptions records for each journal.
    • Receipt of issues.
    • Circulation of new issues.
    • Recording of the issues held for each journal.
    • Printing of claims to be sent to suppliers.

    Features

    • Details for each journal subscription are entered, a list of expected issues is generated and the expected arrival date of each issue is calculated.
    • As each issue is received, it is accessioned and may be circulated.

    • Any missing or overdue issues are displayed and a claim may be printed automatically for the supplier.
    • A circulation list is maintained for each journal and may be printed automatically for circulating newly arrived issues to users.
    • Each journal or each issue becomes part of the main catalogue, if required. Thus subject headings, notes and keywords can be assigned to each journal, or to each issue of each journal, thus increasing access through the Inquiry module. In the latter case the linking facility in normal cataloguing can then be used to associate catalogue records for individual articles with the issue.

    Prerequisites

    • Management

    Suitability

    • This module is suitable for those who require additional management of their periodical collection.

    Benefits

    • Complete control of subscriptions, holdings and claims is provided. Minimal time is required to process each incoming issue.
    • Allows identification of equipment and regalia from the Inquiry terminal

    Journal Indexing Module

    The Journal Indexing module allows the operator to enter and index individual journal articles that can then be accessed by library users from Inquiry.

    Features

    • Individual article information may be recorded. This includes journal, issue, article title, author, length and starting page.
    • Multiple subjects can be added along with scanned images and extensive notes.
    • Words in the notes can be tagged as keywords.
    • The library user, when conducting a search in Inquiry, can access journal information entered by the librarian. Any articles that are not held by the library may be requested from the OPAC, if this function has been authorised by the librarian.
    • If the library uses the Periodicals module then the location and availability of an article are also displayed.

    Prerequisites

    • Management
    • Inquiry
    • Periodicals

    Suitability

    • This module is suitable for libraries with significant journal holdings.

    Benefits

    • Maximises use of journals and newspapers.
    • Minimises time spent searching through journals and newspapers.
    • Full integration with Inquiry. Displays location and availability of article.

    Multilingual Module

    The Multilingual module allows inquirers to change the language of the screen display on the terminal they are using. All functions, including searches can be conducted in the selected language.

     

    Features

    • The language used on the screen layout is changed at the touch of a key. The user chooses from a list of available languages.
    • Each OPAC terminal can operate in its own language, i.e. on a system with five inquiry terminals each could be conducting a search in a different language.
    • The Multilingual module includes the languages: Spanish, French, Hebrew, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese. Additional languages are added, as they become available, through updates.
    • Each title should be catalogued in its original language.

    Prerequisites

    • Management
    • Inquiry

    Suitability

    This module is suitable for:

    • Any library which has resources in a variety of languages.
    • Libraries whose users come from different cultural groups.
    • Those who wish to “define” their own language. For example, the operator can set the screen display so that it appears in an Aboriginal dialect.
    • Libraries that are involved with languages other than English.

    Benefits

    • Allows for multilingual users and/or collections.
    • The language of the screen display can be instantly changed.
    • Ability to define own language.

    Multimedia Module

    The purpose of the Multimedia module is to allow scanned images (photographs, diagrams, maps or text), video or film, sound and slide shows (a series of images and sound), to be attached to catalogue records. The module will also allow images to be attached to borrower records.

    Features

    • Images are created using a scanner. A Twain compatible flatbed scanner is recommended.
    • Images, video or film, sound and slide shows can be attached to resources during the cataloguing process. These images can be accessed from cataloguing and also from the Inquiry terminals.
    • Images may be enlarged, reduced and inverted while being viewed in Inquiry.
    • Scanned images can be attached to article information, if used in conjunction with the Journal Indexing module.
    • A borrower image may be attached to a borrower record. The borrower image may be viewed in borrower details and will also be displayed when the borrower’s barcode is scanned in loans

    Prerequisites

    • Management
    • Circulation

    Suitability

    • The Multimedia module is suitable for libraries that require audio and visual enhancement of resources, for access via the OPAC. Libraries with a large borrower population would benefit from this module because of the ability to identify borrowers at the point of issue.

    Benefits

    • Enhances the information already stored in the catalogue.
    • Allows information which forms part of heavily borrowed items (i.e. the contents page of the latest issue of a journal) to be accessed via the Inquiry (OPAC) terminal

    Rapid Retro Module

    This module provides the quickest and easiest way to catalogue an existing collection using an automated library system. The required catalogue information can be obtained in a number of ways. An order can be created, to be sent to a supplier of catalogue data, or catalogue records can be automatically loaded from appropriate CD ROM products. The key to its ease of use is that, at the same time as the ID Number (e.g. ISBN) is scanned or typed in, the system does two things:

    It checks whether a record for this resource is available on the bibliographic database(s) in use.

    It picks up local copy information, controlling how the item is to be loaned and shelved, and optionally can pick up locally defined subject headings.

    Therefore, everything that needs to be recorded about the item is achieved in one handling of the resource. Using this method, cataloguing rates of up to 1,000 resources per week should be achieved by a two-person team. Most libraries find that catalogue information for between 80{dd097fabbe42c2a127eb3d46b99bc583e67536804f71ae2ddda53c62b26f5511} and 95{dd097fabbe42c2a127eb3d46b99bc583e67536804f71ae2ddda53c62b26f5511} of their stock can be found on an external data source, such as Brodart’s Precision One cataloguing System (POCS). At the same time an abbreviated entry can be created for any items whose catalogue data is not on the bibliographic database, hence the entire collection is catalogued and ready for circulation in one pass of the shelves.

    When utilising a CD ROM database of loadable bibliographic records, a search is conducted by ISBN. If the search is successful then the bibliographic record may be automatically loaded into the catalogue. The catalogue record is then immediately available for editing.

    Before the existence of Rapid Retrospective, cataloguing the existing collection was the major task in a library automation project and project timescales were expressed in terms of years. With Rapid Retrospective, library automation project timescales of a few months become commonplace.

    SDI Module

    The SDI module allows library staff to inform users directly when new items of interest are added to the catalogue. This will facilitate a current awareness service for your library.

    Features

    • Library staff can set individual interest profiles for each user.
    • Reports based on users’ interests can be printed.
    • Profiles can be viewed and modified by users using OPAC, if permitted by library staff.
    • Users can search the OPAC using their SDI profile, if permitted by the library staff.
    • Interest categories for profiles include: Authors, Subjects, Departments (groups of subjects), Series, Topics and Periodical titles (only if registered for Periodicals module).
    • Notifications can be sent directly to users via e-mail or printed; and can be restricted by date.
    • Ad-hoc e-mail messages can be sent to groups of users, based on their SDI profiles’ interest categories.

    Example 1:

    • John is an IT support officer and an avid computer user. He is always asking the library staff if there are any new computer books or magazines. The library staff set up an SDI profile for John with the following details: Subject – Computers; Periodical – PC Magazine; Periodical – Australian Personal Computer.
    • Once a week, the SDI catalogue Update option is run by library staff. John receives an e-mail message listing all new resources that match his areas of interest. The next time John uses the OPAC, he checks his SDI profile and adds Subject – Internet and Periodical – Your Computer. This ensures that the next time the SDI catalogue Update option is run, he will receive notification of any new issues of Your Computer and new resources with the subject of Internet.

    Example 2:

    • Jenny is a member of a debating club and likes to keep up to date with current affairs, and also likes to read popular fiction stories. However, Jenny does not have an e-mail account. The library staff set up an SDI profile for Jenny with the following details: Author – King, Stephen; Author – Rice, Ann; Author – Smith, Wilbur; Periodical – Time Magazine, Periodical – Bulletin. Once a week, the library staff run the SDI catalogue Update option and print all notifications for users that don’t have e-mail accounts. The next time Jenny is in the library, she collects her personalized notification report.
    • Jenny asks the library staff to add the following to her SDI profile: Author – Cornwall, Patricia; Author – Grisham, John. The next time the SDI catalogue Update is run, any new items added to the collection from these authors are be included on her notification report.

    Prerequisites

    • Management
    • Circulation
    • Inquiry
    • Periodicals (if notifying of Periodical titles)

    Suitability

    • The SDI module is suitable for any library wishing to individually notify users when new items are added to the collection.

    Benefits

    • Individualized profiles ensure that users only receive information on items that relate to their areas of interest.
    • Build and maintain successful relationships between library staff and users through regular notifications.

    Secure Web Browser Module

    The Secure Web Browser allows you to control which web sites users can view, thus preventing access to unauthorized sites.

    Features

    • Easy to use
    • Prevent users typing in web addresses, thus stopping ad-hoc browsing
    • Retrospectively set security for web sites already catalogued, very quickly
    • Set web site access rules as part of the web site cataloguing process (automatic prompts)
    • Password protection – only authorised staff can set and modify rules for accessing web sites

    Prerequisites

    • Best used in conjunction with Management & Inquiry modules.

    Suitability

    • The Secure Web Browser is suitable for any library wishing to control access to the Internet. Secure Web Browser can also be used as a stand-alone product.

    Benefits

    • Peace of mind – prevent access to unauthorized web sites!
    • Efficient use of the OPAC terminals for Internet access.
    • Free up staff time by eliminating the need for supervision for Internet computers.
    • For the one low price, the ability to utilize Secure Web Browser as the default desktop browser for all user browsing.

    Text Book Control Module

    The purpose of the Textbook Control module is to allow library and textbook resources to coexist, with largely independent operation. It also provides the additional functionality required for the operation of a textbook scheme.

    Features

    • Textbook resources are identified separately from library resources. They may be allocated their own loaning policies, faculties and copy numbers.
    • Borrowers are allocated membership of the Textbook scheme.
    • Separate, or combined, library and Textbook overdue notices may be printed.
    • Textbook resources may be excluded from the availability statement displayed on the OPAC terminals.
    • Textbook resources are excluded from library borrowing limits.
    • Resources are allocated to departments or faculties within the Textbook scheme.
    • A loans list may be printed at the point of issue for the borrower’s information.
    • Reports include textbook lists for faculties, for a given title a list of all copies and who has each copy on loan, and a summary report by faculty/department giving total stock on loan and available for each title.

    Prerequisites

    • Management
    • Circulation

    Suitability

    • This module is suitable for libraries in schools that control the issue of textbooks.

    Benefits

    • Provides textbook lists to faculties simply and efficiently. Statistical information of stock on hand and damaged stock assist in the ordering of replacement/additional stock for the next school year.

    Union Catalogue Module

    The Union catalogue module allows multiple collections to be catalogued within a single Alice database.

    Features

    • The entire catalogue for the union collection is stored on a single server, with each resource identified by collection.
    • Each collection may be maintained independently but using common authority files.
    • The joint catalogue is available for inquiry. It shows the collection to which each resource belongs.
    • The inquirer is first shown matching resources from the local collection.
    • Matching resources from all collections are then available upon request.

    Prerequisites

    • Management

    Suitability

    • The Union catalogue module is suitable for a group of libraries functioning as one large library across a common network.

    Benefits

    • The common authority files ensure standardization of catalogue information across all collections in the union.
    • All libraries in the union can view the combined catalogue.
    • Provides users with greater access to resources.
    • Provides a single point of access to all collections

    Web Cataloguer Module

    The Website cataloguer module allows library staff to catalogue a website into Alice by simply pressing a button in the web browser.

    Features

    • Speeds up the time required to catalogue a website.
    • Allows customisation of the Internet Explorer toolbar to enable interaction with Softlink Alice.
    • Cataloguing will position itself to the new website record when the catalogue Website button is clicked.
    • Ensures correctly entered URLs during cataloguing.

    Prerequisites

    • Management
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher

    Suitability

    • This module is suitable for libraries wishing to add a substantial number of websites to their library catalogue.

    Benefits

    • Makes the cataloguing of websites viable, by speeding up the process.
    • Reduces the possibility of incorrectly entered URLs during the website cataloguing process

    Patron Self-Check Module

    The Patron Self-Check module operates in conjunction with the RFID Security System. This allows the borrower to charge out their own loans while security of resources is maintained, thereby reducing stock losses.

    Features

    • The borrower is identified by placing their borrower ID card face down on the scanning shelf.
    • The books to be borrowed are placed one at a time on top of the borrower ID card. The scanner reads both the borrower and resource barcodes. The system checks that the item is able to be borrowed by the patron. If the loan is not to proceed because of loan limits, overdue books, unauthorized loans etc. the borrower is notified with an appropriate message.
    • If the loan is to proceed the resource is firstly placed on loan. Secondly. The resource is desensitized so that it can be taken through the security device. An attached printer may produce a slip showing due date. On returning the item, the book is placed on the scanner. The book is resensitized and returned.

    Prerequisites

    • Management
    • Circulation

    Suitability

    • This module is suitable for those libraries with RFID Patron Self Check Machine.

    Benefits

    • The normal borrower restrictions are maintained.
    • The screen presentation is diagrammatic and therefore easily understood.
    • Checks made prior to lending the resource include multiple book detection, book removal detection and borrower card removal detection.

    Z39.50 Server Module

    Purpose Of Z39.50 Server

    • The Softlink Alice Z39.50 server allows libraries to make their library collection available to other libraries, who use a Z39.50 client such as BookWhere, for searching and sharing of catalogue records.
    • Z39.50 is a national and international (ISO 23950) standard defining a protocol for computer-to-computer information retrieval. With Z39.50 it is not necessary for the person who is remotely searching your Softlink Alice system to know the searching syntax that is used.

    Frequently Asked Questions?

    Why Consider Alice ?

    Alice efficiently and effectively assist you in the management and control of your library. Alice is easy to use. It perform all the functions you require in a library system. Alice is reliable and proven product. Over the last twenty five years it has grown and achieved the status of leading library automation software of the world Alice is available in many languages – English, Chinese, Arabic, Bhasa Malaysia, French. Vietnamese and Indian Languages etc.

    Is Alice reliable?

    Yes! The quality and reliability is borne out by the fact that Alice is used in over Seventeen Thousand libraries worldwide. Alice is on contract in Queensland, Victoria, NSW, and Tasmania. Alice ia an Australian product exported to more then 19 countries from Iceland to Peru. Gradually it marked the presence in all Six countries.

    Is Alice Simple to use?

    Yes! Your users will find it easy to search and borrow their own material. Alice performs the routine daily functions within the library freeing your time for more complex tasks.

    Is Alice flexible?

    Yes! Alice is based on modular design. This means you buy only the modules that suits your needs. It can operate standalone, on a network and in a multi campus situation using Windows 2000/2003. On network you can add workstations.

    How cost effective is Alice?

    Yes! Alice is also tailored to suit the school, small and special libraries. You automate your library with Alice solo which comes with Standard Modules and is a cost effective solution for small libraries.Remember you only buy the modules you need. Alsoyou can add any module in future depending on your requirement.

    Is there a “Help Desk” if I have a Problem?

    Yes! Softlink has an efficient support structure which provides unequalled support. The average response time for support is 70 min.

    Can I upgrade from my current system to Alice ?

    Yes! Data can be converted from standard software packages. Hassle free change over to Alice allows for continuity of library services.

    Can I quickly catalogue my resources?

    Yes! Rapid cataloguing of resources with Alice (1000 items per day) now makes library automation possible for all libraries. Be up and running in weeks rather than years.

    My library is small, is there any software to suit my library?

    Yes! Alice for Windows Slol is ideal for small libraries where access by one user at a time is all that needed.

    Is training available?

    Yes! Quality training programs are conducted by experienced qualified educators.

    Where is Alice Developed?

    Alice is developed in Australia, with its international offices at United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia , New Zealand and India.

    Is the ongoing development of – Alice taking into account recent advances in technology?

    Yes! the research and development of Alice is ongoing and in areas such as multimedia, Internet Inquiry and rapid cataloguing (1000items per day), Alice is a world leader at the forefront of library automation technology.

    Does Alice support New Technologies like Smart Card, RFID and Biometric Recognition Systems?

    Yes, Alice is fully compatible with New Technologies like RFID and Biometric Recognition System (Fingerprint). Research into Smart Card technology is continuing.