Automation of the Tulsa Trail School Library, Hopatcong, New Jersey

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Automation of the Tulsa Trail School Library,

Hopatcong, New Jersey




Natalie Carlson

INFO 520

Grant Proposal

June 6, 2010

Tulsa Trail School Library

Automation Proposal



2

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


The Tulsa Trail School Library proposes to automate its entire collection of over 10,000
materials in order to
fulfill the library’s role as an integral curriculum resource
. Automation will
take place over the course of eight weeks in July and August 2010
. Once the library is
automated, the school library staff will develop an On
-
line Public Access Catalog; the library
staff will present the new system and instruct students and faculty as to how to use the system
during the first weeks of school in Septem
ber 2010.
Results of the automation will be evaluated
in June 2011.
The library seeks one year funding of $
16,744

for the project.

SETTING


Tulsa Trail is a small elementary school located in the borough of Hopatcong, New
Jersey. The borough of Hopatcon
g lies in

Sussex County, in

Northwestern New Jersey,
forty
-
five

minutes outside of Pennsylvania. While Hopatcong was initially a summer destination
of

tourists flocking to Lake Hopatcong, it has become the permanent home to approximately 16,000
people. T
ulsa Trail is one of three elementary schools in Hopatcong, New Jersey and houses
approximately 375 students in grades 2 and 3.


The Tulsa Trail L
ibrary is situated in an addition to the regular school building
that

was
funded by the Parent
-
Teacher Organ
ization in
2003. Currently, the Tulsa Trail Library contains
over 10,000 materials, including books, DVDs and videos. The library is staffed by a
part
-
time
School Media Library Specialist
,

in conjunction with a full
-
time library aide.


Classes are sche
duled to visit the library once a week. Extra visits may be scheduled as
need
ed

when
the library is not in use
. During their visits, students learn about the library and are
Tulsa Trail School Library

Automation Proposal



3

allowed to take out one book of their choice.

Teachers are also allowed to borrow materials as
needed.


Books are shelved according to the Dewey Decimal System. Videos and DVDs are
shelved alphabetically. Due to lack of space and lack of use, the library discarded its card
catalog in 2005. As a r
esult of this, there is no record of the current library holdings. When
materials are taken out of the library, the book’s library card is placed in the student’s/teacher’s
pocket. Pockets are organized alphabetically by name and stored in a large manila

folder by the
librarian’s desk. Students are expected to return materials the following week. Periodically, the
library aide will check the class folders for overdue books and send home reminders to students
with outstanding loans. At the end of the ye
ar, school policy dictates that students with
outstanding library loans are not to receive their final report cards until the materials have been
returned or paid for.

STATEMENT OF NEED


According to the American Library Association

(1996), “
The school
library media
program is not only integral to and supportive of the school curriculum, but also provides a
mechanism for choice and exploration beyond

the prescribed course of study”

(
“Role of the
School Library Media Program,” 2006, para. 2).

The role o
f the school librarian is more
than a clerical role, checking in and checking out materials. The school librarian is trained
to connect learners to sources of information (Marcoux, 2009). Furthermore, the school
librarian has a responsibility to support
and be a part of the school curriculum (Anderson,
2000).

In order to fulfill the many roles of the school librarian, automation of the school
library must occur.

Tulsa Trail School Library

Automation Proposal



4


In its current non
-
automated state, the Tulsa Trail Library is inefficient and cannot
fulfil
l its potential as an integral curriculum resource. While students and faculty can and
do take out and use library materials, there is no way for students or faculty to locate
specific titles aside from combing the shelves. Without even a card catalog, t
he library
cannot maintain accurate records of its holdings. Countless materials can go missing
without notice. The formulation of late notices is extremely time
-
consuming and can be
inaccurate due to student or faculty error in taking out or returning m
aterials.


The benefits of an automated library are numerous. The most immediate
improvements have to do with
a more effective use of librarian’s time (Clyde, 2000;
Schamber, 1992).

Automation allows for the time spent devoted to checking
-
in and
checking

out materials to be reduced by over 50% with results being far more accurate
(Adams, 1994). With automation software, at the end of the year, Tulsa Trail will be able to
take a quick inventory of its materials using the scanner and print up a list of mis
sing items
(Adams, 1994).


Another benefit of an automated library is the opportunity it affords the school to
track circulation and assess the library’s strengths and weaknesses. Many software
programs come with tools that can measure the number of boo
ks and the age of the
materials, facilitating with the process of weeding out out
-
of
-
date materials (Marie, 2005).
By looking at an analysis of Tulsa Trail’s library collection, we will be able to determine
what subjects are well covered and where we shou
ld allocate funding to gain more
materials.

Tulsa Trail School Library

Automation Proposal



5


Perhaps the greatest benefit of an automated library is the enrichment of student
learning that it permits. Through the use of an automated system, the students who use the
library become more self
-
sufficient i
n researching and locating sources of information that
they need. Instead of relying on library personnel to assist them, students can look up
material
,

see if it is available through the school’s on
-
line catalog
, and then go to the shelves
to locate it

(
Adams, 1994
). Many automation software packages, including the one that
Tulsa Trail is looking into buying, allow for students, parents and faculty to access the on
-
line catalog from any computer capable of logging onto the World Wide Web. This allows
fo
r students to do preliminary research at home and spend more time on
-
task once in the
library (Adams, 1994). Since less time is spent by the librarian locating information and
students can no longer check materials out on their own, the librarian has the

opportunity
to become closer to the students, seeing what materials they are borrowing and gaining
insight as to their interests (Goddard, 2003). Research has shown that through the
integration of automation software in school libraries, students are mor
e motivated to seek
new information (Adams, 1994).


Library automation leads to an improvement of services, better collection access,
remote access, more efficient and accurate record
-
keeping, and better use of librarian’s
time (Clyde, 2000). By funding
Tulsa Trail Library’s automation, you will be enriching the
library program and the curriculum as a whole. Our librarian will be able to spend more
time collaborating with teachers and working with students

instead of being bogged down
by constant paperwo
rk.

PROPOSED PROGRAM

Tulsa Trail School Library

Automation Proposal



6


After considerable research of the available products, the Tulsa Trail

Library

proposes to
purchase Atriuum through Book Systems. Atriuum is a 100% web
-
based program, allowing for
any computer to access the library’s catalog and records. In addition to being so accessible,
Atriuum provides a free visual navigation system geared to
wards children in grades K
-
3. This
system, KidZviZ, was developed for children with the help of children. It guides students
through subjects and titles on their level, using pictorial representations. In essence, it makes
searching easy and fun for the

students.


The Atriuum software includes: remote deployment: s
etup and installation of Atriuum
,
quick cataloging: o
nline access to mi
llions of "free" USMARC records, p
roject
m
anagement
:
c
onsultation service and central point o
f contact during implementati
on, online documentation
and h
elp
, and c
ustomer
s
ervice:
t
oll
-
free phone and email support with free updates for
one
year.

In addition to purchasing the Atriuum software, the library will require a computer and
printer to use to scan in materials and print

out bibliographies
, records, and late notices
. The
Hopatcong Parent
-
Teacher Organization has already agreed to present the Tulsa Trail Library
with two used computers that will serve as student access portals once the library is automated.
The Tulsa Tra
il Librar
y will also need a barcode wand and

barcode stickers
.


In order not to interfere with the daily running of the library, Tulsa Trail Library plans to
complete the automation process over the course of eight weeks in July and August. During that
ti
me, our librarian, Mrs. Smith, and library aide, Mrs. Hopkins, will be working six hours a day,
four days a week, entering each item into the computer system. In addition to our two paid
employees, the Hopatcong Parent
-
Teacher Organization has agreed to s
upply two parent
volunteers each day to aide in the scanning and barcoding process.

Students and faculty will also
Tulsa Trail School Library

Automation Proposal



7

need to be assigned a barcode
; these patron barcodes will be located within a binder at the
librarian’s desk
.


Once the scanning and barcodi
ng has been completed, Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Hopkins will
use Atriuum’s technical support services to assist in
developing an On
-
line Public Access
Catalog for students and faculty to use. When school begins in September, the first library
classes will be d
evoted to instructing students and faculty as to how to use the new system.

Program Evaluation

The following are the anticipated results of the program:



The Tulsa Trail Library staff will be able to use their time more effectively, helping
students, consul
ting with staff on the curriculum, and developing innovative library
programs.



Library records will be more accurate, allowing for a more up
-
to
-
date, well
-
rounded, and
accessible collection.



Students will become more self
-
sufficient and active participants

in the library, gaining
experience in navigating multimedia programs to locate information on their own.

In order to evaluate these goals, surveys of staff and students will be conducted at the end of the
first year.

CONCLUSION


According to Anderson (200
0), “Students today live in a wired world…To help prepare
students for the skill set needed in the 21
st

century workplace, the teacher librarian should be able
Tulsa Trail School Library

Automation Proposal



8

to provide a seamless electronic environment where teachers and students may access
information” (Anderson, 2000).


By keeping our library non
-
automated, we are not only using an inefficient system,
but
we are also doing a great disservice to the students we serve. The world today requires students
to be able to locate information from a database; they cannot merely comb the shelves until
something catches their eye.


The library should be an integral part of the school. Currently, Tulsa Trail Library is not
fulfilling this role, and, until we
possess

an automated system that can organize and monitor our
collection and cut down

on

the time devoted to clerical activitie
s,
we will remain inefficient and
ineffective. An automated system will allow Tulsa Trail Library to provide students with
valuable searching skills and the library will become the vital resource that it was meant to be
.

BUDGET

Technology

Atriuum softwa
re package






$
4,295.00

Barcode wand








$


695
.00

Personal
Computer







$


900
.00

Printer









$


400.00

Staff

School Media Specialist







$
7,680.00

Tulsa Trail School Library

Automation Proposal



9

School Library Aide







$
2,112.00

Additional Supplies

Barcode
labels








$


500.00

3
-
ring binder








$




7.00

Paper









$


35.00

Ink










$


120.00

Total










$
16,744
.00

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Adams, H. (1994). Media magic: Automating a K
-
12 library program in a rural district.
Emergency
Librarian, 21
(5), 24
-
29.

Anderson, E. (2000). The future of library automation for schools.
School Libraries in Canada,
20
(1), 9
-
10.

Clyde, A.L. (2000). School library automation: Is it an option?
School Libraries in Canada,
20
(1), 2
-
4.

Goddard, S. (20
03). Library automation or making life easier, the hard way.
Library Mosaics,
14
(3), 17.

Marcoux, E. (2009). Intellectual access to information. The teacher
-
librarian as facilitator.
Teacher Librarian, 36
(5), 76
-
77.

Tulsa Trail School Library

Automation Proposal



10

Marie, K.L. (2005). From theory to practice: A new teacher librarian tackles library assessment.
Teacher Librarian, 33
(2), 20
-
25.

Role of the school media library program. (2006) American Library Association. Retrieved
from
http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps
/divs/aasl/aaslissues/positionstatements/slmprole.
cfm

Schamber, L. (1992). Automation for the school library media center.
Emergency Librarian,
19
(3), 34
-
36.