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Re: Full Moon (to Keith)

Jul 30, 1996 00:31 AM
by Olcott Library

On Mon, 29 Jul 1996, Ann E. Bermingham wrote:

> While I was not in summer school this year, for various reasons, this is the
> story I remember from last year.  I was told Dorothy Abbenhouse hated computers
> so much that she banned them from Olcott.  When John Algeo took office as
> president, they began to pop up everywhere in that wonderful old building.  I
> believe many are custom-made by someone that works at Olcott because it is
> cheaper to build them from components rather than buy them off the shelf.  How
> do I know this?  My husband has built four so far.
> The library is in the process of moving from the card catalog system to having
> all the titles stored in a computer database, but typing all those titles is
> slow and there is a staffing problem right now.
> Anyone have anything to add to this?
> -Ann E. Bermingham 

 From the Olcott Library:

Dorothy Abbenhouse did NOT ban computers from TS headquarters!  She 
wasn't very good at a computer, but she did not hate them.

In fact, during her presidency (1987-93), all or most offices were equipped 
with PCs, at least that's what I found when I became librarian in 1993. 
The Publishing House, Book Store, Membership, and Bookkeeping had 
computers before Dorothy's time.  In 1987 I was part of a library advisory 
committee which discussed the computerization of the library.

A library computer program was created ca. 1991 and ran until it broke 
down in March 1995.  I replaced it with a new program which is compatible 
with those used by most other libraries.  Catalog records are being obtained 
from OCLC, major online vendor of library catalog records and owner of 
the online search service "FirstSearch" which is used to access various 
databases including WorldCat, mentioned occasionally by K Paul Johnson.  

It will take another couple of years to complete the library computer 
catalog, but it will ultimately be accessible by direct phone line for 
anyone with modem access.  In the meantime, watch the development of 
the TSA web site, which now has a functional web page that includes selected 
lists of books available from the Olcott Library.

Elisabeth Trumpler
Olcott Library & Research Center

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