Automation of Technical Services: Northwestern's Experience

Karen L. Horny

Abstract

Library automation requires significant adjustments in attitudes and procedures to work effectively. When Northwestern University Library made a commitment to develop computer support of the entire technical processing system, a chain of basic decisions was necessary, each with an individual impact on staff outlook and system productivity. Key decisions involved reassessing manual operations prior to automation; defining resources-human and financial; determining on-line and batch processing requirements, hardware usage, and necessary modifications; considering essential staff reorganization and retraining; and assuring communication. These decisions, the resulting online interactive system, and its impact are described.