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Local Databases

Sandy Westall, Innovative Interfaces, Inc.
Maureen Hattasch, Greenwich Public Library
Chris Murray, Nashville Public Library
Web Sites: (Greenwich Public Library) (Nashville Public Library)

Maureen Hattasch spoke about Greenwich Public Library’s Community Answers Database. They are running two databases currently: an organizations database and an events database. Patrons mainly use the option to keyword search in these databases. The database was set up for the organizations by the library but the organizations themselves maintain the database. For this reason, no MARC tags are being used in the records. They have a very simple screen design for two main reasons: one, it is easier to read, and two, because it is easier to set up as well. The organizations have provided their own peripherals – the library just provides the software.

Chris Murray stated that Nashville Public Library is running three local history databases on their INNOPAC consisting of a marriage index, an obituary index, and a photograph index. Each type of record has a general title (i.e., marriage, obituary, photo) so that a search can be done on a portion of the database. They also use a fixed field code in the record to search out the type of record that it is (m, o, or p). Nashville Public Library keeps all of the specific information in books so the record will give the book number and location. This way the patron can find the complete information on the marriage, obituary, or photo. At this time, they would like to add the images of the photos to their photo database. Their database is just becoming Web accessible. To view the local databases via the Web go to the web site listed above. The key to making this work in Chris’ view is a good database structure.

Finally, Sandy Westall spoke about the local database module and how it is really created by the library and/or organization setting up the database. Sandy works with customers as they set up their local databases. Events that have already taken place drop off of the calendar as they occur, which is a key feature of this product. The local databases product is like having a separate INNOPAC system for custom data. You can include links to other sites as well as images. Libraries have used the local databases module for a variety of data including but not limited to: faculty resources, special collections, journal citations, slide collections, community information, and newspaper clippings.

Sandy then provided examples of what some libraries have done with their local databases by showing captured screens in a PowerPoint presentation.

Recorded by: Jenny Baker, Wisconsin Lutheran College

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