Use of microcomputer workstations to enhance access to library collections

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The introduction of microcomputers in public service areas of libraries is allowing the distribution of applications previously available only on mainframe computers. Advances in microcomputer hardware capabilities (faster, more powerful microprocessors and faster, larger capacity data storage) provide the flexibility and distributed computing power necessary for sophisticated telecommunications and database searching applications. The capabilities inherent in local microcomputer workstations allow libraries to provide users enhanced access to library resources and new and innovative services. Today, in addition to their role as online terminals for searching external databases and library catalogs, microcomputers are also supporting the implementation of intelligent user interfaces and customized local databases. Developing local area network (LAN) technologies promise to further extend the capability and importance of library microcomputer workstations. This article describes microcomputer applications involving both staff and public workstations that have been implemented at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Library. Several of these applications are built around a locally designed and developed information retrieval and communications software package called ILLINOIS SEARCH AID. This software features gateway functions to other remote databases, uploading/downloading of information, a local database management system, and graphical interface functions. The UIUC Engineering Library’s initial experience with a test version of UMI’s IEEE/IEE OnDisc CD-ROM microcomputer workstation is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationElectronic Information Systems in Sci-Tech Libraries
EditorsCynthia A Steinke
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781000756425
ISBN (Print)9780367370084
StatePublished - Dec 6 2019

Publication series

NameRoutledge Library Editions: Library and Information Science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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