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An automated library is one where a computer system is used tomanage one or several of the librarys key functions such asacquisitions serials control cataloging circulation and the publicaccess catalog When exploring the history of library automation itis possible to return to past centuries when visionaries well beforethe computer age created devices to assist with their book lendingsystems Even as far back as 1588 the invention of the French BookWheel allowed scholars to rotate between books by stepping on a pedalthat turned a book table Another interesting example was the BookIndicator developed by Albert Cotgreave in 1863 It housed miniaturebooks to represent books in the librarys collection The miniaturebooks were part of a design that made it possible to determine if abook was in out or overdue These and many more examples of earlyingenuity in library systems exist however this paper will focus onthe more recent computer automation beginning in the early twentiethcenturyThe Beginnings of Library Automation 1930-1960 It could be said that library automation development began in the1930s when punch card equipment was implemented for use in librarycirculation and acquisitions During the 30s and early 40s progresson computer systems was slow which is not surprising given theDepression and World War II In 1945 Vannevar Bush envisioned anautomated system that would store information including bookspersonal records and articles Bush1945 wrote about a hypotheticalmemex system which he described as a mechanical library that wouldallow a user to view stored information from several different accesspoints and look at several items simultaneously His ideas are wellknown as the basis for hypertext and mputers for their operations Thefirst appeared at MIT in 1957 with the development of COMITmanaging linguistic computations natural language and the ability tosearch for a particular string of information Librarians then movedbeyond a vision or idea for the use of computers given thetechnology they were able make great advances in the use of computersfor library systems This lead to an explosion of library automationin the
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