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Three-County Library Network Gives Access to 350,000 Books

July 21, 1988

The Ventura County Library Services Agency has installed 85 computers throughout its library system to allow patrons to find books stored in libraries in Ventura, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

The computers read a compact disc, similar to those produced by the music industry, which contains up-to-date bibliographic information on more than 350,000 titles held by the Black Gold Cooperative, a three-county library network.

"You can find just about anything with a few keystrokes," said Dixie Adeniran, director of the Ventura County Library Agency. She said the system eventually will replace conventional card and microfilm catalogues.

A 5 1/2-inch compact disc can hold more bibliographic information than a 1,000-foot strip of microfilm, Adeniran said.

Users can search for books by author, subject, title and topic call numbers, as well as title fragments. The automated catalogue contains complete bibliographic data on each title and a listing of the counties that have a particular text.

Now, Adeniran said, patrons must use conventional catalogues to find out if their own library branch has the book they want. She said the agency plans to connect the computers with the county circulation systems so users can determine the exact location of a text.

Installation of the computers in 16 Ventura County communities began in mid-June at a cost of less than $200,000, Adeniran said. The computer system was developed by Auto-graphics of Pomona, Calif., which updates the compact discs quarterly at a cost of $65,000 a year.

The Black Gold Cooperative was established in 1964 by a joint-powers agreement Adeniran said. Cooperative members agree to share materials through an inter-library loan system.

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