Why automating ?

In a first part, the author analyses the different traditional management tasks of a central lending library through the experience of the Aube and Allier departments; she points out the specifications of that type of library (very long loan periods, underused catalogs, important but uneasy reservations, etc.); then she draws a picture which brings out the disadvantages induced by the impossible clear location of a document. Then she studies the possible arrangements one can expect from automation and insists it being as comprehensive as possible, before investigating the abilities of LIBRA software established by the Direction du livre et de la lecture (shared multimedia cataloguing, future automation of other functions). A third part deals with the effects of automation in a central lending library first during the setting period (often awkward) of the system and then when it reaches its cruise speed. In a question about the future in the devolution context, the author comes to the conclusion that it is essential for the central lending libraries « not to miss the automation revolution ».