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July 1994, Week 4


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Terry Wiggins <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Thu, 21 Jul 1994 08:35:18 MDT
text/plain (68 lines)
Last week I posted a query regarding your experiences in changing
from a DOS-based to a Windows-based end-user search system.  To date,
I have received 4 requests for summaries and 3 actual responses.  I
would appreciate further responses - I'm sure there are more points
of view and more experiences to learn from, if you're not all on
Here's my original query:
To those of you who have moved from a DOS to a Windows end-user
search system - especially if your campus is predominantly PC/DOS:
How did you manage the transition?
Did you find you now had to teach Windows and using a mouse in
addition to the search system, database structure, keyboard usage,
Did you have to re-teach users previously trained on DOS searching?
Were users more or less likely to want to learn a Windows system?
Were they any more likely to be able to teach themselves?
Were users any more likely to attend classes?
Was the transition "cold turkey", or were you able to introduce the
Windows databases gradually, giving users a choice of which to use /
when to make the switch?
Given a choice, would you change to a Windows system if you had it to
do over again?
If someone will send me the address for the CD-PLUS list, I'll send
this message there (so it doesn't get sent there multiple times).
First of all - I still need the CD-Plus list address.
Here are some of the points made in the responses I received.
Library A:
SilverPlatter available for students; Windows CD-PLUS restricted to
use by library, hospital, and academic staff.  Teaching was easy;
some were uncomfortable with the mouse at first; there was minimal re-
teaching; they were more likely to be able to teach themselves and
classes were not necessary for most.  Given a choice and the
hardware, would discard all DOS CD apps.
Library B:
One public terminal, just switched to Windows.  Only technician uses
the DOS version.  Neither the technician nor the librarian like the
white screen in Windows.  Most users have used a mouse before;
librarian has developed a page of instructions to get around using
the mouse.  Problems are in designing tutorials (vendors: the need
has now been identified, in case you haven't heard it before) and in
getting good screen shots for incorporating into handouts.  Windows
should be just one more mechanical step - make sure you have mouses
lefties can use.
Library C:
Switched to OVID as soon as it came out.  Problems: some people keep
their hands on the mouse whether they are using it or not (a click at
the wrong time can freeze the system); some people completely close
Windows at the end of the search; and some exit the designated
program and play (staff has erased every unnecessary Windows
app; they load their own games).  Just as much training as ever.
Please send me your comments if you have something to add to these.
Thank you.
Terry Wiggins, Director                     internet:[log in to unmask]
Idaho Health Sciences Library
Campus Box 8089                                   fax: (208) 236-4687
Idaho State University
Pocatello, ID 83209-8089                        voice: (208) 236-4182