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ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software
Library Manager Tool

Purpose

If you have a private library of books, music, videos, software, or a combination of the above, you know how difficult it is to keep it in an order such that you can go back a year or three later and find an item when you want it. This tool is setup to let you catalog and document exactly what is in your library.

Once you've built your library's catalog, be sure to keep a copy of it in an off-site location (along with the output from your personal inventory) so you can use it to provide your insurance company a record of what was lost if something bad happens--that library's value will often surprise you and you don't want to loose it. In fact, once you get a record made, you may want to ask your insurance agent (in writing) whether it's covered. That way you can be sure it is recoverable (financially, at least) and/or you can document that they said it is covered.

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First Time Starting The Tool

The first time you start the Library Manager tool it will try to find a configuration file but since it has never been used before it won't be able to locate such a file. As a result, you'll see an error message. Notice that the message tells you that if it's the first time the tool has been used, you should just ignore it and continue. So do that.

Now enter a User ID and Password combination. Limit the length of your ID to 10 characters and the length of your password to 8 characters. You can build your password of alpha characters (A-Z and a-z), numerics (0-9), and the exclamation point (!) and they ARE case-sensitive. Use a combination you can easily remember and will be comfortable with. Hence, a good password for "Kingston" could be "k1ngst0n" or "kIngsT0n" to provide good security.

This first time you start the tool, you'll be thrown into the mode to add a record--see the paragraph on this below for information on how to proceed.

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Start The Tool

On the ITSBITS Welcome screen, look at the "VIEW" menu option and double-click the "Library Manager" option to start the tool. You'll see a screen that looks something like the one at right when the tool starts. You'll immediately note that only the login fields are enabled. Menu options are not enabled and no data is displayed at all.

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Add A Record

You can enter the mode to add a record using the menu option under UPDATE or by clicking the plus icon on the tool strip (upper-left). (The first time you use the tool, you will automatically be dropped into the add mode since no data exists.) You'll see a screen something like the one to the right. Perhaps the first thing to notice about this screen is the row of tabs at its top. You may want to check out what the other tabs' entries are just to familiarize yourself with them.

The fields available for a given item are as follows:

  • Our Call Number -- this is the number or ID we are going to use for the item. It may or may not show up in the remainder of the record.
  • Binding Code -- Typical binding codes are "hardback," "paperback," "leather bound," "Music CD," "DVD," "Software," etc. Note that you can configure this as a drop-down list--see paragraph below.
  • ISBN -- The international Standard Book Number (10 or 13 digits) for the item (if it has an ISBN). If the 10-digit code is used, the ISBN can be linked to the publisher's information to cut down on your data-entry work. See the section on Configure Publisher-ISBN Links below.
  • UPC -- The item's uniform product code (if it has one). See the section on Configure Publisher-ISBN Links below.
  • Authors' Last and First Names -- Duh!
  • Check if there are over 3 authors involved
  • Pages -- the number of pages in the volume (for books)
  • Title -- duh, again!
  • Publisher's Name -- use the full name of the publishing company
  • Published At -- the publisher's location as shown in/on the item, e.g., London or Hollywood, CA
  • Publisher's Website -- as "http://www.xxxxxxxx.com"
  • Year Pub'd -- Enter the copyright year as shown in/on the item
  • Catalog Number -- If you're using the embedded Dewey Decimal Number system or you've modified it for your own use, enter that catalog number.
  • Location -- enter the location where you file/shelve the item
  • Library of Congress # -- enter the US Library of Congress catalog number for the item
  • More ID -- Edition Number -- from the item
  • More ID -- Volumes -- if the item is made up of more than one item, e.g., an encyclopedia or set of CD's, enter the total number of "volumes" here.
  • More ID -- Copy Number -- If you have more than one copy of this item, enter which copy (number) this is.
  • More ID -- Translator's Last/FIrst Name -- if there is a translator's name on the item, enter it here
  • More ID -- Editor's Last/First Name -- if there's an editor's name on the item, enter it here
  • More ID -- Subjects/Key Words -- often there are key words that you would like to use to help you locate the item later, perhaps when you can't remember who created it or what the title is. Enter such key words in this field so you can "FIND" the item later.
  • Purchased -- Date Added -- enter the date when the item was purchased
  • Purchased -- Cost -- enter the amount you paid for the item when you purchased it.
  • Reviews -- Comments -- if you want to put a review of the work into your system, this is the place for it. You can write it or you can use keys CTRL+V to paste it in from the system clipboard.
  • Notes -- Notes -- Want to store a few quick notes about the work? Type or (CTRL+V) paste the notes into this field.
  • Check Out -- Borrower's Name -- (Do you know what a really rare book is? It's one you loaned out and actually got back in good shape and on time!) So you want to loan this item to someone for "a little while?" A few months from now, when you're asking yourself, "Now who did I loan that to?" you can come here to see who it was, what their phone number is, etc...but only IF you fill it in when you loan the book.
  • Check Out -- Borrower's Account Number -- If you're getting paid to let them use it, keep their account number here, too.
  • Check Out -- Borrower's Phone Number -- guess what to put here.
  • Check Out -- Borrower's Email Address -- ditto
  • Check Out -- Date checked out -- Be sure to enter the date when you loaned the book out
  • Check Out -- Past Due After -- When should you get it back? Enter that date here.
  • Check Out -- Times Checked Out -- How many times have you loaned this item to others?

Here is a listing of what the buttons you see are used for:

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Change A Record

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Library Management tool To change a record, first find the record you want to change in the large listbox showing the records that are on file. Then click on the record in question once to highlight it, or twice to see the record and highlight it. Now use the menu option for Update--Change Enabled. You'll notice that the mode shown in the upper-left-hand corner of the data-entry window shows "Change Mode." Now you can change the data in any of your fields (See the paragraph on your fields (above) for for more information.)

Once you have the data as you want it, click on the "OK" button at the bottom-right of the data-entry box to save your data changes.

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Delete A Record

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Library Management tool To delete a record, first find the record you want to change in the large listbox showing the records that are on file. Then click on the record in question once to highlight it, or twice to see the record and highlight it. Now use the menu option for Update--Delete. You'll notice that the mode shown in the upper-left-hand corner of the data-entry window shows "Delete Mode." Now you can delete the selected record by clicking the "OK" button.

You'll see a warning that tells you you're about to delete the selected record so you can back out if you want to. Otherwise, click the OK button and the record will be deleted from your data.

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Display Time and Hiding Data

There are 3 options you can use that are connected with how long your data is displayed. For security purposes, unless you're the only one present where your computer is used, you'll want to keep the display times to whatever you find to be a comfortable minimum so that if you're called away from your computer the odds of someone else seeing your data are minimized. Think carefully before you use these options...mis-use and any resulting problems are your own responsibility.

Using the "configure" menu option, you can set the maximum display time for an item as well as for the workshop itself. Just select the appropriate option and enter the time you want the display to last before it is hidden.

On the other hand, if you're in a closed environment, say your own home, where you are not worried about someone else seeing and mis-using your data, you can click the "Don't Hide" menu option so that it carries a check mark. When this item shows a check mark, the data will not be hidden at all.

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Configuring Sharing and Backup

You can configure the workshop to share data with another user on your LAN and/or to keep a backup copy of your configuration and actual data. For instructions on how to do this, click here.

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Configure Internet Explorer® Path

You need to configure your path to the Microsoft Internet Explorer® browser. To do this, you need to use the appropriate option on the Configuration menu. When you do, you'll see a window similar to this:

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Library Manager Tool

Here you can enter the path to program file IExplore.exe, then click the "OK" button to complete the action and save your configuration. As always when you see a screen like this, you can browse to find the file path, you can paste it in from your system clipboard, too. Once you change the data in the textbox on the form, the "OK" button will appear.

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Configure A Different Browser Path To Use

You may want to configure your system so you use some browser other than Microsoft's Internet Explorer®. To do this, you need to use the appropriate option on the Configuration menu. When you do, you'll see a window similar to this:

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Library Manager Tool

Here you can enter the path to the appropriate program file for your chosen browser, then click the "OK" button to complete the action and save your configuration. As always when you see a screen like this, you can browse to find the file path, you can paste it in from your system clipboard, too. Once you change the data in the textbox on the form, the "OK" button will appear.

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Configure Binding Types

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Library Manager Tool Bindings Table Configuration We use a binding-type table ensure uniformity in the data entries you'll make. This way, you can generate a listing/report of all entries with a given binding type. You can use the appropriate option on the Configuration menu. When you use this option you will be presented a window something like the one shown at left. ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Library Manager Tool Bindings Table Configuration

Once you see this screen, you can use the Update -- Add option to add a binding type to the table. When you do this, the window will change to give you a place to enter the new binding type and "OK" it, or to "Cancel" the addition activity. The screen will now look something like the one at right. Enter the new binding code and click the "SAVE" button--or cancel the addition.

Let's suppose you want to delete an entry from the table. Click on the binding type you want to delete and the 3 buttons on the right side of the window will be enabled. Now you can click the "Delete" button, confirm your wish to delete the specified item, and it's done. Note that in like manner you can move the item up or down in the list.

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ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Dialing Configuration In Library Manager Tool Phone Dialing Configuration

If you want to be able to utilize a modem to let the computer dial borrowers' phone numbers, you may need to do one or two quick configuration steps. The first involves an outside line code, a code number(s) you dial to access an outside line. Find the Phone-Dialing option on the Configuration menu and click on it, then click on the option for the outside line code. You will see a window like the one shown above and you can enter the code there, then click the OK button (which appears once the contents of the textbox are changed). If you don't use or need an outside line code, just leave this blank.

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Dialing Configuration In Library Manager Tool The other thing you may need to configure is a calling-card code. Find the Phone-Dialing option on the Configuration menu and click on it, then click on the option for the calling card code. You will see a window like the one shown at right and you can enter the code there, then click the OK button (which appears once the contents of the textbox are changed). If you don't use or need an outside line code, just leave this blank.

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Configure Catalog Numbers

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Catalog Number Configuration In Library Manager Tool The tool comes pre-configured with the Dewey Decimal Code for your use in cataloging your library. Unfortunately, this time-honored system, which is, overall, great for a small library, may not have all the entries you might want today. As an example, you may want to add entries for several types of software, e.g., Operating Systems, DB Systems, etc. For that reason, we have included the ability to configure your catalog "numbers" to suit your own needs.

To configure the catalog numbers, find that option under the Configuration men option and click on it. You will then see a screen somthing like the one at right.

Now if you click on the Update -- Add menu option, you'll see a new textbox and two buttons show up. One button is to cancel the add activity and the other is to finalize and save your new data. In the textbox, type the data you wish to add using the vertical bar ("|") as a delimiter between fields. When you're satisfied with your entry, click the "Save Change" button to make your changes permanent.

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Dialing Configuration In Library Manager Tool









If for any reason you want to change an item in the catalog-numbers table, first click on the record you want to change, then click on the Update -- Change menu option. You will see the same textbox and buttons that appear for an addition, except that now the selected record will be in the textbox. At this point, you should change the record's data to be what you want, then click the button to "Save Change."

Should you want to delete an item from the catalog-numbers table, first click on the record you want to delete, then click on the "Delete" button, then, when asked, confirm your intent.

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File Menu

ITSBITS Catapult Garage File Menu In Library Manager Tool If you click the File menu option, you'll notice that you have the ability to reload your data, force a data save, or print the entire list. (Use CAUTION: this will involve several pages of printout.) You will also see that you have the ability to import a comma-separated-values file (.csv) to bring new data into the system. This data can be generated by a number of other programs, e.g., Microsoft Excel or Access® and if such a table exists that has custom been built just for your situation, you may want to use this option.

When you select this option, you will be asked to select the path to the .csv file you want to use/import from. This uses a standard Microsoft® file selection dialog. Just navigate to the file in question, then click the "Open" button to use it. Your data will then be loaded and imported.

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Configure Book Plate Info

You may have noticed a button that lets you print book plates. To do this, you need to configure what a book plate tells anyone who comes into posession of one of your items. On the Configuration menu you will find an option to perform this configuration. It will show you a screen something like the one shown below. (We've blocked out some of the information for security reasons, but you can enter your own. Suggested information includes one or two phone numbers and any other such communications information you choose to use. BUT, remember that if you lose the item the book plate is to be used on, the person who has it will, by definition, have the information you include. Therefore, NEVER include enough data to let the person who finds (or steals) the item use it to steal your identity.

As always, when you change the data in the large textbox, the "OK" button will appear. When you have the book plage information configured as you want it, click the "OK" button to save your new information.
ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Book Plate Configuration In Library Manager Tool

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Configure Publisher-ISBN Links

As you build your library data, you'll find it helpful to avoid typing publishers' names, locations, etc., when possible. To do this, you can use the Publisher-ISBN linkages that are built into the entire ISBN and UPC systems. In the ISBN system, the first 6 digits are assigned to a given publisher so that the publisher can use them for their products: they are thus unique to a publisher. In the UPC system, the first 9 digits are assigned to a given publisher so that the publisher can use them for their products: they are thus unique to a publisher. This uniqueness allows us to build a table we can reference--the table will show the publisher name, location (city/state), and website. Since it has the leading digits for the UPC code, when you enter an ISBN, it can fill in the first 9 digits of the UPC for you.

To update your Publisher-ISBN Links table, use the appropriate option on the Configuration menu. When you do, you'll see a window something like the one shown below:

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Book Plate Configuration In Library Manager Tool

Except, of course, for the fact that the data you're using here will be different, the work you'll do with this window is exactly like the workings used to Configure Catalog Numbers as documented above. Hence, for the sake of brevity, this section of documentation will not be repeated here.

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