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We tested the ProQuest system for two months at the end of the 1990 fall
semester.  In January, 1991, we bought the system with the ABI/INFORM and
GENERAL PERIODICALS databases.  We have two workstations, each including
the computer and monitor, a dot-matrix printer, and a laser printer for
full-text copies.  On the whole the system has worked well.  One of the
computers seems to have most of the technical problems we have encountered.
Sometimes when the computer comes up it leaves out one of the databases, usually
   the older GPO titles.  The ABI/INFORM and current GPO parts of the system
usually come up.  We have found the disk drives that hold the CD-ROM disks to
be the major culprit.  Other times the problem may be a damaged caddy, which
holds the CD-ROM disk.  Customer service help has improved over time.  Initially
    there were not enought support staff and we often had trouble getting in tou
with customer service.  This has improved a great deal over the past few months.
   UMI has been very good about sending replacements if we suspect a disk is bad
or has been damaged.  Luckily, this does not occur often.  The databases we have
   work well and are reasonably user-friendly.  We intend on making our own
instruction booklet for those patrons who like to have written documentation
rather than just a hands-on training session.  Our patrons love this system and
are constantly amazed at being able to get a full-text article right off of the
computer.  During the school year it is not uncommon to have people waiting to
use the system.  We have had to be even more attentive than usual to help out
patrons who have never used the system and need guidance.  You can easily spot
them--they sit and stare at the machine without touching it for several minutes!
   The system allows each library to enter an indication of which journals on th
system are in their periodicals collection.  This is helpful for the patrons,
although I would love to see enough

(sorry for the break)

room in the computer's memory, or whatever controls it, to allow me to enter
all the volumes and years and formats for those titles on the system which
are part of our "traditional" periodicals collection.

All in all I would have to say that we are very pleased with the system and I
know for a fact our patrons love it--we get lots of positive feedback.  In
the short time we have had the system it has been updated several times and
many of the "bugs" which are inherent to any new system have been dealt with.
I should also mention we have had Infotrac for three years and the UMI system
is certainly superior to it ( in my humble opinion).  We intend on keeping
Infotrac because our patrons still use it and it does cover titles which are
not indexed by the two databases we have on ProQuest.

Sorry for the long answer, but I hope this information is helpful and I, too,
am curious to see what other ProQuest users think of the system and how it
has affected the periodicals department.

Laurie Meyer
Circulation/Periodicals Librarian
Rockhurst College
Greenlease Library
1100 Rockhurst Road
Kansas City, Mo.  64110
VOICE: 816-926-4142