I manage a good-sized library in a mid-sized church.  I do not have a big enough budget to go automated, so I stilll need to do everything the old-fashioned way, with book cards and card catalogues.  I've been using Microsoft XL 97 for my data base, but with over 5000 items the program is not handling it well anymore.  Can anyone recommend another user-friendly program that will print out cards and such - preferably one that I can just transfer my existing XL file onto so that I don't have to re-enter everything?

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I highly recommend that you upgrade to Windows 7 Excel.  That way you can keep your 5000 entries in tact.  I then take 30 books at a time, do a mail merge (in Windows Word) to merge the 30 books on a sheet of Avery labels (30 to a sheet).  That way with everything on the computer, you no longer need to rely on your card catalog. 


I do believe that you can take your Excel files and upgrade to a software package, but you need to have all of your books in DD format, whereas I use categories.  If you want more information let me know or I'm sure that others will offer information on official software.  Yes, it can be costly.  Decide if you want to use bar codes - another expense.

Thank you for your suggestion.

I do still need the card catalogue for library patrons' use, as I do not have a library-dedicated computer.  Ergo - bar codes are out of the question.

I do have all my books in Dewey Decimal, so that's not a problem for upgrading to a different software package, which is what I would like.


Click on each of the two library automation companies listed in the boxes in the right-hand column.  (Concourse from Book Systems and PC Card Catalog from LibraryConcepts.com) to go to their websites and see what they offer.   Both can upgrade from Excel to library management software.  

Could you put a request in your bulletin or church newsletter for someone to donate a computer to the library.  You don't want an old, old computer, but something to help you get started.  I just found an ad for ResourceMate, which a lot of librarians are using.  I put my books on Excel in 1995 before alot of the dedicated software was available.  The ad states, "Starting at Just $195.  Phone # is 800-815-8656 and a rep works right with you.  It's worth giving them a call.  Good Luck



Ditto on upgrading to excel 7.  My database has columns for title, author, call number, no. of copies, type of media and subjects.  So, I can sort the info and print off title, subject, and author catalogs and a shelf list.  If you want to see examples, go the www.stjohnmemphis. org.  Click on the Library tab and then the Creating and Maintaining a Parish Library section.  This is long, but the info on the catalogs are near the end. 

Terry, I just viewed by church website and I was blown away.  What a beautiful church and grounds.  I can truly say that you have a way of creating an inviting room no matter the circumstances.  All librarians should look at your VERY extensive details of all that your library is about and what it entails to maintain your library.  I envy your windows to have natural light shine in.  Our library is the original altar area of our church built in 1921 with many additions surrounding the area, thus no natural light.  We just had 2 sky lights installed and that has helped greatly.  You are the first person that I have met that also uses Excel.  To this day, other librarians look at me like I'm crazy to use such a simple way to catalog my inventory and not cost anything.  Thanks for all of your dedication to your church and library. 

I, too, looked at the St. John's library website and agree that it is very well done!  The library is very inviting and your Sunday morning picture indicates that it is a place where people like to be! 



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