Can anyone share about their experiences with Atrium? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

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Paula, I've used Concourse since it was started over 20 years ago and think it is the best library program for church libraries.  A little over a year ago we decided to go to Atriuum and have been delighted with it.  Since it is web based you can view the information from anywhere.  That makes it possible to input information into the program from home or elsewhere by signing in with your password.  Customers can view their information from anywhere--renew media, reserve media, copy a list of everything they have read from the library for the past year.  They can also check to see if certain media is available from their church library as well as to see what they have checked out, when it is due, etc.

I could go on and on singing its praises.  Another plus is that you never have to backup your data since Book Systems does that.  All that you have to do when adding media to your library is to put in the ISBN number or title, etc. and you will get the full information pulled into your program.  This is really saying that eZcat is built into the program. 

Another big plus is that if you have an iPhone when you go shopping, you can immediately check to see if you have that book or other media in your library.  This way you don't get duplicates that have to be returned.

When I do a mail order I immediately put that information into the program and mark it "on order" and when it is received, all I need to do is pull up the information and remove the "on order."  It helps to have the media ready for circulation much quicker.

Another plus is that when searching the library data base, you have a picture of the book if you have included the ISBN numbers and also a moving train of pictures of the latest media checked out.  If your item doesn't have an ISBN number you get a generic book with the title on it.  We made a list of all of our books since 1970 without an ISBN and used that list to go to the shelves and get the number to add to the item.

Can't think of disadvantages just now, but if there were any they are far outweighed by the advantages!  You can search our library of Central Baptist Church in Decatur, AL by going to http://cbcd.booksys.net.

Having used both systems I see the biggest advantage of Atriuum is the OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog). Accessing Atriuum's OPAC is very easy since Atriuum is web-based. Patrons can view it from anywhere there is internet access. They can create book lists for themselves and the librarian can make book lists for patrons to see what books are available on particular topics without having to search the whole OPAC. If given permission, patrons can renew items, reserve items, see what items they have checked out, and make suggestions for items they would like to see in the library. 

In Concourse it is easier to change information in reports because you can edit from the report. You cannot do that in Atriuum. I think cataloging is easier in Concourse, but you can put more information in Atriuum.

Like Eva Nell said, there are so many more things you can do in Atriuum that you cannot do in Concourse, the many out weighs the few.

If you live in Tennessee you should try to come to one of the fall workshops. There will be sessions on Concourse and Atriuum. You can see for yourself the difference. The workshops will be in Chattanooga on Sept. 6, in Maryville on Sept. 13, in Nashville on Sept. 27, and in Memphis on Oct. 11. 

What is the difference between Web Opac and Atrium.  If you started with Concourse, can you migrate some way to Atrium?  Can you do some of the same things in web opac?

You can upgrade to Atrium from Concourse. They are both products available through Book Systems.  WebOPAC is available for both, but is an additional purchase for Concourse, where it is a part of Atrium, since it is a web-based product.  

You can look at our church library's online catalog (WebOPAC which is Concourse-based) by going to www.firstbaptistcorinth.org, and then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on FBC Library Online Catalog.  

Look at the Atrium-based catalog at  Central Baptist, Decatur, AL (Eva Nell Hunter, librarian) at http://cbcd.booksys.net.

WebOPAC stands for Web Online Public Access Catalog.

Thank you- In atrium, you do everything web-based- even entering books.   We are a smaller library than either yours or Nell's- about 8000+ volumes.  We've been working on entering the books for about 7 years, but it's been a part-time effort.  Everything is in but the theology-200 section.   I want so to have an on-line searchable catalog.  Maybe I'll talk to LInda Ward at Concourse- don't know how to import to Atrium- that's a scary thought.   Don't want to in any way jeopardize what we've already done.

The transition from Concourse to Atriuum is quick and easy. Book Systems does the whole transfer. Searching in Atriuum's online catalog is much better and has more things patrons can do than Concourse's online catalog.

I mentioned earlier about the church library workshops scheduled during September and October. At each workshop I will be teaching a session on the basics of Atriuum and how it is different from Concourse. 

I'm in Virginia, and life will not allow me to travel to your workshops.  Any chance of your notes?

We changed from Concourse a computer based program to Atriuum and I do enjoy it. I can work from where ever I may be ( My oldest son has cancer and I am spending a lot of time at his home) I can watch the circulation stats, enter new items and even renew items I have with me while I am away.  Our patrons are really liking the program because they are receiving REMINDERS s when Items are due they can renew on line or come to the library Parents love it they know the names of the items the kids have out and how many. We did have a problem today but it was not atriuum. it seems the church (or very close to the church last time it hit a pole near the church)was struck by lightening again yesterday. our phone and internet for the whole church was out so right now items that were returned this morning I have put to the side so they can be dealt with when we are back up. I can get to the program from home but did not bring home the item ids to do that this afternoon. I can tell you this about 5 or 6 years ago lightening hit and ran in on the library computer and I did loose some data. I know I have not lost any data this time and will be up and running as soon as someone fixes our phone and internet connection. you can search our library by going to 

Http://scbcdeatsville.booksys.net

Okay- I need a bit more information- In web opac (if anyone knows- can you go online, and renew, and reserve and see what you have checked out?   I don't need to enter from home or monitor stats, and  I guess with the world in turmoil, I'm kind of leery of the cloud except the one that Jesus willl return in at the Rapture.

We love Atriuum. I have started an Atriuum User Group so we don't detract from the Concourse group discussions with our own. Please join us!

Debbie M

Texas

I love Atriuum and agree with all the good comments of others.  The OPAC is wonderful.  Please check out the online catalog of our church.  https://firstofallon.booksys.net/opac/firstofallon/index.html#menuHome

Look at the Visual Tab and click on some of the buttons.

The Visual Tab is a way for patrons to browse the collection from anywhere.  You can design what you want for your buttons.  It is wonderful.  And images can be added for any book that does not have an ISBN.

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