Philip Johnson has been a software developer for over 33 years and has been involved with Abraquest since 2005. He is the director of Spherical Software Limited (www.sphericalsoftware.com), the company that owns Abraquest.
Abraquest Release v2.6.0
Abraquest Release v2.6.0 is being released shortly, which is a couple of weeks later than we had planned. In light of this we are extending the November 25% deal. This post contains details on the features that you can expect in this release.
Abraquest v2.6.0 is all about making books even easier to record in the Abraquest database.
As existing customers will know, the biggest job when setting up a library system is that all the books in your library need to be entered into the system so they are available to borrow.
This involves sticking a school barcode label on each book (and also a coloured spine label for reference books if you choose to do so), and then entering this information into Abraquest.
If you are entering a book for the first time, your local copy of Abraquest doesn't know about this book, so it asks for ISBN, Barcode, Title, Author, Subject, Dewey Number and a number of other things (some of which can be defaulted so you don't have to enter every time). If you have another copy of that book, your copy of Abraquest will know second time around, so all you have to do is enter ISBN, Barcode, both of which are done via your scanner, so no typing required - just use the mouse to press Save.
Abraquest v2.6.0 has an online interface hidden behind the scenes, so that most books are found and you don't have to type Title, Author, Subject, Dewey Number - these are found for you in over 90% of the cases. Hence our claim that entering books is going to be at least 25% faster. You still have to stick a barcode on (which is something children love doing to help in my experience), but the input into the computer has been minimized.
New Abraquest Setup Wizard
When setting up a new system, there are a number of things that need to be considered:-
- Adding library locations
- Adding School Years covered by this school library.
- Adding at least one class (and preferably all)
- Adding a least one pupil (and preferably all)
- Adding at least one book to the catalogue
- Reviewing settings
The Abraquest New Library Setup Wizard takes the user through these steps, where in each case, the system tells the person more about what needs to be done, and gives them the option of doing it now or pausing the wizard and doing it later. While this has been easy enough to do without in the past, it has taken some thinking and many users havn't thought about how to split the library up by location until after the books have been added, which makes it harder to achieve. Hopefully the new wizard will help in this respect.
More information about setting up Abraquest can be found in the Getting Started chapter in the Abraquest User Guide in the documentation section of the schools area of this website.
Abraquest v2.6.0 will be available in the schools area at some point this coming week, currently undergoing the final test and internal release procedure. We will post screen prints on this blog when these are available.