Understanding Information Systems: What They Do and Why We Need Them

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9780838908686: Understanding Information Systems: What They Do and Why We Need Them

In a world awash in data, information systems help provide structure and access to information. Since libraries build, manage, and maintain information systems, librarians and LIS students are often propelled onto the front lines of interactions between library users and technology. But what do librarians need to know to best meet their patron's needs? What exactly are information systems and how do they work? Information expert Ratzan uses plain language, humor, and everyday examples like baseball and arithmetic to make sense of "information systems" (computer hardware, software, databases, the Internet). He also explores their characteristics, uses, abuses, advantages, and shortcomings for your library. Fun exercises and appendixes are provided to illustrate key points in the book and measure understanding. You can be a technophobe and still learn about systems and subsystems to represent, organize, retrieve, network, secure, conceal, measure, and manage information. This basic introduction addresses both theoretical and practical issues, including: What questions to ask technology vendors to meet your library's needs; When technology may not be the solution to a problem; Secrets for managing an information system; How to make your information system a success; LIS instructors and students, IT staff, digital librarians, library generalists and managers will welcome this expert sourcebook, complete with exercises, references, examples, terms, and charts that clarify concepts.

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About the Author:

Lee Ratzan, PhD, is systems analyst at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He also serves as adjunct professor in Information Systems and Library Technology at the School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies (SCLIS) at Rutgers University. There he has taught more than 100 Internet training sessions for professional development courses. Prior positions included Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. A tireless writer, he is former columnist for Byte, Newark Star Ledger, Wilson Library Bulletin and has written for Information Research, Unix Review, Linux Journal, The Unabashed Librarian, The Nation, Chance and The Humanist.

From Booklist:

Unlike most books discussing information systems, this one is not oriented to a specific application, time, or technology. Instead, readers are treated to 16 chapters covering different aspects of information, among them description, representation, organization, retrieval, networking, security, concealment, measurement, and management of information. The computer, Internet, and music are also discussed in terms of information systems. Information is well articulated, insightful, and strengthened by illustrative exercises and helpful appendixes. The author's use of humor is a welcome addition, making the text more engaging and palatable. Although conceived for the general reader, this resource would most likely appeal to students and instructors in library and information studies or computer science. Mathphobic readers or those uncomfortable with quantitative data may find the text a bit daunting at times, but for those willing to make the effort, the rewards are great and plentiful. RBB
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Book Description American Library Association, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In a world awash in data, information systems help provide structure and access to information. Since libraries build, manage, and maintain information systems, librarians and LIS students are often propelled onto the front lines of interactions between library users and technology. But what do librarians need to know to best meet their patron s needs? What exactly are information systems and how do they work? Information expert Ratzan uses plain language, humor, and everyday examples like baseball and arithmetic to make sense of information systems (computer hardware, software, databases, the Internet). He also explores their characteristics, uses, abuses, advantages, and shortcomings for your library. Fun exercises and appendixes are provided to illustrate key points in the book and measure understanding. You can be a technophobe and still learn about systems and subsystems to represent, organize, retrieve, network, secure, conceal, measure, and manage information. This basic introduction addresses both theoretical and practical issues, including: What questions to ask technology vendors to meet your library s needs; When technology may not be the solution to a problem; Secrets for managing an information system; How to make your information system a success; LIS instructors and students, IT staff, digital librarians, library generalists and managers will welcome this expert sourcebook, complete with exercises, references, examples, terms, and charts that clarify concepts. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780838908686

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Book Description American Library Association, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In a world awash in data, information systems help provide structure and access to information. Since libraries build, manage, and maintain information systems, librarians and LIS students are often propelled onto the front lines of interactions between library users and technology. But what do librarians need to know to best meet their patron s needs? What exactly are information systems and how do they work? Information expert Ratzan uses plain language, humor, and everyday examples like baseball and arithmetic to make sense of information systems (computer hardware, software, databases, the Internet). He also explores their characteristics, uses, abuses, advantages, and shortcomings for your library. Fun exercises and appendixes are provided to illustrate key points in the book and measure understanding. You can be a technophobe and still learn about systems and subsystems to represent, organize, retrieve, network, secure, conceal, measure, and manage information. This basic introduction addresses both theoretical and practical issues, including: What questions to ask technology vendors to meet your library s needs; When technology may not be the solution to a problem; Secrets for managing an information system; How to make your information system a success; LIS instructors and students, IT staff, digital librarians, library generalists and managers will welcome this expert sourcebook, complete with exercises, references, examples, terms, and charts that clarify concepts. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780838908686

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