Computer has become very important nowadays because it is very much accurate, fast and can accomplish many tasks easily. Otherwise to complete those tasks manually much more time is required. It can do very big calculations in just a fraction of a second. Moreover it can store huge amount of data in it.
In the Computer Studies project, we have to design a program that makes a certain task easier. I had several ideas at first, but then decided on my final idea: making a Library database which includes a book club. Instead of wandering aimlessly around the library people can just straightly type the book name they want and the computer will flash the book details with the location of the book.
Searching a book that you would like to read in a library or a book store may take hours or minutes. But what if you could do that in a few seconds? What if you could see books your friend or teacher are reading or read comments on a particular book? What if you could add information about your favorite book or add a good reference book so that your friends and teachers can see them? With this data base students and teachers can read reviews of the books they would like to read. They can add books. They can also search a books. This is a two in one facility as this is a library database and also a book club.
1. So that students and teachers share their book shelf by adding information’s about their books.
2. So that students and teachers can find books they would like to read by reading reviews their friends have given on a book.
3. So that students, teachers and librarian can check whether a particular book is in the library or not. (If it’s not in the library they can see where they can buy it and if it is, is it available?)
4. So that students gets encourage reading more.
5. So that they can find people with similar book interest.
6. So that librarian can create a record of all their books on a computer so that it is free and easy for anyone to look into.
Let us first see what exactly will this database will do-
1. KEEPING a RECORD OF ALL THE BOOKS- every library in the world has to keep a record of all the books it has so that books can be borrowed, viewed and modified. Here the data base will not only keep records of only library books but also the books which are not there in the library.
2. SEARCHING THE BOOK- if a person wants see information about a book than he or she can just type the books name and search it.
3. ADDING NEW BOOKS- here not only the librarians but also the teachers and students can add books by typing the information and writing a review on the book.
4. MODIFICATION OF EXISITING RECORDS- just like the addition of books in the database, it is always important to modify the records of the books if any mistake is made. Modification of data is important for the accuracy of the data. But this will only be allowed to the librarians.
5. DELETING THE BOOK FROM THE DATABASE- it is sometimes essential to delete a book from the record because of anonymous reasons. This can only be done by a librarian only.
6. TRAINING STAFF- on the addition of new librarians or employees in the library, it is essential for them to know all the books in their library and their location in the library.
7. ALLOWING AUTHORIZED ACCESS (PROTECTION OF DATA) – Only librarians are allowed to come and delete or modify the records of books.
EXISTING SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM-
As of today, our library has a library database but it is only used by the librarians. Using an automated computerized program to keep and maintain the record of the books has various advantages if you compare it to a manual database. What can a normal library database do?
1. It maintains all the books and reduces human errors.
2. It can search a book in a few seconds.
3. Adding to the existing records is also possible. Or adding new books.
4. It can tell whether the book is available in the library or is the book being borrowed by some body. It tells you when the person borrowed the book, who is the person and when does he/she has to bring the book back.
5. Modification and deletion of a recorded book is also possible.
6. Anybody, who knows the basics of how to use a computer, can help a student or a teacher find a book.
7. The data will be protected as you need the username and the password to open the database.
Therefore, there are many advantages of an automated computerized library database but this isn’t the end there can be many improvements which can benefit all libraries especially my school and make life easier for librarians, students and teachers.
ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM:
As a CS student, I decided that having an opportunity to use my newly acquired computer programming skills as part of my IGCSE coursework, I could create a program that could help my school library and possibly other libraries around the world to not only organize their books systematically and properly but also to interact and share books that teachers and students reads. Therefore, I decided to create a library database with a book club using visual fox pro for my computer project as part of my IGCSE coursework which would also prove to be a perfect alternative solution.
I will call this database Search A Book database as it will find the books they need, it will also show reviews, comments and information about the book they are finding. They will also get the opportunity to add new books.
Search a Book database will be able to do all the work that a library database should do plus
1. It will allow students and teachers to add books and also comment on the books that are already added. (Not necessary that the book should be in the library.)
2. It will allow students and teachers to see what their friends are reading or already read.
This database will help people find and share books they love. Along the way, this will improve the process of reading and learning throughout my school.
Most book recommendation websites or book club work by listing random people’s reviews. On Search a Book, when a person adds a book to the database, all their school mates and their teachers can see what they thought of it. People are more likely to get excited about a book their friend recommends than a suggestion from a stranger.
Through the creation of a computerized library database such as this, I had various objectives:
1. To help our library create a record of all their books on a computer so that it is free and easy for anyone to look into.
2. To help readers, students and teachers to search for books on the basis of the name of the book.
3. To reduce the number of staff needed to be employed. As all the work is done by the computer.
4. Modifications and deletion can only be done by the librarian as they will have a special username and password.
5. To reduce human errors. When there is computer, there less mistakes.
6. To make students and teachers share their book shelf by adding information’s about their books.
7. To help students and teachers find books they would like to read by reading reviews their friends have given on a book.
8. To encourage students to read more.
9. To help them find people with similar book interest.
Choosing the idea (Topic Planning)-
Before choosing this topic I thought of making a database on a book club but after few days an idea struck me why not make a database which is both a library database and also a book club. This way the librarian will be able to use Search a Book as a data base where they can add all the books that the library has and also use it to check whether the book is available or not.
Whereas Search A book will also allow students and teachers to add their books so that they share their favorite books or some important books.
If you see, whenever we want some good books to read or good book for reference we ask our friends or teachers and when they tell a good book’s review we get excited and try to find the book in the library or try to search that book in a book store. With Search a Book the student can check whether the book is in the library or not if not then the person can see where they can buy the book.
Search a Book will solve the problems that a librarian face and also help students and teachers to share their knowledge about books. With this you can explore new territory, gather information, and expand your mind. As knowledge is power; and power is best shared among readers.
Planning of my Method-
First I made a clear idea about my database by writing what am I going to include in my database and what all problems I am going to solve. First I researched the problem by going to the library and by asking questions to the book lovers. This way I got the answer to, what all information should be there in a book record. Like how many field are needed and how many tables I have to make. This way I can easily write all the algorithms as I know what all I need to do.
The program will consist of two parts 1) for the librarians, and 2) for teachers + students. For both parts the program will be as simple as possible, to avoid any confusion. I want to make this program the ideal solution, and the most user-friendly interface. I will use dummy or fake data when testing my program out, simply because it is easier to use test data than to find the details for several different books.
To gather information I went to the library an observed what all details are needed to make a library database. Next I surveyed my friends to find out what all information does they need when they want information for a particular book.
When we were first told about this project, there were various software’s from which we could choose. We were told about Visual Basic, Visual FoxPro and Microsoft Access. However, before I thought about using any other software, I thought that Visual FoxPro would be best for me because we are learning this software in class where as for other software’s I don’t know how to use them.
This will take a lot of time as this not just one project but it is a mix of two projects.
1. Choosing the topic- 7 days
2. Recognizing the problem- 3 days
3. Planning the project- this took me 10 days.
4. Gathering the Data- this took 5 days.
5. Choosing the Software- 1 day.
6. Making the tables (adding the data) and forms- this might take long about 20 days
7. Adding the algorithms- this is the most important and the hardest part of a project so that’s why this might take 25 days.
8. Testing all the algorithms and debugging- 10 days.
9. Designing the software- 10 days.
10. Documentation and report making- around 18 days.
I am using a variety of different hardware for this project:
1. Laptop: I am using an HP Pavilion dv3 Series laptop. Laptops are portable, which makes it easier to work at home as well as school or anywhere.
2. Processor: The processor of my laptop is Intel Core(TM)2 Duo.
3. Keyboard: The keyboard I am using is the one that is built into the laptop. I don’t need to attach an external keyboard, because this one works just fine.
4. Mouse: I have attached a wireless optical epro mouse to the computer. I prefer using this mouse to the touchpad, because the touchpad of the laptop can be inaccurate and tough to use. Using a mouse for this kind of project is just so much more efficient.
5. Hard disk: My laptop has 200GB of capacity in its hard disk. I will save my project and report on the hard disk.
6. USBs: I am using two USBs in this project. They are both Kingston USBs, 4GB each. I use them to save my project and report as back up. This way, if I lose all my data on the hard disk, I still have the data on these two USBs.
7. RAM: The RAM of my laptop is 2.00GB. This is quite fast, and I can run several programs simultaneously without facing any lag problems, which will be useful for the project.
8. Monitor: I am using the laptop’s monitor, a 13.3” HD LED LCD.
9. Printer: The printer I will use to print my report is a HP Deskjet printer. It prints very fast, and the quality of the printout is good, as well.
I am using some software for the project, too:
1. Operating System: The Operating System on my laptop is Windows 7.
2. Programming software: I am using Microsoft Visual FoxPro 7.0 Professional to create my project. I got it from my school’s computer lab, since it is on every computer there. When we were first told about this project, there were various software’s from which we could choose. We were told about Visual Basic, Visual FoxPro and Microsoft Access. However, before I thought about using any other software, I thought that Visual FoxPro would be best for me because we are learning this software in class where as for other software’s I don’t know how to use them.
3. Word processor: I am using Microsoft Office Word 2007. I need it to write my report, and I can also crop screenshots of my project with it. I am also using Microsoft Office Excel for tables and charts.