FHC Software

Issues related to the use and operation of Family History Centers
marlattrj-p40
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FHC Software

Postby marlattrj-p40 » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:28 pm

My stake family history center came to me a few weeks ago asking if I can write them a new program to keep track of their statistics and finances. They want just a really basic program that will let them sign patrons into the library and keep track of how many visitors they get, how many names are being submitted via Temple Ready, and other stats like this. They also want a better way to keep track of their financial transactions, for example the charge 5 cents per sheet to print, and $1 for a blank CD, and other small stuff like that.
I there any programs for FHC's? I am willing to create one but I don't want to recreate the wheel if there is already something out there. If there isn't software for them, is it something that the church is looking into?



Rich

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Postby russellhltn » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:51 pm

I don't know of any but I'd have two questions:

1) Are you going to be able to dedicate a computer to this operation? Because the program would have to be ready all times unless it's just a end-of-the-day log.

2) Are patrons really going to want to sign in on a computer? I'd bulk. The paper log is fine. The computer log sounds like they have some plans to hassle me later. ;)

marlattrj-p40
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Postby marlattrj-p40 » Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:08 pm

The way our FHC is setup, a staff member sits at a computer by the front door. As people come and sign in on the paper log they (the staff) enters the info into the computer. They are currently using a MS Access program my father wrote for them years ago and it isn't to user friendly.

I too personally think that it would be a bit of a hassle but I have been approached numerous times about updating or writing a new program. The staff members like to see the various statistics.

Rich

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bhofmann-p40
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Postby bhofmann-p40 » Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:19 pm

How many patrons per day visit the library and how many financial entries will be entered each day? I think the technical solution might be better if you consider the volume. For instance, if there aren't too many entries to make it might be better to have someone enter it all at once at the end of the day. On the other side, if there are many entries to make it might be better to have the patrons enter the data themselves.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:51 pm

If you have a high volume of regular users you might just be able to get a barcode reader and give each patron a FHE card. That way when they come in they scan the card and all the information is entered, when they leave they scan again and they are clocked out.

Also they could add finances to their card for printing fees and then buying supplies you'd just need to scan a barcode in.

Might be a little extravagent but if you have a high flow FHC then it might be the easiest way to solve the problems. (I usually see barcode readers for $75-90 for a basic connection to a computer)
- David

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garysturn
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Just update Access

Postby garysturn » Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:54 am

If they already have an access database they are entering the information into, just create the reports they want from the data they are already entereing. Access will do almost anything you want to do.
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marlattrj-p40
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Postby marlattrj-p40 » Fri Jun 15, 2007 12:01 pm

GarysTurn wrote:If they already have an access database they are entering the information into, just create the reports they want from the data they are already entering. Access will do almost anything you want to do.


I already have the access one creating reports. The problem with the current application is that it has to may "Features" and options which tends to confuse some of the older staff members and it also tends to get tweaked by people that shouldn't be tweaking it. I could just lock it down and edit it in Access, but I am now writing a web based one (This will be and internal site hosted on a local computer and not hosted online). My goal is to make the UI as simple as possible.

The app will have 4 main features:


1. Allow staff & patrons to login/be logged in
2. Keep track of how many names are being submitted via temple ready
3. Act as a check register to keep track of funds
4. Report statistics of library usage

It has also been suggested that we keep track of who is researching in what areas, thus if some one is researching similar areas they can share information. This information would of course be voluntary.

I was just interested to see if there is already another program in existence, and if not is there much need in general for one? If so what sort of data would people like to collect and or features they would like to see in one.

-Rich


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