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FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions

1. What kind of computer hardware do I need to run PC Card Catalog?
2. Can you handle eBooks and other downloadable resources?
3. Can I run PC Card Catalog on a Mac?
4. Does it work in Windows 7? Windows 8?
5. How do I move my library software to another computer?
6. Can we use other label stock for spine/pocket labels?
7. How do we back up our files PC Card Catalog files?
8. What is considered a "smaller library" in your descriptions?
9. Does the software come with a manual?
10. Can I reach you folks by telephone?
11. Does PC Card Catalog print bar code labels?
12. Can I use the UPC bar codes printed on the book jackets?
13. What do I need in a bar code scanner?
14. Where can I find the card and label supplies for PC Card Catalog?
15. What is "AACR2" and why is it so great?
16. My text export from ACCESS/Excel didn't import.!???
17. What happens if your company goes out of business?

What kind of computer hardware do I need to run PC Card Catalog?

We recommend at least a desktop or laptop with 2 or more Gigs of memory of RAM running Win 7, 8, or 10. (The software is also compatible with Windows 2000/XP/vista with lower RAM requirements.) The hard drive required depends on the size of your collection. Plan on 2.5 Megs per 1,000 items and approximately 1 Meg per 250 patrons. A CD/DVD drive is preferred for program installation though we can provide download installs. Just let us know. The printer must be a single-sheet type such as an ink jet or laser printer.

If you plan to use bar code scanning in PC Card Catalog or CONCEPT I, you will need a scanner. Most scanners are designed to plug into into a USB ports. We can provide pre-programmed , optimized a scanner at


Can you handle eBooks and other downloadable resources?

Yes, both PC Card Catalog and CONCEPT I have a "URL" field that is perfect for direct links to online texts, PDFs and eBooks download pages. In conjuction with our OurLibraryOnline web catalog, direct links can be made to these resources.

Several of our clients (using PC Card Catalog and CONCEPT I) are actively checking out eBooks through a popular eBooks vendor (OverDrive) with great success. Contact us for more details.


Can I run PC Card Catalog on a Mac?

Unfortunately, No. PC Card Catalog runs on recent Microsoft platforms only. That limits us to Windows XP/vista/Windows 7, 8, and 10. However, our development folks are designing our a cross-platform, tablet-compatible library system. It is not available yet, but stay tuned!


Does it work in Windows VISTA? Windows 7? Windows 8? Windows 10?

YES, both PC Card Catalog and CONCEPT I work fine in VISTA, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10. The installation is slightly different so always select the Window 7 install for both DEMO and the Authorized program.

As with most programs, a login with administrative rights will be required to complete the installation. During the install you may have to give permissions to continue the installation procedure.


How can I move my library system to another computer?

The details on moving your PC Card Catalog and its data to another computer can be a little involved. we have created a "Move Your Program" page that will describe the process and options in detail.


Can we use other label stock for spine/pocket labels?

While the stock defined is popular and nearly every supplier has it in their catalogs, we agree, the choice is somewhat confining. We do plan to provide additional label formats in future releases of PC Card Catalog. Please let us know what label stock you would like to be using. Our users should certainly have a say in this upgrade.


How do we back up our files PC Card Catalog files?

Good question! And it is good that you are paying attention to this critical process. The BACKUP procedure is built into version 3.x. Select "Utilities>>Backup Data."

The Version 3 data files that we backup are all typically located in the "C:\Users\Public\Library Concepts\PCCC3\Data\" directory. (Win XP/2000 installations use "\Program Files\PCCC3\Data\".) You can find a list of the files in "Help>>Help Contents>>Technical Details>>File Names".


What is considered a "smaller library" in your product descriptions?

PC Card Catalog is designed for libraries with less than 50,000 items. That is not a technical limit but a practical one. Technically, PC Card Catalog is limited to 100 million items. We believe that should work for most libraries.

By the way, no artificial limits are imposed on the DEMO (other than a limit of ten patrons). So add as many items as you like. The items you add during the demo period are available when you install the authorized program.


Does the program come with a manual?

Yes, PC Card Catalog and CONCEPT I both include a manual. Currently CONCEPT I includes the PC Card Catalog manual AND a CONCEPT I supplement.

And don't forget the extensive HELP feature that is installed with the software (DEMO & Authorized versions.)

You can access HELP from several paths:
1. "Help>>Help Contents" on the main menu will give you a complete table of contents that ultimately points to the entire Help text. Clicking on the underlined green text will "link" you to further details.
2. Help Buttons throughout the program. Most screens have a Help button that links the user to details about that screen.
3. Context sensitive help. When entering text in fields, such as the Item Entry section, press the <F1> key and specific details about the field containing the cursor will be displayed.

The HELP feature includes an INDEX where specific words "link" to associated information. If you need printed text, the HELP print function will print the "page" you are displaying at the time.

At first HELP may not seem as handy as using a manual. However, with the ability to link from one topic to another, with never having to find the book, with our ability to easily update HELP when you download the updates...we think this is ultimately a preferred system of providing what you need to run your program.


Can I reach you folks by telephone?

YES! and here are our numbers:

(817) 346-0928 SUPPORT

(800) 519-7537 SALES & PRODUCT INFORMATION

We will be glad to visit with you if you need program information, pricing or a business proposal. We can discuss how PC Card Catalog or CONCEPT I will best work in your specific library. Our office hours are 9:00am to 4:30pm Central time.

Our phones are also available to handle support. Phone Support, however, is not a free option. If your Support Subscription is current, you may call us using the Support Number (817.346.0928). Phone support is only available in the US and Canada. (Renew your Support)


Does PC Card Catalog print bar code labels? If I buy pre-printed labels, what do I need?

PC Card Catalog CIRCULATION (v3.30 and later) and CONCEPT I can print bar code labels within the program. Earlier versions and BASIC do not.

The internally printed labels are 12-digit codes and use the Code 39 symbology. The software allows you to define a range of bar code numbers to be printed. The user must be certain that no duplicate numbers are created. (Duplicates will be dutifully printed, but won't be of much use.)

If you would rather not print you own labels or if you want bar code labels to use PC Card Catalog BASIC, then you can use pre-printed labels. Here are some considerations.

First, in PC Card Catalog the bar code numbers do NOT need to match any other numbers (like the item's accession number). So whatever bar code is assigned will work fine. Should the bar code label wear out or be damaged, just assign another label with a different code. Though some folks can't imagine how, trust us, it really works!

Second, pre-printed labels are usually more precise. They can be made smaller and thus are easier to scan. Several library supply companies have reasonably priced, pre-printed bar code labels. You can use any code scheme you like since the scanners do the decoding. We use Code 39 (also called "Code 3 of 9") symbology in our library, but just about any will work. The symbology you choose for your labels must match what your scanner can read. Remember to order labels with at least 7 characters. You may use leading zeros (0) to boost the character count. CONCEPT I and PC Card Catalog are "picky" about this. While the system reads up to 16 characters, it only saves the least significant 12.

Other Bar Code criteria:
Check Digit: No check digit is required. This is a function of your scanner. If your scanner supports it, it could improve scan reliability.
Library, Patron, Title Codes: While it might be helpful for your library, PC Card Catalog does not use them.
Start/Stop digits: Again, this is a function of your scanner. PC Card Catalog has no preference.
Library Number: This too may be useful for your library, but is not a requirement of PC Card Catalog or CONCEPT i .


Can I use the UPC or ISBN bar codes printed on the book jackets?

While it is possible to use the UPC (Universal Product Code) or ISBN/EAN codes as the bar code in PC Card Catalog, it becomes a problem if you have more than one copy of a book title. The bar codes for each item must be unique, but the same codes printed on multiple copies of books are not.


What do I need in a bar code scanner?

The bar code scanners used in "PC Card Catalog" work by emulating a keyboard typing the bar code characters. Two types of scanners can be used. One is called the "wedge." It is connected between the keyboard and the computer. The other type connects to a serial or USB port. (USB scanners are currently more popular.) They simulate keyboard entry. Both work equally well with the software.

Most scanners will allow you to select the bar code scheme you wish to use. (We use Code 39 in our library. Others include CodaBar, Interleave 2 of 5, etc. The scanners can be programmed for your code scheme(s).) Just about any brand and type of scanner should work, so we recommend you make your selection based on features and price.

We have a bar code scanner in our product line. This scanner is ready-to-run and is optimized for PC Card Catalog with no additional programming. See our 1300g Scanner information.


Where can I find the card and label supplies for PC Card Catalog?

Library Concepts does not sell library supplies, so you will have to look elsewhere. Fortunately there are several library supply stores that are anxious to serve you. We don't actually recommend one above the other. E-mail or call them for a catalog. Here is our list:

These folks have just about anything you might need for your library. Looking through their catalogs can be inspiring.


What is "AACR2" and why is it so great?

AACR2 is the acronym for Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules version 2. This is the standard that most libraries use for filing cards in the catalog, listing titles, authors and so forth.

While the "Rules" are very thorough, here are some of the more common standards:

  • Leading articles (A, An, The) in the title are ignored:
         The Last of the Mohicans is filed as Last of the Mohicans.
  • Abbreviations are treated as the complete word:
         Dr. Dolittle is filed as Doctor Dolittle.
  • Numbers in titles are alphabetized as though the numbers are spelled out:
         20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is filed as Twenty-thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
  • Authors with last names beginning with Mc are filed as though the names were Mac.
         McIntyre is treated as MacIntyre

When we actually look for an item in the catalog, even without knowing the "Rules," the order will be intuitive. PC Card Catalog takes great pains to follow the AACR2 "Rules" in order make the search experience so much easier.

The default filing of most computer programs is "ASCII," a sorting order that assigns numbers before letters and does not consider the structure of the text. While handy for computer gurus, it makes a much less intutitive search for others.


My text exports from ACCESS and Excel didn't import properly. What do I do now?

This process is now easier with PC Card Catalog v3.4 (and up) and CONCEPT I that use the TAB-delimited text export/import. (To create Exports in Excel, Save As "TAB delimited - TXT". In Access use the Save As/Export|External File|Save As - TXT, CSV... set the delimiter to TAB) These files avoid the ambiguities associated with comma-delimited imports.

The challenge is to create a good MAP file. Look in the software's program folder for the file named "PCCCtemplate.MAP." Open this file in NotePad. It is a list of FIELD NAMES each one placed on the correct MAP file line (For details see Help >> Help Contents >> Importing Items >> ASCII.) Replace each FIELD NAME with appropriate column number of the field in your export file. Template FIELD NAMES that do not have matching data in the export file must have the FIELD NAME replaced with a zero (0). With every FIELD NAME replaced by a number or zero, save the file and try your import.

A couple of other notes that may help: Be certain that the COST field does not contain any currency symbol ($,£, etc.) Also the DATE fields should be formatted like MM/DD/YY or DD/MM/YY. If the text file includes a "column name" line as line 1, it should be removed before importing.


What happens if Library Concepts goes out of business?

Let's just start by noting this is NOT a Frequently Asked Question... but some folks do want to know. In today's business climate, it is probably a good question to ask any of your software providers.

We can honestly say that plans to "bail out" of this business are not even on our horizon. Our business plan for the next decade is one of growth and expansion as can be deduced from looking at our business for the last two decades!

But mere optimism for Library Concepts cannot predict its future. We understand that. So we have carefully created a "future" (with Library Concepts or not) within our software, both PC Card Catalog and CONCEPT I.

First, understand that both programs (PC Card Catalog and CONCEPT I) will keep on working as they have. If it is serving well now, it will continue to do so.

There may come a time, however, when a client does choose to change programs. To that end, both PC Card Catalog and CONCEPT I have a built-in export feature that creates a "TAB-delimited, ASCII text file" of all the data. This file type is almost universal and can be read by just about any other automation or database program. Any automation vendor would be delighted to make the conversion from this file.

But, hey, stick with us for the next 20 years. Library Automation is an exciting field that will affect "life as we know it" more than we can imagine now. Library Concepts is excited to be a part of it.

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