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Prospects runs a large volunteer tutor program (up to 200 pairs in any year), as well as a wide range of family literacy programs (have served almost 4,000 participants in the past 4-5 years, most in the last three). Six years ago we had no database at all. In fact, our method of doing address labels was to keep a master list on which we would WHITE OUT names and type in new ones as people entered and left the program. Very very primitive!
Although we started out wanting something simple in Lit-Link, over the course of development we began to ask for the database to have the capacity to do more and more things. (Another reason why development took three times as long as we had initially planned) With the result that we can now, for example, do automatic tutor/ student matches through the computer if we wish. We can also draw up a whole variety of customized lists including lists of matched pairs, do quick and easy address labels, make
greetings cards and customized business cards, do customized mailout campaigns, and do our year-end participation summaries for government funders at the press of a button (it used to take a week's work by several staff members when we had to handle the files manually), and much much more.
We use Lit-Link a lot -every day - and it has really enabled our organization to join the 1990's and become much more professional in the way we manage information. We have almost 5,000 records in it now and with the variety of ways of being able to customize lists, etc; we have been able to use it for all kinds of events, mailouts and so on. We also have it on an in-house network of seven Mac computers and it has worked well on the network despite the many changes we have made in the network itself over the last yearadding new machines, Internet access, etc.
We use mainly the People module although we use the others from time to time and will use the almost finished ones as they are completed. We have also just had Stefan make some modifications to the library module because we're doing a major re-vamping of our in-house library. We plan to implement a modified dewey decimal system because our fairly large library is getting out of hand and the old check-out system no longer works. And it will be relatively easy to do this because the capacity is there in Lit-Link. So the software has not only addressed all of our original needs, but has also opened new doors and opportunities for us to improve the services we offer. I guess that was the benefit of having a broad thinker doing this job; at every turn he included things that-"may" be useful down the road. Infuriating while the development was going on, but we are grateful for it now!
FEATURES & SPECIFICATIONS
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