Cd-rom Scout Publications
Stephen M. Stoffel (stevemcs@QCA.COM)
Thu, 19 Sep 1996 22:31:58 -0600
>On 19 Sept, David H. Hoult wrote:
>Does anyone know if there are plans to put the scouting
>library ( including merit badges) on CD-ROM?
David, I think you have a real winner here. Certainly BSA cannot give =
away all of the information contained in its many, many publications by =
just posting it to the net, because that would not allow them to defray =
the costs of assembling the data to begin with. Further, we want BSA to =
be able to continue to produce quality publications regarding all =
aspects of Scouting.
However, I think most would agree that continuing to try to communicate =
to the vast network of Scouts and Scouters using only printed media =
would make even Gutenburg role over in his print shop!
Clearly, national understands this because they have FINALLY embraced =
the net with an OFFICIAL BSA site. (Personally, I still prefer the =
Scout Service home page, but that is another posting.)
There would be many advantages to both BSA and to publication users to =
publishing Scout related data on CD-ROM. First, the cost of production =
is dramatically reduced and the cost of revision and update becomes =
almost trivial. Second, the utility to users is greatly enhanced by =
allowing for such features as free-text search, distribution of =
editable, reproducible forms, the ability to include animation, video, =
and audio clips when appropriate, and many more features.
In addition to Scouting, I am active in the volunteer fire service in =
our community. Our department used to subscribe to volumes and volumes =
of National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) fire codes and =
regulations and standards. It cost a fortune. It took up tons of shelf =
space to store. It took up hours of time to keep the binders up to date =
with supplements. And to try and find a particular piece of =
information, or to cross reference related items took the patience of a =
Den Leader. Now we get the whole schebang on two CD-ROMS. It costs =
much less. By subscribing to the update service, we get new CD's =
periodically. It takes no space to store. I can take them with me as I =
travel and use them on my Cd-rom equipped notebook computer. (I have =
the entire library a my fingertips on an airplane on at camp.) And I =
can search for data by any variable you could imagine.
If anyone at national is listening, please, please do this thing. It =
would be wonderful. Just be sure to do it right if you do.
Yours in Scouting,
Stephen M. Stoffel, Vice-chair - Program, Arapahoe District, Longs Peak =
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City