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The bookshop of the future will be computerized or it will not be at all… a paraphrase of a well-known quote not intended to be a prophetic but only to signal the alarm.

Something must be done to improve the time intensive, complex and expensive systems we curently have to publish, advertise, sell and find the books people want. Something has to be changed and…

Something has changed: The Romanian Online Bookshop!

The International Book Fair, Bucharest 1998, was the opportunity for the official launch of the site hosting the Romanian Online Bookshop: The grand opening that took place on Friday 8-th of June represents the final stage of a project that involved more than 50 experts over a period of two years.

What is the Romanian Online Bookshop?
The Online Bookshop is a new concept in Romania and represents, in fact, a modern system to present and sell books. A system open to all institutions and people involved in this field, or just interested in buying book they want.

TheRomanian Online Bookshop is an permanent stand available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week..In fact it is a computer on the Internet where one can find the books offered in Romania and more…

Now book suppliers can present their offers in this electronical bookshop and the buyers can search for the desired titles. Orders to suppliers can be directly entered online with just a click of the mouse.

How can I access The Online Bookshop?
The Online Bookshop can be accessed directly, in an interactive manner using any of the computers connected to the Internet.

For those not connected to the Internet the information available in the Online Bookshop is copied to a weekly guide and distributed through prints channels. This periodical contains the books in print in Romania, and provides the following information: title, author, publisher, number of pages, short description, ISBN, price, subject.

This bulletin contains indexes by author, publisher and subject headings. A reader interested in a particular domain searches the subject index and retrieves the link to the appropriate titles. This weekly journal also contains advertising space and links to the publishers and book suppliers, should they request it.

The above mentioned journal can be delivered on floppy disk or on CD-ROM for those which have a computer, but are not connected to Internet.

The functional scheme of the Online Bookshop emulates a traditional Bookshop 100%. Book suppliers present their offer and the buyer purchases books. The essential difference is the method of communication. It is precisely the improved communication that is the Online Bookshop's gratest advantage.


The main benefit of the system is the overcoming of regional frontiers for the activity of buying and selling books. A well-known fact is that distributors, bookshops or libraries use mainly the local (geographical) sources to access the general public. A publisher's activity in one region of Romania is not always known in another.

A title, once introduced in The Online Bookshop can be browsed anywhere in the country, or in the world. The title can be ordered online. The order will be received by the supplier in an email or fax format containg all the information needed to fulfill it. Based on the information available in The Online Bookshop the buyer can make the necessary purchase plans.

Another advantage is the interactivity of the system. A title once announced by a publisher is available right away (in the next second) for ordering anywhere in the country, or world.

Very important is the intuitiveness of the transaction. Because the information is maintained in a computer database the titles can be retrieved by searching multiple criteriasuch as by author, publisher, publishing date or subject headings. The "stands" of The Online Bookshop rearrange themselves at the buyers command.

For readers
The readers
are the most important part of the whole system being the final beneficiaries. The main advantages for them are:
The browsing tool - the possibility of retrieving data via multiple search criteria means more accurate information and a more complete search. How many times were we interested in a book, but we pass it up in the bookshop because it was in un uninspired place on the shelf?
Ordering - readers can order books from their home computer; the dream of the bibliophile or of the simple book consumer becomes real: siting in front of the computer and navigating through this database with a simple click he can bring the desired book to his door.

Who made The Online Bookshop?

The Company SIO 2000 - Sisteme Informatice On-line pentru anul 2000 or Automation Online Systems for year 2000 in english - is the author of this system. First projects and achievements of the SIO2000 staff were the automation of the libraries in Romania, Moldavia and Bulgaria. The list of more than 50 libraries where SIO2000 delivered and installed integrated library software is a real calling card for the team (The National Library of Romania, The National Library of Moldavia, The Presidency, The Senate, The Chamber of Deputies, The National Institute of Information and Documentation, county and university libraries etc).

The work in these libraries points to a real and difficult problem. One common for everybody, namely the method of developing a setting strategy. We will not mention more about this delicate, qvasi-random process. Something had to be done for the libraries, for the readers, for the buyers.
Something was done… the Romanian Online Bookshop.

Dan Viorel Musetescu



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