The Avi Chai Foundation is delighted to announce the birth of a new tool for Judaica librarians—the Avi Chai Bookshelf Union Catalog. The union catalog, which contains the MARC bibliographic holdings of 31 Jewish high school libraries in the United States and Canada that have been recipients of Avi Chai's Bookshelf grant, is located at http://avichai.calypso.scoolaid.net
The Avi Chai Union Catalog runs on the OPALS (open source) library automation system (http://www.opals-na.org). We are grateful to Harry Chan, the president of the service company, and his technical staff, Richard Grenier and Dan Weeks, for their responsiveness to our requests, particularly with regard to creating the ability to search and display records in Hebrew. IWe also thank Chaya Wiesman, Ramaz Upper School librarian and her automation committee who brought OPALS to our attention initially.
The union catalog supports the Z39.50 protocol, so you are welcome to import records from it into your own catalogs. Use the following information to access the union catalog for this purpose:
Host Name: avichai.calypso.scoolaid.net
Database Name: avichai
The Avi Chai Bookshelf program is very happy to offer what we believe will be an excellent tool for collection development and for the sharing of cataloging information with the entire Jewish library world.