DUBLIN, Ohio, May 4, 1994--This fall, the California State Library will sponsor a pilot project for public libraries in California to try The FirstSearch Catalog, an online reference system for library patrons.
In the first phase, which begins in mid-September, OCLC will provide more than 30 FirstSearch databases to the state library, to the State of California Answering Network (SCAN) and to 13 reference centers, which provide reference support to the public libraries in California.
The second phase will begin a month later, expanding to include a test group of California public libraries with Internet access.
"California has a fine record in creating bibliographic databases for the people who use libraries," said State Librarian Gary Strong. "The FirstSearch pilot project builds on that fine record and enhances access to information in California's libraries as well as in libraries across the nation."
According to Mr. Strong, the FirstSearch project furthers the California State Library's exploration of appropriate public/private partnerships to ensure that the public has the broadest possible access to information. He said the project will help the state library plan how to use FirstSearch effectively.
"The California FirstSearch project represents an important step in providing public libraries with access to electronic information," said Phyllis B. Spies, OCLC vice president, marketing and sales.
Paul Cappuzzello, OCLC, stated: The pilot project will provide access to FirstSearch's ever-expanding repertoire of general and specialized reference databases, show which California libraries hold the materials found in those databases, and enable public libraries and their patrons to secure the materials quickly and easily through full-text delivery, interlibrary loan and document suppliers.
The California State Library FirstSearch pilot project will be administered by OCLC Pacific, an OCLC service center located in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
The FirstSearch Catalog allows library staff and patrons to use menus to move easily through the online search process in a few simple steps, without training or online searching experience.
OCLC is a nonprofit computer library service and research organization whose computer network and services link more than 17,000 libraries in 52 countries and territories.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: Nita Dean (614) 761-5002