Since OCLC's announcement that it has selected The Claremont Colleges' Total Library System (TLS) as a vehicle in its drive to market services to libraries that are unwilling to sustain the high telecommunications charges entailed in operating all library automated services on the host computer in Dublin, Ohio, librarians throughout the country have been checking their files for further details on the Claremont system. Help is at hand in an OCLC "Preliminary Overview' document which references a November 1980 report in Wilson Library Bulletin.
As described in these sources, TLS provides automated support for a full range of library functions covering all facets of acquisitions, funds control, catalog maintenance, circulation and an on-line catalog. OCLC's adoption of TLS signals its entry into the turnkey systems market, where it is packaging TLS with Hewlett-Packard 3000 minicomputers. The appropriate HP-3000 will be chosen in accord with the size of individual clients' operations.
Under the terms of the agreement with OCLC, The Claremont Colleges will not be able to sell the TLS software during the period of the marketing contract with OCLC. Although planning to sell TLS as a single package of hardware and software, OCLC is prepared to negotiate "software only" sales to libraries which already have Hewlett-Packard minis. Such negotiations would be conducted individually.
While other turnkey vendors can offer their customers software interfaces to the OCLC database, OCLC's sponsorship of TLS encompasses a hard- wired linkage between the OCLC terminal and the TLS mini. As part of the TLS service package, OCLC is providing for the transfer of records from its database to the on-line file in the local system during low rate night-time hours.
In publicizing the system, OCLC stresses its circulation and local on-line catalog capabilities--the areas in which libraries using the OCLC mainframe system would carry a particularly heavy communications cost burden. The TLS reserve room support module is considered to be particularly strong, having been developed to meet the needs of an academic library system.
OCLC has reported much interest in the system, particularly from the academic community. It expects to demonstrate TLS, with 90% of its initial installation software in place, at the American Library Association meeting in Philadelphia next summer, and hopes to make the first installation of TLS in late summer/early fall, 1982.
Parallel with TLS, OCLC is continuing to develop its Local Library System (LLS) to provide comprehensive integrated services to libraries which do not wish to install an in-house computer. The LLS alternative will address the communication costs problem by establishing local area computer centers to handle high transaction volume functions such as circulation and on-line catalogs. Libraries using LLS will be unaware of which functions are being performed locally and which are being processed at OCLC's Ohio facility. [Contact: OCLC, 6565 Frantz Road, Dublin, OH 43017. (614) 764-6000.]