The University of California Division of Library Automation and Data Research Associates, Inc. (DRA) have each developed Z39.50-compliant clients and servers that allow the University's MELVYL system's online catalog to display circulation status information retrieved from the DRA circulation database at the University of California-Davis. The interface is important in that it represents the first use of Z39.50 to provide real-time item status from one automated system (DRA's circulation database at the University of California-Davis) to another automated system's on-line catalog (University of California's MELVYL catalog). Most applications of z39.50 to date have involved only bibliographic information exchange.
The MELVYL/DRA implementation not only answers the question, 'Does the library own the item?' but moves a step farther to 'Is the item available?' The link is apparently fast enough that terminals in the UC-Davis library are set to display the circulation status automatically.
[Contact: Data Research Associates, Inc., 1276 North Warson Road, P.O. Box 8495, St. Louis, MO 63132-1806; (314) 432-1100 or (800) 325-0888; FAX (314) 993-8927.]