Ameritech has announced that its new Resource Sharing System (RSS) will shortly be available in general release. This is a standalone product designed to work not only with Ameritech's Dynix, Horizon, and NOTIS systems, but also with automated library systems from any other vendor. The components include a Web gateway for patron access; a staff workstation for managing, mediating, and tracking resource sharing activity; and the RSS server.
RSS is claimed to be the first interlibrary loan product to contain the full ISO/ILL implementation. It also conforms to the international ISO/ILL 10161 protocol, Z39.50, and SMTP-the Internet E-mail standard. Because of its adherence to standards, the RSS product is able to work with almost any automated library system in the library and also with an automated library system in another library or the online system of a document delivery service.
We have seen the product and it is impressive. However, we are concerned with its price tag-an average of more than $20,000. While a very reasonable price for an institution which does thousands of interlibrary loans a year, it is a budget breaker for small libraries hoping to purchase an integrated library system for $150,000 or less and whose ILL volume is only a few hundred transactions a year. We hope Ameritech will develop an ILL module for its Dynix system-a strictly software solution that would run on the same machine as the other modules.
[Contact: Ameritech Library Services, telephone 800-288-8020.]