ST. PAUL, Minn. (December 10, 1998) - CPS Systems announced today the addition of several new options to its Universal Resource Sharing Application (URSA). These options allow libraries to optimize the resource sharing process by using local circulation information in the automatic selection of potential lenders.
"Through the use of these new options, libraries can see a dramatic increase in fill rates which translates to higher productivity for library staff," said John Wardell, general manager of CPS Systems, a Minnesota-based developer of library software. "Patrons will receive items sooner since libraries with available copies will receive the request first."
This unique Automated Lender Selection option uses the circulation information in the local holdings records to determine if the item is on the shelf and has "circulating status." Holdings with available status will be chosen first so chances are increased that the request can be filled by the first selected lender.
Wardell adds that the CPS Automated Lender Selection option was developed to enhance interlibrary loan efficiency and patron service. According to an ARL study on Measuring the Performance of Interlibrary Loan Operations, an average of 42 percent of requests go unfilled at research libraries.
"Just reviewing and rejecting requests for unavailable materials takes a lot of time and effort by ILL staff," said Robert Krall, manager of Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery for the University of Pennsylvania's Van Pelt Library. "We expect the lender selection process used by URSA to significantly reduce the number of "unfillable" incoming requests, and enable us to provide faster turnaround and better service on those requests we can fill."
In cooperation with Research Libraries Group, CPS is supporting a pilot project developed by the libraries at Columbia, Pennsylvania, and Yale Universities to design a resource sharing system based on CPS' URSA for use by students and faculty at these institutions.
URSA, introduced in June 1997, is the only resource sharing system available that supports fully automated, patron initiated resource sharing between libraries served by different automation vendors. URSA's remote circulation capabilities, that enable direct holds in different lender systems, significantly improves resource sharing productivity. A URSA system, named SuperSearch, which links 28 libraries in California, has been in operation for 18 months. A Linked Systems Study, prepared for the California Library Services Board by Joan Frye Williams, information technology consultant, reported that SuperSearch was the only one of the projects evaluated that had fulfilled all of the criteria for resource sharing functionality.
"We wanted to estimate staff time saved using SuperSearch," said Jim Rosaschi, manager of systems and technical services at the Sonoma County(CA) Library. "An item requested directly by a patron through SuperSearch required 5 minutes of our staff time. A similar request, made at the reference desk, with ILL staff using OCLC, required 27 minutes."
"The benefits of patron initiated, automated resource sharing have been validated with URSA systems that are installed and operating today," said CPS' Wardell. "We are also encouraged by the activities that are under way to standardize these remote circulation functions. The installation of our extensions to 3M's Standard Interchange Protocol in the PALCI system enable us to perform all the remote circulation functions with Endeavor's Voyager system installed at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. We expect this to be a model for the development of the remote circulation standard."
CPS will also unveil a prototype of its ISO 10160/10161 implementation at Booth #1038 at the midwinter ALA conference, January 30th through February 1st, in Philadelphia. This demonstration will illustrate how CPS is integrating this protocol into the URSA product to provide interoperability with other ISO compliant systems. URSA currently supports the Z39.50 standard that is used in the Virtual Catalog module.
For more information on URSA or to see a product demonstration, interested parties can visit the CPS web site at www.cps-us.com.
CPS Systems, Inc. is the United States subsidiary of CPS Systems, Pty. Ltd. of Sydney, Australia. CPS also has an office in Wellington, New Zealand. CPS Systems, Inc. is located at 6053 Hudson Road, Suite 180, Woodbury, Minn. CPS can be reached by phone at (651)731-8993 or by e-mail at email@example.com.