WINNIPEG, Manitoba, June 19, 1997. A-G Canada Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Auto-Graphics Inc. (OTC:AUGR), today announced that A-G Canada is purchasing Canada's largest provider of online bibliographic information and interlibrary loan management software, as well as the creation of a new Canadian company to continue operations.
The purchase of the Library Information Services Division (LIS) of ISM Information Systems Management Manitoba Corporation makes Auto-Graphics one of the largest online bibliographic database service providers to libraries in North America. The acquisition also secures a solid position for Auto-Graphics in the specialized field of academic library services to complement the Company's existing clientele of public and K-12 school libraries.
The formation of A-G Canada Ltd. ensures that control of the newly-acquired databases will remain in Canada, according to William Kliss, Chief Operating Officer of both A-G Canada and Auto-Graphics. Offers of employment have been accepted by all employees of LIS, and the staff will be increased to bring other library-related services to Canadian and International markets, Kliss added. "We intend to modernize the systems used by A-G Canada in order to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction," he said.
LIS products and services, which include a bibliographic database of over 57 million records and AVISO interlibrary loan management software, are a natural fit with the direction of Auto-Graphics, according to Kliss.
For example, both companies market interlibrary loan (ILL) management software, but they are differentiated products. AVISO is a standalone PC-based system that may be networked with other similar systems by direct client-to-client connection. Auto-Graphics' ILL package is server-based and may be accessed by any Internet-enabled device.
"Both types of products are in demand in the U.S. and Canada, and sales forces on each side of the border can now offer the best of both classes," Kliss said.
As for bibliographic services, Kliss noted that there is a trend toward the "virtual library," in which multiple sites pool their resources for the benefit of their patrons. A-G Canada will offer resource sharing, cataloguing services and proprietary database management with access to and from the database via both the Z39.50 search and retrieval protocol and World Wide Web facilities.
"Auto-Graphics software has a unique advantage in enabling hierarchical access to databases," Kliss said. "That means a library with diverse and special holdings can reserve any number of selected titles for proprietary use, while making the bulk of their catalogue resource available to the consortium's cataloguers and patrons."
Both companies are accustomed to crossing the national boundary in pursuit of business opportunities. LIS has AVISO customers in the U.S. and bibliographic service ties to U.S. institutions. Auto-Graphics already provides SLiMS (Small Library Information Management System) and Impact/CD CD-ROM catalogue services to Canadian libraries.
Best known today for its pioneering efforts in creating Web-based union catalogues, Auto-Graphics also continues to develop "inclusive" resource sharing innovations for its customers, such as special software to link CD-ROM-based catalogue libraries with online-based (Internet) catalogue libraries in the fully automated Impact/ONLINE ILL system.
A-G Canada has also entered into an agreement whereby the National Library of Canada (NLC) will acquire a copy of certain library files currently maintained as part of the ISM Information Systems Management Canadian bibliographic database for use as part of the AMICUS database maintained by the NLC. As part of the agreement, the NLC has designated A-G Canada as a "node" on the NLC sponsored Virtual Canadian Union Catalogue (vCuc).
A-G Canada has leased facilities at 3300 Bloor St. West, 9th Floor, Centre Tower, Etobicoke, Ontario, M8X 2X3. The company's phone number is (416) 236-7171; fax number is (416) 236-7489; and URL is http://www.ag-canada.com .
A-G Canada Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Auto-Graphics Inc., a company which has capitalized on new technology as it becomes available, providing information publishing and database resource sharing systems to the publishing and library communities.