TORONTO, May 27, 1998 -- A consortium of public, college, university college and institute libraries in the Province of British Columbia has commenced implementation of a real-time interlibrary loan (ILL) system based on A-G Canada's Impact/ONLINE web-based technology.
The project, called OutLOOK Online, will involve 72 public libraries and 23 post-secondary libraries. The project is jointly funded by the provincial government through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology. The project is administered by the Province's Library Services Branch, which supports public libraries, and the Electronic Library Network, which coordinates resource sharing among universities, colleges and institutes. The OutLOOK union catalogue's 2.7 million bibliographic records (5.7 million holdings) have been converted to Impact/ONLINE.
Auto-Graphics Inc., the parent company of A-G Canada, has produced the consortium's catalogue on CD-ROM since 1991 which was enhanced in 1994 with the FileServer ILL management system. The new web-based system provides ongoing updating of the union catalogue, as opposed to periodic distribution of CDs. It is much faster and more economical to use by patrons and library staff alike, according to William Kliss, chief operating officer of A-G Canada and Auto-Graphics.
The project will begin April 20, 1998 with the majority of libraries moving to the Impact/ONLINE ILLTM product. The remainder will interface to the network via A-G Canada's Gateway software in the short term but will move to OutLOOK Online within 2 years.
Major benefits to patrons of the web-based service include:
- open access to OutLOOK Online from any location, using a variety of web browsers;
- a graphical user interface that is easy to master by novices, yet provides a search mode for experts;
- context sensitive help available online;
- ability to "scope" library holdings regionally in addition to qualifying searches by language and publication date; initiation of ILL requests from a library or personal computer without staff assistance as well as the ability to check request status.
Major benefits to libraries include lower production and staff costs, real-time ILL processing, integration of CD-ROM and Impact/ONLINE equipped libraries, and potential to include other libraries' holdings in the catalogue.
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.