TORONTO, January 23, 1998. Less than six months after purchasing the library information services division of ISM Information Systems Management Corp. (ISM), A-G Canada today announced the launch of the AGC Database and two new software products that will position cataloguing, resource sharing, and reference services in the virtual library of the future.
The revitalized AGC Database of over 50 million bibliographic records and Canadian holdings has been ported to an open architecture platform making it the most technologically sophisticated service of its kind in North America, according to William Kliss, chief operating officer of A-G Canada and Auto-Graphics, the parent company. The renaming of the collective databases and system, formerly known as CATSS™, reflects the value of their Canadian origins and respects the integrity of data quality and coverage.
"Retaining this valuable collection of data as a Canadian resource was of paramount importance to us, and we are very pleased with the results," said Kliss. "Access to those millions of records and holdings is now available via the Internet using the Web, which offers improved flexibility, simplified communication management, and economies of scale: all with the objective of improving our service delivery to libraries."
The completion of this database building phase now allows libraries to begin transitioning to the two new software products being introduced for A-G Canada's customers. Impact/MARCit™ combined with the AGC Database replaces the CATSS system, and supports a full range of cataloguing activities for libraries, publishers and the information industry. Replacing REFCATSS*, Impact/TRACEit™ is a tool for locating sources for interlibrary loan (ILL) and for satisfying quick reference queries. Both of the new services are offered via the Web using the power of Auto-Graphics' industry renowned Impact™ search engine.
"There is an added significance to the launch of these products," Kliss said. "Auto-Graphics is known in the United States and Canada for its innovative, large scale, resource sharing services to library consortia. We have built our reputation on the Impact/ONLINE™ family of products, and now we are excited to introduce them to all of A-G Canada's customers and to other libraries throughout the country."
A-G Canada is positioning itself to address two highly synergistic aspects of the library services market. With the database resources and customer base acquired from ISM, A-G Canada will continue to be the premier provider of shared resources to the cataloguing community of Canada, and Auto-Graphics will bring that same quality service to the U.S. market. With the patron services and librarian support services of Impact/ONLINE from its parent company, A-G Canada will bring the highest technology of proven resource sharing solutions to the library consortia community. "We believe that the value intrinsic to the AGC Database, representing the holdings of so many of Canada's leading libraries, should be accessible to the widest audience possible," said Kliss. "Cataloguers, ILL librarians and library patrons need equality of access and economy of service. With Impact/MARCit, Impact/TRACEit and Impact/ONLINE, we aim to supply just that."
A-G Canada is also well placed to deliver. The Impact/MARCit and Impact/TRACEit services are based on the respected CATSS lineage which traces its roots back through ISM to the University of Toronto Library Automation Systems (Utlas™). The consortium-oriented services of Impact/ONLINE have a proven presence in library consortia throughout the United States and includes:
- Impact/ONLINE WebPAC, providing Web-based access for library patrons to the holdings of their own library, to the holdings of their library's consortium partners, and to electronic interlibrary lending;
- Impact/ONLINE ILL, a fully automated, Internet based, ILL system that not only relieves library staff of administrative tasks, but implements each library's ILL policies through "postmaster" functions that are industry leaders; and
- Impact/ACCESS, by which libraries can offer patrons access to licensed third-party informational databases via the WebPAC interface.
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.