POMONA, Calif., January 9, 1998 -- Less than six months after purchasing the library information services division of ISM Information Systems Management Corp. (ISM), Auto-Graphics today announced completion of a new data center that enables the launch in both the U.S. and Canada, of new technology products that replace those acquired from ISM, and which constitute a new and synergistic business direction for Auto-Graphics.
Both A-G Canada, headquartered in Toronto, and its U.S. parent Auto-Graphics Inc. (OTC:AUGR) have scheduled January introductions of Impact/MARCit™, which supports a full range of cataloging activities for libraries, publishers and the information industry. In Canada, Impact/MARCit replaces the CATSS™ product acquired from ISM, but in the U.S., the new product represents a significant expansion of business opportunities for Auto-Graphics.
"This represents a major strategic thrust by Auto-Graphics," according to William Kliss, chief operating officer of Auto-Graphics and A-G Canada. "As a result of our system upgrade in Canada, we can now offer quality cataloging services in the U.S., and we intend to market these to the library community at large, not just to our customer base of library consortia."
The comprehensive range of bibliographic and authority record databases accessible via Impact/MARCit includes the largest Canadian and the second-largest North American cataloging resource formerly known as CATSS. Subscribers to Impact/MARCit will have access to the shared resource A-G Databases of bibliographic and authority records that are:
- Records issued by source agencies (such as The Library of Congress and The National Library of Canada)
- Records shared between Auto-Graphic customers
- Other records owned by Auto-Graphics and A-G Canada, including the REMARC database of early LC records
The A-G Databases include nearly 23 million unique bibliographic records, and over 6 million authority records. The U.S.-sourced content is oriented to K-12 and public libraries, whereas the Canadian-sourced records have an academic emphasis. "The overlap of titles between U.S. and Canadian customers is about 85 percent in public institutions," Kliss said.
Cataloging services support searching, copying, creating and editing industry-standard MARC (MAchine Readable Cataloging) records. Three attributes govern the quality and utility of any cataloging service, according to Kliss: ease of access to the service, effectiveness of the search engine and the quality of the database on which the service depends. The service now offered both by A-G Canada and Auto-Graphics Inc. is unparalleled in North America.
Auto-Graphics 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 cataloging 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™, Auto-Graphics will continue to offer the highest technology of proven resource sharing solutions to the library consortia community in the U.S., and through A-G Canada, will bring those same consortia services to Canada. "Catalogers, librarians and library patrons need equality of access and economy of service, and we aim to supply just that," Kliss said.
Auto-Graphics is well placed to deliver. The Impact/MARCit 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 librarian and patron services of Impact/ONLINE have a proven presence in library consortia throughout the United States, and include:
- Impact/ONLINE WebPAC*, providing Web-based access for library patrons to the holdings of their own library, the holdings of their library's consortium partners, and electronic interlibrary lending;
- Impact/ONLINE ILL, a fully automated, Internet-based interlibrary loan 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.
"Data is what drives these systems," stressed Kliss. "The better the quality of the data, and the wider the spread of the data, the more valuable our data-dependent services become. The ISM acquisition made us custodians of the extensive databases built in Canada over the years. Supplementing them now are the resource databases built by Auto-Graphics in the United States. We bring access to these databases, both as a provider of utility services to catalogers and librarians, and as a resource sharing partner to library consortia on both sides of the border."
Company Information Founded in 1950, Auto-Graphics Inc. (OTC:AUGR) provides information publishing and database resource sharing systems to the publishing and library communities.