Emeryville, CA—Innovative Interfaces is pleased to announce that Union College and Siena College have joined ConnectNY, a growing consortium of independent college and university libraries, as Charter members. Both Siena and Union have activated their ConnectNY union catalogs so that students and faculty are now taking advantage of this new system for sharing resources in New York. In addition, The ConnectNY Council has recently approved the applications of the United States Military Academy Library at West Point and the Bard College Library. Their collections will be added to the system in the Spring of 2005. ConnectNY represents the collaboration of libraries within New York State dedicated to sharing research materials as efficiently and quickly as possible for faculty, staff, and students at the participating institutions. The founding members are: Rochester Institute of Technology, St. Lawrence University, Colgate University, Vassar College, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The ConnectNY union catalog is powered by the Innovative Interfaces INN-Reach software, acquired by the consortium in 2004. A library patron can initiate an online, direct-borrowing request from his or her respective member library and expect requested items to be delivered within 48 hours. ConnectNY uses the LAND delivery service, a Nylink statewide delivery system. The consortial arrangement substantially increases the number of titles available to member library users and also reduces the unit cost of resource sharing among participating institutions. The merged collections currently listed in the INN-Reach union catalog contain over 3 million items—all available for searching and circulation. Students and faculty of ConnectNY institutions have enthusiastically embraced the new service. Borrowing and lending traffic has reached nearly 25,000 items annually.
In addition to the benefits of direct, online borrowing and rapid turn-around of exchanged items, the ConnectNY model (like similar installations such as MOBIUS [Missouri], OhioLINK, Summit [Oregon and Washington], and Prospector [Colorado]) makes possible true cooperative collection development and resource sharing. The ConnectNY members will be exploring not only cooperative purchasing of expensive resources, but also complementary development of their monographic collections. The comprehensive and constantly updated INN-Reach union catalog makes these, and other, resource sharing arrangements entirely practical and cost-effective.
“Our system has not only become larger with the addition of the two new members but also faster and more cost effective because of the new INN-Reach system,” says Bart Harloe of ConnectNY. INN-Reach typically gets materials to students within 48 hours—much faster than traditional interlibrary loan systems. ConnectNY has initiated a model shared by other INN-Reach systems that makes true cooperative collection development possible. “Our overlap studies indicate that we have complimentary collections. In fact, over 70% of the collections in the catalog are unique. ” The ConnectNY project will be exploring not only cooperative purchasing of expensive resources, but also complementary development of their monographic collections.
ConnectNY began as cooperative project with the assistance of a planning grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2003. The consortium subsequently received $250,000 from the foundation to support the implementation of the new union catalog in New York State. “The Andrew Mellon Foundation is pleased to be able to support the development of this new collaborative effort for this group of academic libraries in New York State,” stated Senior Advisor for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Susan Perry. “We believe that it will allow their students and faculty to share resources in an efficient and cost-effective manner and that, in the longer run, can serve as one model for resource sharing in New York State.”
ConnectNY is a unified catalog of participating academic libraries in New York State designed to allow authorized users of participating libraries to borrow materials from other ConnectNY libraries when appropriate. ConnectNY is a user-initiated resource sharing system with nine members and a combined database of over 3 million.
With over 25 years of partnership with the library community, Innovative Interfaces (www.iii.com) is the leader in providing Web-powered, Java-based automated library systems. Its flagship product offering, Millennium, is installed in thousands of libraries in 42 countries around the world. The company is headquartered in Emeryville, California, with offices around the world.