October 6, 1997. San Francisco State University and California State University Long Beach announced today that they will join the CSULink Consortium. The Consortium uses the INNOPAC "INN-Reach" software from Innovative Interfaces Inc. to operate the CSULink union catalog and inter-library-loan software to promote the sharing of collections among the students and faculties of the member institutions.
CSULink began in September 1995 as an INN-Reach union catalog of six California State University (CSU) campuses: Fullerton, Pomona, San Jose, San Diego, San Luis Obispo and Hayward. In August of 1996 the consortium implemented a one year pilot project using the INN-Reach Inter-Library Loan/Circulation module that supports unmediated inter-library requesting and borrowing of materials by all students and faculty members from the combined library collections of the member institutions.
"Participating in the consortium has been an overwhelming positive experience," said Julie Kowalewski Ward, CSULink coordinator and head of San Jose State University Library's Circulation Department. "It is very exciting to have the opportunity to work with sister campuses to give patrons access to such a vast amount of information from our newly created union catalog of more than two million titles."
Citing the benefits gained with CSULink, Ward emphasizes patron independence. "The request function is virtually self-serve and has little impact on the library staff. With a query, the patron is automatically given the item's circulation status and is able to place a request, monitor the status of the item and pick it up when it arrives. And all of this information is accessible from their home, office, or library terminal because the system has automatic patron verification and will trace the patron back to their home library."
Ward has also had positive response from the patrons. "More than anything, for them, its convenient and easy to use. They have been very happy about the quick turn-around of requests and the lack of forms. Getting in and out of the Union Catalog is as easy as a 'u' key with a toggle function."
INN-Reach software is Innovative Interfaces software that provides union catalog, inter library loan and circulation capabilities between multiple libraries. "Using INN-Reach software, each library in a consortium increases its collection many times over, with the union catalog providing both a research and finding tool," said Sandy Westall, Vice President of Innovative and Product Manager for INN-Reach. "Patrons may place requests directly online following immediate patron authentication. Furthermore, INN-Reach software is much more than a requesting mechanism—all of the additional features of circulation such as renewals, cancellations, overdue notices and fines are supported. And, besides complete request tracking, there is a full set of statistics.
Innovative Interfaces Inc., headquartered in Emeryville, California, is one of the world's leading providers of library automation systems to academic, public and special libraries. Innovative's INNOPAC system is installed in more than 700 libraries in 18 countries around the world.