The Library of Michigan and Innovative Interfaces today announced they are entering into contract negotiations for Innovative's INN-Reach and Millennium Access Plus (MAP) software to support the Michigan eLibrary (MeL) portal, catalog and resource-sharing system.
Christie Pearson Brandau, state librarian of Michigan, said Innovative's product was ultimately selected above the other bids because it contained the right combination of services and software to take the Michigan eLibrary to its very important next phases of development. “The next step,” she said, “is to move through the negotiations swiftly and smartly; then the real work can begin!”
The selection criteria was developed with input from librarians throughout the state, representing institutions of all sizes and types, as well as from the Michigan Department of Information Technology. “Where we are today is the culmination of years of work by hundreds of individuals committed to making library resources fully accessible to all Michigan residents,” Brandau stated.
According to Sandy Westhall, Innovative's vice president for library service, INN-Reach is a proven centralized union catalog and resource-sharing system now operational in 15 consortia around the country. “Our MAP software includes an information portal with broadcast search capability, authentication for remote access to licensed databases, and smart linking capability,” she said.
Brandau said the software will provide exciting new components within the Michigan eLibrary:
- a statewide portal with multi-protocol searching of all MeL licensed databases,
- a statewide online union catalog with the combined holdings of all participating Michigan libraries, and
- a resource-sharing system for patrons to place online requests without assistance from library staff.
“We are very happy to have Innovative as our partner for these next critical pieces of MeL,” said Brandau. “Our vision has always been to provide all Michigan residents with easy access to the information they need, when they need it, and in the format they prefer. Now, with the help of Innovative, our residents will have one place to go to find materials owned by Michigan's libraries, including valuable local history materials. More importantly, people will have more free, equalized access to a combined wealth of library resources no matter where they are.”
The Innovative proposal for MeL builds on the InMICH pilot resource-sharing project that began in 2000 and now has 27 participating libraries with 8.5 million items in 14 counties, including the Upper Peninsula. Thanks to the pioneering efforts of many libraries in the state, the InMICH project has a union catalog and resource-sharing system not only for libraries with Innovative ILS software, but also for libraries that use Dynix, Winnebago and — soon — Follett library software.
“Michigan is the first in the nation with this suite of applications,” said Westall. “It is clear that, with the continued spirit of partnership that has characterized Innovative's relationship with Michigan libraries thus far, there is no question that MeL will fulfill its vision and goals.”
Michigan has more than 2,000 libraries, including public, academic, school and special, with over 48 million books and other library resources. The MeLCat Project plan calls for the portal to be implemented within three to six months of contract signing and for 120 libraries to be operational with the union catalog and resource-sharing system in the first year.
Innovative Interfaces (www.iii.com), headquartered in Emeryville, Calif., is the leader in providing Web-based automated library systems. Innovative's library automation systems are installed in thousands of libraries in 36 countries around the world.
The Library of Michigan, this year celebrating 175 years as Michigan's official state library agency, is part of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries (HAL), which is dedicated to enriching the quality of life for Michigan residents by providing access to information, preserving and promoting Michigan's heritage and fostering cultural creativity. For more information about the Library of Michigan and HAL, visit www.michigan.gov/hal.