Emeryville, CAŚInnovative Interfaces announced today that The Ohio State University Libraries have implemented Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, and Hebrew character sets in their Millennium system to support their substantial research collections and the scholars that use them. "Access to these sources by students and faculty has been greatly improved thanks to this implementation," says Laura Tull, Systems Librarian at Ohio State University, "Library staff are also benefiting from the ability to enter foreign language characters directly into records in the Millennium staff modules." Millennium supports over 20 languages and is fully Unicode«-compliant, which allows non-English records to be viewed and navigated by staff and patrons anywhere in the system. Previous to this, the Libraries utilized an Ex Libris Aleph system for this purpose.
The Ohio State University Libraries contain a high volume of foreign language resources, with over 45,000 records each in Arabic, Hebrew, and Japanese. The Chinese collection is one of the largest in the U.S. with a total of more than 150,000 volumes. "Feedback for the Chinese Web OPAC has been very positive from both faculty and students," says Guoqing Li, Chinese and Korean Studies Librarian. "Students and faculty members versed in Chinese are able to determine the exact title they are looking for without having to guess what the romanized titles might be. For title and author searches, using the original characters is much faster and more accurate."
Both Innovative and The Ohio State University Libraries were early adopters of the now accepted Unicode standard. Unicode is a standard for a universal character set that assigns a unique code for each character, regardless of the computer platform, software, or languageŚresulting in a unified system to handle multiple languages. Ohio State University librarians were working to make Unicode accessible to users through Web browsers from the late 1990s. In fact, Tull and a colleague, Dona Straley, Middle East Studies librarian, published an article about Ohio State University's implementation of Unicode in a 2003 Library Hi Tech article.
Innovative has delivered extensive Unicode support since 1997, and has supported initiatives and organizations supporting its standardization. Today, if a patron's browser does not have its encoding set to Unicode, Millennium automatically sends the character set in advance of the citation to ensure that the results are properly displayed. Millennium also offers the ability to use Unicode values as the standard for the internal storage of character data in the system. "One cannot underestimate the value of making our international collections searchable and available," says Joe Branin, Director of Libraries for The Ohio State University. "We have had a continuing and fruitful relationship with Innovative in making our strong collections have a real presence online."
About The Ohio State University Libraries
The Libraries on The Ohio State University Columbus campus have a combined collection size of nearly 5.7 million volumes and regularly receive approximately 43,000 serial titles. The Libraries consist of the Main Library and a number of department libraries and other specialized collections. Ohio State is also a member of OhioLINK, a statewide library and information network connecting major academic and community college libraries and the State Library of Ohio.
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 an acknowledged market leader installed in thousands of libraries in over 40 countries. The company is headquartered in Emeryville, California, with offices in Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Korea, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.