DUBLIN, Ohio, March 31, 1994--The field test of OCLC Gateway Software came to a close on March 1, with all three test sites deciding to keep the new software interface because it significantly increased their productivity.
The UNIX-based OCLC Gateway Software connects non-OCLC terminals and workstations on a campus or local network to OCLC and other services. Using an easy, menu-driven interface, a library staff member can log on to two or more systems and toggle among them during the workday.
The final report from staff at the University of Pittsburgh said that the Gateway Software and the TLP telecommunications line "provide faster access to OCLC for all functions along with enormously enhanced functionality and flexibility for the same or a slightly reduced/increased net cost to the libraries."
The two other test sites, the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Cincinnati, also reported excellent results.
"OCLC's Gateway Software has revolutionized the way we structure our workflow," said George Janczyn, technical services automated systems manager at UC, San Diego.
"Gateway, with its multiple-session and cut-and-paste capabilities, is a very useful staff tool," said Marcia Deddens, assistant university librarian for systems at the University of Cincinnati. "The beauty of Gateway for our reference staff is that they can be logged on to a suite of services. We see the potential for mailing compiled citations and full-text articles from various sources to a faculty member's e-mail inbox."
With OCLC Gateway Software, it is very easy, for example, for reference librarians to look up a subject in The FirstSearch Catalog, check the library's online catalog to see if the item is available, and, if not, to place an ILL request. It also allows catalogers to log on and work between the library's local system and the OCLC PRISM service, as well as to conveniently check their e-mail system.
Field testers reported significant increases in productivity because they could access several services from one workstation. Users at the test sites also liked being able to capture data in one system and transfer it to another system.
The second major reason for keeping the Gateway Software after the field test is that it helps institutions extend the life of near-obsolete equipment, such as IBM 3164 terminals, by giving them online access to multiple services.
"Before Gateway, we had scheduling problems because we had 15 workstations hard-wired to the OCLC Network for 150 technical services people to share," said Mr. Janczyn. "Now we have streamlined our workflow by adding many terminals to our network. Gateway has been a real blessing."
"With simultaneous access to multiple systems, the number of citations and documents sitting in those workstations on the Reference Desk is in the tens of millions, and ranges from full text, images, sound, and full-motion video, to bulletin-board postings," said Ms. Deddens.
For more information about OCLC Gateway Software or to get a copy of the product information sheet, "OCLC Gateway Software...Furthering library access to a variety of services," libraries should contact their OCLC-affiliated regional network, or the OCLC national sales division at (800) 848-5878.
OCLC is a nonprofit computer library service and research organization whose computer network and services link more than 17,000 libraries in 52 countries and territories.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: Sharon Knowlton (614) 764-6170 or Nita Dean (614) 761-5002