(CHICAGO)-Idaho State University (ISU) is making open systems a reality at its campus by purchasing NOTIS Systerms' client/server products to work alongside its existing library management system. ISU purchased NOTIS' UNIX-based server, InfoShare, along with two NOTIS clients, ProPAC and TermPAC.
ISU's VTLS library management system has been in place for nine years and runs on a HP 3000 model 949. ISU wants to expand its system to take advantage of the client/server model of architecture and graphical access that NOTIS offers on the UNIX platform.
"We feel UNIX is the best available platform in the library industry at the moment and Windows is an up-and-coming environment for searching. NOTIS' products work on the UNIX platform and ProPAC has the Windows graphical user interface, so that was the way for us to go," said Janet Higgins, Acting Library Systems Coordinator, at ISU.
In the future, ISU wants to enhance their VMS system so InfoShare, and all of their library system products, can communicate via the Z39.50 communications protocol.
Clifton Jones, Library Director at ISU, said they chose NOTIS' and IBM's products because they wanted a "very dependable, flexible, and powerful system that allows libraries to load various information databases by tape to better serve our campus and its three extension sites."
According to Jones, having client/server products is a priority and as ISU expands toward integrating their system, they will use the client/server model as the basic foundation of their library system. The client/server architecture gives ISU the flexibility to expand its system by incorporating new technologies and integrating other vendor systems into its existing library management system.
Right now, ISU's primary focus is to get TermPAC up and running because it won't require the patron to learn a new system. TermPAC is a character-based UNIX terminal client that is Z39.50 compliant. ProPAC will be offered to the public as soon as the reference staff can support it. The ProPAC client uses a graphical user interface to access remote library catalogs and other databases compatible with Z39.50.
At ISU, TermPAC and ProPAC will access InfoShare, a Z39.50-based server that enables libraries to load databases on a UNIX-based platform. With InfoShare, ISU is bringing up Books in Print PlusTM and the first three years of ERIC. They plan to add more journal citation databases next year.
ISU is moving toward using InfoShare to share databases with Utah State and Brigham Young University. In the future, everyone on ISU's campus, its extension sites, and the Utah consortium will have access to ISU's catalogs and databases.
"Our goal is for every student to be able to sit down at one workstation, and with one keystroke, go out and get the information they need easily without having to know how the system works," said Higgins.
Idaho State University is a liberal arts college with an emphasis in the health sciences. It is in Pocatello, Idaho and has about 11,000 students.
NOTIS Systems, Inc., headquartered in Evanston, IL, is a leading provider of integrated information systems for academic libraries. NOTIS is a subsidiary of Ameritech Corporation.