POMONA, Calif., June 26, 1998 -- The virtual library is becoming virtually unlimited with the announcement today that Auto-Graphics Inc. will combine the connectivity protocols of the World Wide Web with the Z39.50 interoperability standard.
In its continued commitment to leverage the Z39.50 standard, Auto-Graphics is following up its recent release of support for Z39.50 client and target capabilities in its Impact/MARCit cataloging services with an increased level of support for Z39.50 within Auto-Graphics Impact/ONLINE family of services. This is a major development for the library consortia whose resource sharing objectives are served by Impact/ONLINE. It offers libraries the ability to be accessible through any combination of the consortium's union catalog and/or Z39.50, a unique flexibility in supporting cooperation among libraries, according to William Kliss, chief operating officer.
"Our product road map for the remainder of 1998 and beyond recognizes two converging trends in the library community: the creation of cost and resource sharing consortia of libraries and the widespread acceptance of the ANSI/NISO Z39.50 standard as an ad-hoc search and retrieval tool for other libraries," Kliss said.
Auto-Graphics has offered a Z39.50 interface as a module in its Impact/ONLINE family since 1996 for locating holdings in libraries not necessarily represented in the consortium's union catalog. The intent of embedding a Z39.50 search capability into all Impact/ONLINE products is to make it easier for consortia customers to enter into resource sharing agreements and to provide patrons with seamless access to holdings represented in the union catalog and/or at Z39.50 targets. The first of this latest series of Z39.50 enhancements will now make the holdings of all member libraries completely accessible to the automated interlibrary loan (ILL) services supported by Impact/ONLINE, and even enable non-member libraries to participate in the consortium's ILL.
"It's the best of both worlds," Kliss said. "We are combining the speed and efficiency of a union catalog with the open ended access of Z39.50 interoperability."
Impact/ONLINE software will enable library administrators to create their own model of request handling by determining the order of target libraries internal to the consortium and then external requests in keeping with ILL policies.
Auto-Graphics' Z39.50 strategy is to release a series of incremental extensions. While the first increment will extend automated ILL to individual libraries who are not represented in a consortium's union catalog, subsequent releases will automate the searching of groups of such libraries, including Z39.50 Broadcast Search access to them.
"This combination of automated ILL, union catalog and Z39.50 broadcast search is a first for the library community," Kliss said. "There are a number of different ways to use this capability and we are going to roll it out in phases so that our customers can have a voice in defining the practical requirements."
The first phase -- Z39.50 reference searching and automated ILL for Impact/ONLINE union catalog customers -- is available immediately.
Company Information Founded in 1950, Auto-Graphics Inc. (OTC:AUGR) provides information publishing and database resource sharing systems to the publishing and library communities.