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Illinois Library Computer Systems Organization (ILCSO) selects Data Research System

Press Release: Data Research Associates, Inc. [September 25, 1995]

Copyright (c) 1995 Data Research Associates, Inc.


St. Louis, Missouri, USA -- September 25, 1995: To fulfill its mission of fostering statewide library cooperation and resource sharing, the Illinois Library Computer Systems Organization (ILCSO) recently selected DRA to provide all of its members with the next generation of automation and networking services.

ILCSO will use DRA's system and services to upgrade automation at the 45 participating libraries, and to improve and enhance the resource sharing and union catalog aspects of ILLINET Online, a union catalog that represents more than 9 million titles and more than 28 million volumes. Union catalog records are contributed by the more than 500 Illinois libraries that participate in the state's ILLINET/OCLC subscription service. Using ILLINET Online, any of 2,500-plus libraries in the state can borrow items from any of the ILCSO libraries. In fiscal 1994, the system handled more than 615,000 interlibrary loan transactions -- a figure that will continue to grow with the implementation of the next-generation Data Research System.

ILCSO's member institutions comprise all state-supported universities; five publicly supported community colleges; 25 private colleges and universities; a state-supported high school specializing in mathematics and science; and the Illinois State Library, the state library agency and library to the state government (see attachment for complete list). Three members belong to the prestigious Association of Research Libraries (the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Illinois at Chicago and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale), and are among the United States' largest university research libraries.

The directors of its member libraries themselves are leaders in the library community. Robert Wedgeworth, University Librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), currently serves as President of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. He is past Executive Director of the American Library Association, in addition to having contributed heavily to research and publication within the library sciences. Carolyn Snyder, Dean of Library Affairs at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC) has served as President of the Library Administration and Management Association and currently is a member of the NetIllinois Board as well as an elected Illinois member of the OCLC Users' Council. Doris R. Brown, Director of Libraries at DePaul University and current President of ILCSO, has served as President of the OCLC Users' Council, and in several positions within ALA. In Illinois, Brown has served on numerous committees, and currently is Chairperson of the Illinois State Library Advisory Committee.

In announcing the selection of DRA to ILCSO members, the ILCSO Functional Specifications Task Force cited several significant criteria for choosing DRA, including the company's fully functional system and clearly articulated vision for the future; its accommodation of the complex search "scoping" (limiting) requirements mandated by such a large, multi-library system; its proven commitment and active participation in the implementation of standards; its excellent customer service; and its strong customer and financial bases.

"Throughout their procurement process, the members of ILCSO have demonstrated remarkable vision grounded in extensive real-world experience in resource-sharing," says Michael J. Mellinger, President and CEO of DRA. "All of us at DRA are most enthusiastic about implementing the next generation of technology for ILCSO, which we believe is a leading example of what the future holds for library automation."

Says Robert Wedgeworth of the UIUC, "The DRA system represents a major step in functionality for ILLINET Online. We have been impressed from the beginning of the system selection process with DRA's commitment, understanding and ability to deliver a system that will meet the needs of the smallest and largest libraries in our state."

"DRA represents an opportunity for ILLINET Online to move to the 21st century," adds Doris R. Brown of DePaul University. "It gives us an integrated online system providing full functionality for all sizes of libraries, and allows Illinois libraries to share resources at an even greater degree than we have been able to do on our old platform."

"We are pleased with the selection of DRA because their commitment to standards will make it easier for us to integrate resources from the broad spectrum of providers required by our students and staff." says Carolyn A. Snyder of SIUC. "This selection will also allow the amazingly successful cooperative efforts in Illinois to flourish into the next century. As a library involved with technology ranging from ILLINET Online to interactive video classrooms in a multi-consortium setting, we are always eager to work with forward-thinking vendors who understand the value of standards."

ILCSO's origins date to the late 1970s, with the introduction of the Library Computer System (LCS) at the UIUC. By 1981, LCS served 17 institutions. Today, 45 institutions use the system in support of local and interlibrary circulation. In 1984, an on-line catalog component known as FBR (Full Bibliographic Record) was implemented, expanding in 1988 to include the bibliographic records of more than 500 ILLINET/OCLC libraries, and to serve as the local OPAC for all ILCSO libraries. In 1991, a menu-driven interface was added that made the discrete LCS and FBR component of ILLINET Online appear to function as a single system.

In addition, the ILLINET Online network provides access to numerous indexing, abstracting and citation databases through the Illinois Bibliographic Information Service (IBIS), as well as through gateways to other information providers such as UnCover and IAC.

All of these services will be consolidated into a fully integrated, next-generation system using DRA software and services. In addition to existing services, ILCSO users also will be offered services -- such as acquisitions and serials control -- that are not available in the current ILLINET Online system. The initial system will be configured to support a minimum of 2,000 simultaneous users, although as the DRA system evolves to a fully distributed processing client/server architecture, such measures as "simultaneous users" will have less and less tangible meaning.

The preliminary plans for the next-generation system also include extensive use of DRA's Open DRA Net products and services for network access to third-party reference databases, as well as to copies of the Library of Congress bibliographic and authority databases.

A detailed implementation plan now is being developed by an ILCSO task force in conjunction with representatives from DRA. Recognizing the complexity of the conversion and subsequent implementation of the new system, ILCSO expects this process to follow a phased path over the course of many months.

Data Research Associates, headquartered in St. Louis, is a leading systems integrator for libraries and other information providers, offering its own proprietary information services software; third-party software and hardware; Internet, World Wide Web and other networking services; and other related support services.


ILCSO Membership
  • Aurora University Barat College
  • Bradley University
  • Catholic Theological Union
  • Chicago State University
  • Columbia College
  • Concordia University
  • DePaul University
  • Eastern Illinois University
  • Elmhurst College
  • Governors State University
  • Greenville College
  • Illinois Benedictine College
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Illinois Math and Science Academy
  • Illinois State Library
  • Illinois State University
  • Illinois Valley Community College
  • Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Joliet Junior College
  • Judson College
  • Kankakee Community College
  • Lake Forest College
  • Lewis University
  • Lincoln Christian College and Seminary
  • McKendree College
  • Millikin University
  • National-Louis University
  • North Central College
  • Northeastern Illinois University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Oakton Community College
  • Roosevelt University
  • Rosary College
  • Saint Xavier University
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
  • Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
  • Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
  • Trinity Christian College
  • Triton College
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Springfield
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Western Illinois University

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Publication Year:1995
Type of Material:Press Release
Language English
Issue:September 25, 1995
Publisher:Data Research Associates, Inc.
Place of Publication:St. Louis, MO
Company: Data Research Associates, Inc.
Products: DRA
Libraries: Illinois Library Computer Systems Organization
Online access:http://www.dra.com/news/1995/950925.html
Record Number:6860
Last Update:2012-12-29 14:06:47
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00