The Southeastern New York Library Resources Council (SENYLRC), located in the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountain region in New York, and one of the State's nine Reference and Research Library Resources Councils, has selected Virtual Document Exchange (VDX) from Fretwell-Downing Informatics to manage the region's interlibrary loan (ILL) and document delivery (DD) services. The ILL requests will be sent through the World Wide Web to a VDX server at Southeastern headquarters. The requests are then transmitted to owning libraries identified through either SENYLRC's Virtual Union Catalog or a parallel Z39.50 searching capability through VDX. SENYLRC received several grants from the New York State Library and the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, including federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and state Regional Automation (RBDB) funds. The initial project objective was to create and implement a Virtual Union Catalog. Using this tool, the second objective was to identify and implement an ISO ILL compliant, cross-system electronic interlibrary loan platform for transmitting and receiving ILL/DD requests. After a thorough market review, SENYLRC selected the VDX system.
Using VDX, libraries in the SENYLRC region will be able to offer a Z39.50 search gateway to identify consortium holdings, determine the availability of specific items, and place a request for delivery. VDX will also manage the ILL/DD request administration and messaging between the members of the group. As an ISO ILL Protocol compliant system, VDX can manage the requesting process for items held outside the consortium. Integration with Docline, OCLC's ILL system, and the RLG Ariel document delivery workstation will support the project objectives at SENYLRC. Mary E. Jackson, Senior Program Officer for Access Services at the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), continues to assist the Southeastern New York region as a consultant on the project. Ms Jackson believes that the SENYLRC project represents a number of firsts. "SENYLRC's implementation is the first installation of an ISO ILL compliant system for a multi-type consortium and the first major installation of VDX in North America. In addition, the implementation will provide an online interlibrary loan messaging and tracking system to all consortium members, many of which have been mailing or faxing ILL requests to potential lenders. Another key element of this project is to help ILL staff understand how standards-based systems offer the potential to streamline existing workflow and procedures, and thus improve turnaround time and fill rates."
John Shaloiko, SENYLRC's Executive Director, points out that "both the users of our libraries as well as the library staff will benefit tremendously from the VDX service a streamlined online ILL requesting and responding process for the staff resulting in a quicker receipt of the document for the user."
The Southeastern New York Library Resources Council is a state-funded, non-profit, multi-type library consortium serving libraries in 8 counties in New York's Hudson Valley. Through a technology and human resources network, Southeastern serves over 80 member libraries, including academic, special, corporate, health-care, and public, plus an additional 450 libraries served through 7 regional school and public library systems. Southeastern's mission is to assist these libraries in facilitating access to information for their users.