Fretwell-Downing Inc. is pleased to announce that Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS) will be the first VDX client in the US to offer patron-initiated requesting to its customers using VDX's patron Web interface.
VDX's patron Web interface enables library customers to search the County holdings and place a request for any item, located in any BCCLS library, directly over the Web. They can also complete an electronic request form for items held at sources outside the County. The patron Web interface also includes full request tracking facilities to keep customers informed, and email alerting direct to customers is an option.
Patron-initiated requesting is a service that BCCLS has offered to its customers for almost 10 years. Robert White, BCCLS executive director explains the need for a new approach to the service, "The acquisition of VDX software is a key element in our continuing effort to provide the best possible service to our members whether at home or in the library. We've gone from CD-ROM to Web catalogs, and from character to graphic-based interfaces. With all the other developments ongoing at BCCLS, choosing a standards-based product was much more satisfactory for improved functionality for interlibrary lending."
VDX replaces a program developed locally by BCCLS to handle the transport of requests from its Web catalog. Available in libraries across the county it will manage the interlending transactions between members and the VDX patron Web interface. When fully implemented, the VDX software will work with both the DRA Classic software currently used by BCCLS, and the DRA Taos software scheduled for implementation in 2001.
White concludes, "VDX's use of international standards is of particular value to BCCLS. The ISO compliance of VDX and the statistical gathering will enable us to develop more patron-focussed services and to improve patron-initiated requests. We believe VDX will improve our capacity to extend resources to our users from libraries near and far."
FD Inc is part of the Fretwell-Downing Group, which has a long history of supporting resource-sharing projects in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. This experience has resulted in a suite of well-designed solutions for interlending, resource sharing, data-mining and virtual union catalogs. The company has a strong software development team staff and a commitment to interoperability and open standards such as NISO Z39.50, ISO ILL and the emerging NCIP standard (NISO Z39.82).
The Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS) was formed in 1979 to foster resource sharing among Bergen County public libraries. The cornerstone activity has been, and remains reciprocal borrowing, where a patron's hometown library card is honored at all participating libraries. All 62 of the County's public libraries are members. Nine libraries from neighboring counties have joined BCCLS since 1991. In the 20 years since its founding BCCLS has recognized the importance of automation and training as essential components of successful cooperative library programs.