DUBLIN, Ohio, June 24, 1998—The students and faculties of the Universities of Pennsylvania and Saskatchewan and a consortium of private academic libraries throughout Indiana now have improved access to local and remote databases, thanks to the new Java-based OCLC SiteSearch suite of software.
The University of Pennsylvania has more than a hundred local and remote databases, with a variety of separate search interfaces.
"Our goal in using WebZ is providing people with a uniform way of searching and getting results from as many online resources as possible," said Paul Mosher, vice provost and director of libraries, University of Pennsylvania.
The OCLC SiteSearch WebZ software saves users and librarians time by presenting a single interface to these databases. WebZ provides a single point of access to diverse library resources, allowing users to seamlessly search multiple databases at once. Access for students and faculty from remote locations—such as dormitories, offices or homes—will be available when users need it.
The University of Saskatchewan Libraries evaluated potential solutions for nearly a year before licensing the newly released version 4.0 of the OCLC SiteSearch suite. OCLC SiteSearch was chosen for its ability to migrate locally developed databases to the Web, for its potential to handle images and SGML data, and for WebZ's ability to act as a front-end to many unrelated catalogs and database search engines.
OCLC SiteSearch will be used as a development tool for creating image and text databases. The libraries' digital collections range from archives of native law cases to historical photographs, newspaper stories and sound files.
According to David Fox, head of the Systems Department at the University of Saskatchewan Libraries, "We're looking at OCLC SiteSearch as a long-term investment as a core utility for our development needs. We're confident that OCLC will continue to enhance its SiteSearch software and keep it in the technological forefront."
PALNI, the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana, has upgraded to the Java-based version 4.0 of OCLC SiteSearch. A consortium of 26 academic and seminary libraries with 30,000 Internet users, PALNI will establish a single interface for its union catalog and a package of OCLC FirstSearch service databases recently licensed from OCLC, as well as other databases provided through the state of Indiana's INSPIRE Project.
"We use the Internet as our telecommunication infrastructure," said Vincent Lucas, PALNI project manager. "With OCLC SiteSearch, we can put up databases for all our member schools to use."
"These diverse libraries share the common goal of providing users with integrated access to their library resources," said Taylor Surface, manager, OCLC Distributed Systems.
More than 2,600 libraries, consortia and commercial services around the world use the OCLC SiteSearch suite of software products to access, integrate and build information resources in the World Wide Web environment. OCLC SiteSearch helps libraries create new electronic image collections and virtual union catalogs, as well as provide access to remote information sources¾ all through a single interface.
OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization whose computer network and services link more than 27,000 libraries in 64 countries and territories.