MnLINK, the Minnesota Library Information Network, has contracted with Fretwell-Downing, Inc. for its VDX and ZPORTAL software for the MnLINK Gateway to facilitate electronic access and resource sharing within the State. ZPORTAL will provide access to a multitude of different types of library resources including library catalogs and licensed commercial databases that have been made available to all Minnesota residents, including students, staff, and faculty at Minnesota educational institutions. In addition, Minnesota library users will use VDX within the MnLINK Gateway to request interlibrary loan resources from other MnLINK libraries.
Ken Behringer, the MnLINK Executive Director, explains why both Fretwell-Downing's ZPORTAL and VDX software products were selected for this online catalog unification process. "The ZPORTAL software runs the web-based linking service while the VDX software helps the libraries manage their interlibrary loan activity, which we anticipate will expand dramatically in this new environment." Another key feature offered by the VDX software, according to Behringer, is its ability to allow users to initiate interlibrary loan procedures throughout the state.
"Fretwell-Downing, Inc. won this job" Behringer says, "because we were impressed by their industry knowledge and their ability to understand the MnLINK structure and the objectives of the project. This enabled them to assist us in evaluating how their ZPORTAL and VDX software could be best implemented and further developed to meet the specific needs of our libraries and their users. Fretwell Downing, Inc. has also demonstrated its commitment to interlibrary loan software based upon existing and developing national and international standards."
With the introduction of ZPORTAL and VDX solutions, MnLINK will expand the services it provides Minnesota residents with easy web based access to all the resources contained in the libraries for the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, and the Minnesota State Agencies. Other participants in the MnLINK Gateway include private colleges, public libraries, K-12 school libraries, and special libraries.
For more than ten years, Fretwell-Downing, Inc. (FD Inc.) has been a global leader in the evolution of digital libraries. Delivering unmatched service and flexibility, FD Inc. offers libraries a seamless choice of standards-based solutions. Building toward a solid vision of a "library without walls," FD Inc. boasts the unique ability to integrate with disparate electronic library systems, as well as creating and managing entirely new digital systems.