Five major libraries have formed a consortium to become the ninth software licensee of the Western Library Network.
The consortium consists of the libraries at Columbia University, the University of Cincinnati, Indiana University at Bloomington, Brown University, and the Metropolitan Toronto Library. Dr. Ronald W. Jonas, Director of Administrative Computing at Indiana University, was elected by consortium representatives to act as lead agent for the group. According to Don Grinstead, Library Automation Project leader for Administrative Computing, Indiana University will coordinate consortium related activities.
The idea of coordinated effort is the key to the consortium. Under the plan, if one of the members has a particular problem, it will contact Indiana, which will then make the proper contacts in order to provide a solution. This information will then be disseminated to all consortium members. Grinstead said, "We want to share problems and fixes within the consortium."
The consortium members were formerly customers of Biblio-Techniques, Inc., which went out of business in late 1986. The BLIS software developed by Biblio-Techniques incorporated many features of the WLN bibliographic subsystem, as well as tailored data base load programs.
"When it became clear that the vendor would no longer be able to support the BLIS software," Grinstead continued, "all the customers gathered in Bloomington to discuss their future plans. After examining all the alternatives, each customer reached the same conclusion that had drawn them to the WLN software in the first place. The functionality provided by the WLN bibliographic subsystem combined with the enhancements developed by Biblio-Techniques would enable each site to deliver a highly usable integrated library system."
Indiana is currently installing the 2.4 version of the WLN bibliographic sub-system in conjunction with the BLIS software. The other consortium members will continue to use the WLN version 2.2 software to "stabilize" their systems. Once Indiana has established its installation, they will assist the other consortium members to migrate to WLN 2.4/BLIS.