Services & Policies - Fall 2000

NPLN - We're Connecting Our Community

This fall, NPLN, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Library Network, will launch its first web-based online virtual catalog. The catalog, funded through a grant received from the Library Services and Technology Act, will provide University students, faculty, staff and patrons with the ability to simultaneously search the catalogs of the eight participating area libraries and receive consolidated, "real-time" results.
NPLN (formerly known as the Northeastern Pennsylvania Bibliographic Center, NEPBC) is a consortium of academic, public, and special libraries located primarily in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties. The institutions of the eight libraries participating in this initial phase of the online virtual catalog are: College Misericordia, King's College, Luzerne County Community College, Marywood University, Osterhout Free Library, Scranton Public Library, University of Scranton, and Wilkes University.
 
The Weinberg Memorial Library's membership in the consortium has provided The University's faculty, students, and staff with the ability to borrow items from any of the NPLN member libraries. The University's interlibrary loan requests to these institutions are given priority. The new online virtual catalog will enhance this capability by allowing patrons to see what is available at a member library prior to going there.
 
Because the new online virtual catalog is web-based, it will be available for searching from both on-campus and well as at home. Another advantage of the new online catalog will be to provide users with a way of finding out the current journal holdings of the participating libraries. Currently, patrons need to consult a paper union list of serials located at the Weinberg Memorial Library's Reference Desk in order to find out if a journal is available at an NPLN member area library. Since the paper version of the NPLN union list of serials is only published once a year, the information contained in it can change greatly between printings. Journal holdings information on the new online virtual catalog will be kept up-to-date in "real-time."In other words, as soon as the information is changed on the catalogs of the participating member libraries, it will appear in the NPLN online virtual catalog.
 
The launching of NPLN's online virtual catalog opens the door to the possibility of a number of future consortial ventures, such as:  increased resource sharing, expansion of the virtual catalog to include the hospital library catalogs, online interlibrary loan, etc.
 
Narda Tarfuri
Pride, Passion, Promise: Experience Our Jesuit Tradition