As Spring approaches, we are busily planning for a new chapter
in library automation. I am pleased to announce that we have signed
a contract with Innovative Interfaces, Inc. for the Library's
new integrated library system. The official "live" date
for the new system will be July 7, 2003.
Founded in 1978, Innovative Interfaces, Inc. made history with the
first "black box" for libraries-a highly successful online
interface that allowed libraries to download bibliographic data
from OCLC to a local circulation system in real time, without re-keying.
More than twenty years later, Innovative is still making history
and setting the standard for excellence in library automation.
Innovative is privately owned and exclusively involved with library
automation and libraries. Thus, the company is totally focused on
delivery and support of software and services with expert functionality.
Innovative's team consists of an international staff of more than
260 people, many of whom have been with the company for over 10
years–the first employees hired are in senior positions in
the company and contribute a continuity and stability unmatched
in the marketplace.
Libraries offer a diverse array of information resources. The challenge
for libraries is to provide access
to all of these resources in
an integrated and user-friendly way. Innovative's Millennium
Access Plus (MAP) meets the challenge by enabling libraries to provide
access to all of their information resources. These resources may
include any digital collection such as library catalogs, abstracting
and indexing databases, full-text aggregators, image databases,
finding aids, and more.
MAP is an integrated solution that manages access to information
resources, quickly guiding patrons and staff to Internet content.
It is made up of two components: WebBridge and MetaFind. Together,
these provide libraries with tools to manage and provide access
to all of their information resources by providing contextual linking
and multi-protocol meta-searching.
Another new service to be launched this Spring is the collaborative
reference service, QuestionPoint. Developed by the Library of Congress
and OCLC, with input from participating members of the Global Reference
Network (a group of libraries and institutions worldwide that are
committed to digital reference, it will enable the Weinberg Library
to respond to, track and manage reference questions from patrons
via the Web. More specifically, the service will refer unanswered
questions to other libraries in the Weinberg Library's cooperative
as needed based on availability and expertise and will refer still-unanswered
questions to expert resources through a global web-based network
in which an automated "request manager" routes questions
from one library to another, based on metadata about the question
and predefined profiles of the collection and on the subject and
staff strengths of members of the network.
It will also provide libraries with tools to add simple links from
any page in their library portal to support a locally branded and
customizable question-asking service including: web-based submission
forms, email-based interaction, live chat for their patrons, and
a global knowledge base of previously asked and answered reference
Please test our new systems. We look forward to your feedback.