|The Library Corporation (TLC) and epixtech, Inc. have announced the
successful implementation of the industry's first NCIP (National Circulation
Interchange Protocol) communication exchange between two different automation
systems. According to the announcement, this will lead the way to sharing
circulation information between automation systems from different vendors
worldwide. TLC has also announced that both the Park City (Utah) Library
and the Santa Ana (California) Public Library have adopted its Library•Solution
Mark Wilson, TLC chief scientist, and John Bodfish, epixtech technical
architect, both members of NISO's Committee AT, tested the first NCIP communication
exchange using open source toolkits. Wilson developed both TLC's "gencip"
C++ toolkit and the test bed where the exchange occurred. Bodfish created
epixtech's C++ and Java-based toolkit. According to the announcement, the
successful exchange of messages or "NCIP Services" proves that the toolkits
interoperate and that other vendors can choose to use either toolkit based
on their programming preferences.
Wilson said: "This is a landmark event in the development and application
of another great protocol in the library industry. We have the Z39.50 discovery
protocol, the ISO ILL borrowing protocol, and now the NCIP circulation
standard. NCIP supports message exchange in circulation and ILL transactions,
self-service applications, direct consortial borrowing, and electronic
resource access. TLC and epixtech are very proud to be a part of this great
advancement in library technology."
Bodfish said: "Making this software available quickly will have a tremendous
impact on the speed with which the library industry can implement the draft
standard. The best use of a standard like NCIP is to make it available
in practical applications."
In 1999, NISO's Committee AT began its work to develop a standard protocol
for the exchange of circulation information. NCIP will undergo a year of
implementation testing before it will be ready for general application
in the library industry. With this protocol, patrons will no longer be
restrained by the boundaries of differing automation platforms. Ultimately,
the success of NCIP will be determined by how quickly other automation
vendors adopt this "open system" technology.
Committee AT chair Patricia Stevens said, "This exchange of message
represents a real milestone in the development of this protocol as it demonstrates
real interoperability among circulation system providers."
Park City Library
According to the announcement, TLC's Library•Solution automation system
will provide up-to-date information and reporting; a fully customizable
Web interface; and integration of electronic resources, including files,
images, and documents.
Linda Tillson, library director at Park City Library, said: "It is particularly
important for our automation system to have the power to provide extensive
reporting and an intuitive catalog, without the need for a new tech team.
TLC's philosophy of 'you be the library, we'll be the tech staff' was a
good fit for the Park City Library. Their outstanding customer service,
combined with a customized solution, will provide a wealth of resources
to advance and expand our circulation."
Santa Ana Public Library
Santa Ana Public Library, located in Southern California's Orange County,
needed a library automation system that provides a customized Web catalog
and online acquisitions processing with its current book vendors. The Library•Solution
installation, which is scheduled to be completed by early summer, will
include 80 technical workstations and 40 public access catalog stations,
totaling 120 network stations.
The library serves a population base of 317,000 with holdings in excess
of 400,000books and a yearly circulation of more than 830,000. Santa Ana
Public Library also opted to integrate advanced TLC offerings that allow
patrons to view book jackets and tables of contents from the library's
Source: The Library Corporation, Inwood, WV, 800/325-7759; http://www.tlcdelivers.com
and epixtech, Inc., Provo, UT, 808/288-8020; http://www.epixtech.com.