Information Today
Volume17, Number 2 • February 2000
TLC Announces Library Automation Contracts

The Library Corp. (TLC) has announced that the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world’s largest medical library, has contracted for a customized version of TLC’s Library.Request to provide interlibrary loan (ILL) management via ISO 10160/10161 version 2 Protocol. This installation will enable ISO 10160/61 Protocol interface with more than 3,000 U.S. and Canadian medical libraries. In a separate announcement, TLC said it will provide its Library.Solution automation system to 12 libraries in North Carolina.

National Library of Medicine
To date, NLM’s automated interlibrary loan request and referral system, DOCLINE, has been running on a mainframe computer. The DOCLINE system is being converted to a Web-based platform for handling NLM’s more than 10,000 ILL transactions a day. Part of this transformation requires the ability to communicate with the medical libraries in a standard language. This is where Library.Request will be used.

“Library.Request is the bridge between libraries. It makes sure we are able to talk to each other,” said Karen Casey, head of the information management section of NLM’s Office of Computer and Communication Services.

TLC is providing an ISO-compliant Interface Server to act as an intermediary between the DOCLINE system and ISO-compliant ILL systems, according to Mark Wilson, TLC’s director of research and development. “This gives ISO ILL a big step forward,” he said. “It will be the standard that everyone will use.”

Casey said, “Most people are migrating to the ISO standard. Larger libraries are already there, and with the installation of this customized version of Library.Request designed for our needs, we have taken an important first step in enabling seamless sharing with libraries throughout North America.”

ILL requests require both parties, the loaner and borrower, to communicate via standardized messages known as application protocol data units (APDUs). The ISO will accept, decode, and store all APDUs received from the compliant partners, regardless of whether the partner is a requester or responder. The stored data will contain status and time stamps that will provide to DOCLINE the information necessary to periodically retrieve new requests and status information. DOCLINE will then retrieve the information from the ISO tables and act on it accordingly. According to the announcement, TLC is working closely with the NLM staff to ensure libraries have a robust interface with NLM.

The National Library of Medicine, on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, is the world’s largest medical library. The library collects materials in all areas of biomedicine and healthcare, as well as works on biomedical aspects of technology; the humanities; and the physical, life, and social sciences. The collections stand at 5.3 million items—books, journals, technical reports, manuscripts, microfilms, photographs, and images. NLM is a national resource for all U.S. health science libraries through a National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

North Carolina Libraries
TLC’s 12 new Library.Solution contracts have been signed with the following North Carolina libraries and library systems: Braswell Memorial Library, Madison County Library, Scotland County Library, Brown Library, Neuse Regional Library System, Transylvania County Library, Duplin County Library, Pettigrew Regional Library System, Union County Library, Louisburg College, Rutherford County/Isothermal Community College, and Avery–Mitchell Yancy Library.

Of these, eight are migrating from other automation systems and upgrading to Library.Solution, including Union County and Braswell Memorial Library. Four are implementing library automation systems for the first time.

As a result, TLC now has 18 Library.Solution customers in North Carolina, ranging from multisite public systems—including Sandhill Regional Library System with 14 libraries located in five separate counties—to single academic libraries. The new contract awards also coincide with one of the key long-term goals of the State Library of North Carolina—to have every one of its libraries fully automated.

One of the largest of the new contacts awarded to TLC is with Neuse Regional Library System, which has signed for installation of Library.Solution in all of its eight branch libraries serving more than 45,000 patrons in three counties.

According to the announcement, Neuse Regional Library System patrons won’t be the only beneficiaries of Library.Solution. Now, all 46 staff members will be able to electronically track Neuse’s 200,000 available items—this in contrast to the previous approach which required librarians to pick up the phone and call around to locate a specific title.

According to the announcement, Library.Solution fuses the Windows NT operating system, Intel-compatible hardware, an Oracle database, and Internet linkage into one system designed to make it easy for libraries to manage their resources. Recently, TLC released Library.Solution version 2.0, which contains such enhancements as computerized inventory control using a hand-held scanner, an enhanced Oracle database management facility, support for new self-checkout protocols, and the ability for patrons to review their library accounts online.

Source: The Library Corp., Inwood, WV, 800/325-7759;

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