Information Today
Volume17, Number 4 • April 2000
COMPanion Finalizes Big6 Agreement, Releases NetLink

COMPanion Corp. has announced that it has reached an agreement with the founders of the Big6 information literacy skills model to integrate it into its Alexandria library automation system. COMPanion has also announced the release of NetLink, a new product that gives users access to cataloged educational Web sites that can be imported into Alexandria.

The agreement gives COMPanion exclusive rights to use the Big6 model in its Alexandria system. The Big6/Alexandria integration will give students the option to select a help icon that gives immediate assistance on research steps while using the Alexandria OPAC. The Big6 help option will include linked instructional multimedia video clips of Big6 co-founder Mike Eisenberg to give students a better understanding of the research process.

“It’s important our users and the industry understand COMPanion’s market strength, stability, and growth over the last 4 years. The library technology industry has recently experienced serious insecurity. Our partnership with Mike Eisenberg and the Big6 is just one of many alliances and product enhancements we plan to make in order to continue Alexandria’s reputation for offering strong automation products,” said Patrick Hansen, vice president of COMPanion Corp.

Developed by Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz, the Big6 is an approach to teaching information and technology skills. Used in thousands of K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and corporate and adult training programs, the Big6 problem-solving model integrates information search and use skills along with technology tools in a systematic process to find, use, apply, and evaluate information to specific needs and tasks.

COMPanion Corp. will incorporate the Alexandria/Big6 interactive research model into the next major release of Alexandria this spring.

The NetLink service is a collection of approximately 4,100 MARC records assigned to educational Web sites that helps librarians, teachers, and students sort through the excess amount of information available over the Internet. Using NetLink, Alexandria treats Web sites just as it would a book when searches are performed. When students perform a subject search, applicable Web sites appear in the results window.

Users can subscribe to three separate MARC bundles that are provided and managed by Webivore Knowledge Systems. Each bundle includes a variety of curriculum-focused subjects, including science, geography, math, social sciences, history, and art. The subscriptions are based on elementary, middle school, and high school grade levels. Pricing, which ranges from $29 to $1,199, is based on the number of records available in each bundle.

“The Internet is a valuable source of information, but it takes a lot of time to wade through what’s available. The Webivore and COMPanion alliance gives librarians a quality package of presorted educational sites,” said Bill Schjelderup, president of COMPanion Corp. “NetLink gives libraries a resource that would take any individual library staff years to accomplish.”

Scholars and teachers can select the Web sites included in NetLink. Webivore content experts evaluate the sites based on curricula and grade level, and these reviews are included in the bibliographic information.

Cecilia Lenk, Webivore’s executive vice president of information design, said: “We are pleased to be working with COMPanion to help libraries embrace the power of the Internet as a research resource. The Webivore MARC records will help students find and use information on the Web quickly and productively.”

Source: COMPanion Corp., Salt Lake City, 800/347-6439, 801/943-7277;

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