Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A new library catalog!

The Five College Library System is instituting a big change. A new Five College Library Catalog will debut the week of August 28, 2006, providing improved access to the millions of resources at the UMass Amherst Libraries and those of the Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith College Libraries. After a detailed market review, the libraries chose ALEPH® by Ex Libris to replace Innopac by Innovative Interfaces, the existing library software system. The new catalog will be available through the Library home page at http://www.library.umass.edu/ or directly at http://fcaa.library.umass.edu:8991/F.

The software will make searching for information easier. For example, it will permit online searching of all libraries simultaneously, foreign language searches, focusing searches on specific research areas, and limiting searches to a particular collection or format (i.e. book, CD, journal, etc.). It will now be possible for users to set up personal accounts to receive email notifications of new arrivals in designated subject areas, and to review personal searches and borrowing histories.

As part of the transition, the five-college request function and self- renewal features will be temporarily suspended from August 19 until the week of August 28, 2006 and the virtual catalog request function has been suspended through January 2007. Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery will continue to operate normally and users can continue to submit requests.

ALEPH was created by a team of librarians, systems analysts, and programmers to provide an automated library system that was efficient, user-friendly, and multilingual. Other libraries using the ALEPH software include Harvard, Duke University, MIT, State University of New York (SUNY), University of California at Santa Barbara, University of Maryland, University of Notre Dame, and many others.

Staff here at the Integrated Sciences and Engineering Library and at Du Bois will be available if you need help navigating the new features, or to speak to your classes about the new system and the libraries in general. As always, feel free to call me with any questions.

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