2002 Midwinter Report
1) ILL Manager 1.2 is due for general release at the end of January, after being beta tested by half a dozen users since October 2001. New features include Patron Empowerment (which allows end users to check the status of orders, initiate new requests, or ask for a cancellation or renewal via a Web form) and the ability to generate item and mailing labels as both borrower and lender. The new release also contains dozens of enhancements requested by users, including many that allow ILL Manager to interoperate more smoothly with OCLC ILL.
2) Users of RLG's ILL Manager enjoy full ISO interoperability with more resource sharing systems than any other product currently in use. ILL Manager users have now been sending and receiving production ILL requests via the ISO gateway to OCLC ILL for a full year, and via the RLIN ILL gateway for a year and a half. This fall Rutgers University started using ILL Manager to send production requests to the British Library Document Center's new ISO-compliant ARTISO gateway, developed by Fretwell-Downing. (This is the first instance of any system other than one developed by F-D sending live ISO ILL requests to the BLDSC.) The list of compatible systems will grow in the near future: RLG has completed testing ILL Manager with the ISO gateway to Docline (not yet in production), and, at the request of ILL Manager user Library of Congress, this fall we conducted testing with Simon Fraser University in Canada, which has implemented epixtech's Resource Sharing System (RSS). ILL Manager and RSS appear ready to exchange real live requests.
This exciting inter-system compatibility started as an abstract idea just a few years ago and is now quickly picking up momentum. Our shared success is a testament to the vision, perserverance and hard of work of Mary Jackson, the developers on the ILL Protocol Implementors Group, and the brave trailblazers in the real world -- resource sharing practitioners -- who have adopted, tested and helped define the future of protocol-compliant ILL systems. ISO ILL is here to stay!
3) The new patron delivery component of Ariel 3.01 is making an impact in the field. David Larsen of the University of Chicago will report at ALA Midwinter on how at his shop they have completely switched to Ariel for their popular desktop delivery service, replacing Prospero. David and his colleagues even figured out how to import Prosper patron records into Ariel so that their end users could keep the same PIN's. See David's presentation at the ILL Manager Users Group meeting, Saturday, January 19, 3-5pm, at the Morial Convention Center, Rm. 399, in New Orleans.
4) ALA Midwinter attendees are invited to visit the RLG booth in New Orleans, #4442. -Dennis Massie