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Meet RACER An OCUL VDX Project Overview and Update Amy Greenberg Sue McGillivray OLA January 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Meet RACER An OCUL VDX Project Overview and Update Amy Greenberg Sue McGillivray OLA January 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Meet RACER An OCUL VDX Project Overview and Update Amy Greenberg Sue McGillivray OLA January 2004

2 Today's Presentation at a Glance Scholars Portal & VDX Project Overview Historical Background Timelines RACER What is it? What does it do? Hardware Features Functionality RACER Statistics Challenges & Benefits What's Next Questions

3 Ontario Scholars Portal Access to Scholarly Information Resources OII Strategic Programmes Ontario Council of University Libraries 20 Institutions Scholars Portal Website Content Coordination via CNSLP Scholarly Information Resources (SIRS) Implementation of link resolution and O-Space

4 Offer access to a unique set of shared information resources and services Ensure rapid and reliable response time for access to information services & resources Provide long-term & secure archiving of information resources Create a network of intellectual resources by linking ideas, materials, documents & resources Provide an environment that fosters innovation in response to the needs of Ontarios researchers Ontario Scholars Portal Objectives & Goals

5 Why VDX and Why Now? Arose from OCUL members wish to replace AVISO interlibrary loans management software October 1999 Tri-University Group reviewing available ILL management software University of Toronto reviewing ILL software March 2000: OCUL ILL staff put forth a recommendation to Directors unanimously recommending Fretwell-Downing's VDX software

6 Benefits Web Accessible ISO ILL Management Systems Comprehensive Cost-effective Single way of dealing with ILL requests User-centric, online anytime of day or night Automates many routine tasks and decisions Unifies statistics Interacts with new ISO ILL systems that come along Eliminates paper files & forms Facilitates international ILL NCIP

7 VDX Project Timelines Summer 2002 System Configuration OCUL Single Search Catalogue Access Fall 2002 Group 1 Setup, Training & Testing Winter 2002/03 Group 2 Setup, Training & Testing Spring 2003 Group 4 Setup, Training & Testing Summer 2003 Group 1 & 2 Production Group 3 Setup, Training & Testing Fall Additional Sites Go Production System Upgrade to 2.4 Spring 2004 Bilingual RACER Interface Group 3 Production

8 Project Milestones April 2000: OCUL established the OCUL ILL Task Group : FD contracts, equipment purchases, TIG staff hired June 2003: First 8 libraries go Production Brock, Guelph, Ryerson, Trent, Waterloo, Western, Wilfrid Laurier, Windsor September 2003: 2 more libraries go Production Carleton, Lakehead Fall 2003: More sites go Production York Law, Windsor Law, Nipissing, Queens, Toronto

9 Project Team Tactical Implementation Team (TIG) Shane Chan (System Administrator) Amy Greenberg (User Support) Sue McGillivray (User Support) Vidhya Parthasarathy (Programmer) Carol Stephenson (Project Manager) OCUL ILL Sub-Groups End User Instruction Working Group French Language Sub-Group …and many more!

10 RACER Whos Online? Brock Guelph Ryerson Trent Waterloo Western Wilfrid Laurier Windsor Carleton Lakehead York – Law library Nipissing Queens Toronto

11 RACER Implementation Schedule for 2004 Ottawa Laurentian York McMaster UOIT Ontario College of Art and Design Royal Military College Spring 2004


13 What is RACER? Rapid Access to Collections by Electronic Requesting ZPortal & VDX ZPortal: Search the library catalogues of 20 Ontario universities and place or view requests online VDX: ILL management system Bureau Model Web and Windows

14 Bureau Configuration Wilfrid Laurier Wilfrid Laurier Virtual Bureau Wilfrid Laurier Tri-University Group of Libraries Annex WLUANNEXSTK Wilfrid Laurier Brantford Campus WLUBRANTCDROM Wilfrid Laurier University Library WLUINTERNET





19 RACER Features ISO ILL Protocol-compliant product Auto alerts DocFind (but requests are still staff mediated) Patron initiated requesting Automated; Good-bye paper forms Local catalogue blocking Customized reports Vendor co-operation for development of an Aviso Generic Script translator Allows for batch uploading of patron records or patron self registration


21 RACER New Features in 2.4 Bilingual French-English interface DocFind Responder Rota based on availability and serial holdings information down to volume/issue level Customized mandatory fields on request forms Ariel integration 2 separate Web sites for VDX (Staff) & ZPortal (Users) Revised system architecture allows for greater customization





26 RACER Project Statistics Measuring Success 125,000 requests requested in the first 6 months 1 M projected requests annually once all 20 institutions are onboard Each student and researcher in Ontario has access to a combined collection of over 20 million library items

27 Still More Statistics ILL Staff Support Numbers 1554 User support questions answered 166 OCUL staff at 17 institutions with thirteen 2-day classroom and hands-on training sessions Ten 1-day hands-on specialized training programs

28 OCUL VDX Usage in 2003 Number of Borrowing and Lending Requests Generated

29 OCUL VDX Usage in 2003 Borrowing and Lending Requests by Institution


31 RACER Challenges OCUL on the cutting edge of the new technology Steep curve for Staff and User education Transition Workflow changes Issues associated with using the system to support both Document Delivery and ILL processes Different functionality DocFind effectiveness / reliability

32 RACER More Challenges reader for multiple external forms from individual catalogues Generic Script (GS) messaging with legacy non-ISO GS (Aviso +) systems External messaging with sites without ILL Systems External messaging testing with Docline and other ISO systems Location record maintenance and ISO on the fly Multiple vendor systems Z39.50 pitfalls

33 RACER Who Can We Communicate With? CISTI (ISO) BLDSC (ISO) National Library of Canada (ISO) Ontario public libraries (INFO) CREPUQ (Soon!) Canadian libraries using Aviso Canadian and international libraries without an ILL management system (Web form)


35 RACER End User Benefits One stop shopping to Ontario university collections via a common search interface Patron initiated online requesting An easy to complete electronic request form with pickup location options Ability to track their requests is a new feature for users of interlibrary loan services notification for receipt or cancellation of materials

36 RACER Staff Benefits Quicker turnaround time Real time vs batched Auto-populated forms, labels and daily workflow reports Potential lending locations identified and listed (rota) automatically Automatic alerting for patrons

37 Benefits of an OCUL Wide Initiative "RACER has in effect produced a more level playing field for all OCUL institutions. By providing centralized server support and maintenance, it has alleviated much of the local institution system support for interlibrary loan processes. For both end users and staff, RACER provides many features that many of the smaller institutions would not have been able to develop locally." Dialogue regarding policies and guidelines Co-operation across Universities Networking and workshops to share experiences Development of best practices

38 RACER Better Access A quote from Trent's student newspaper, the Arthur For all the other books you need that weren't found on Topcat, you can use the Inter-Library Loan program, RACER, to get practically any book you want (I am still in awe of this program -- you should definitely check it out). One might say that, with the high-speed internet and programs like RACER, the world is at our fingertips.

39 RACER Faster Delivery From an ILL staff member at Lakehead One of the aspects of RACER that has exceeded my expectations is the speed with which our materials are getting to us. I have overheard patrons coming into the ILL office marvelling at the "lightning speed" of the service.

40 What's Next? New hardware Staff VDX upgrade 2.4 Enhanced End user interface Zportal (2.4) Ariel French interface Additional reports Messaging Testing, Testing, Testing More location records Upgrade to 2.7 or 3 NCIP

41 Questions? Amy Greenberg Sue McGillivray

42 The Vision Fully Integrated Peer to Peer ILL Aviso CISTI OCUL ILL / RACER ILL Manager Relais Other VDX Sites

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