Questions and Answers about the New Summit
As a library user, youre probably familiar with Summit, the unified catalog that combines information from a consortium of regional academic libraries into a single searchable database. Summit provides you with access to over 28 million items from 36 academic libraries throughout Oregon and Washington.
In the next six months, the Summit catalog will be upgraded and improved. As a member of the Orbis Cascade Alliance (the consortium that supports and maintains the Summit catalog), your library is actively involved in ensuring that services to you and other library customers will continue seamlessly during this transition.
Below, weve provided answers to some questions you may have about the transition to the new and improved catalog. Were confident that youll appreciate the enhancements being made to this popular service.
A. Summits existing catalog was installed in the mid 1990s, and although its been regularly upgraded since then, recent developments in library services and products all indicate that its time for a significant change. Working together, Alliance members have created an implementation plan for an improved library catalog that promises to be sustainable, cost-effective and user-friendly. Building on the successes of the existing catalog, the new Summit catalog will include a significantly enhanced search function that will make it even easier for you to find and request the books you need.
A. Work on the project is already underway and the new Summit catalog will be fully installed by the end of 2008. To ensure that there is no interruption in Summit services to library customers, youll be able to use the current system right up until the time the new Summit is ready. As the transition is occurring, we encourage you to use Summit to request materials as you normally would.
A. With one search, the new Summit catalog will present results from the collections of the Orbis Cascade Alliances member institutions in Oregon and Washington, followed by results from libraries around the world. In all, the new catalog will give you access to over 107 million library records, made accessible through powerful and easy-to-use search capabilities.
In addition to an improved catalog interface, Summit users will see some differences in length of loan, renewals and related services. Some of these changes will evolve quickly, while others will take more time to develop.Youll still be able to see what you have checked out but, in Summits initial phase of development, you will need to look in two places. Library material from your home library will appear in your local catalog, while material from other libraries will appear in Summit.
There will be some temporary changes in Summits ability to process renewals. For a limited time, Summit borrowing will be restricted to the initial loan period. However, as soon as feasible, the capacity for renewing will be restored.
A. Some libraries in the Orbis Cascade Alliance will be installing a new local catalog interface in conjunction with the Summit upgrade. Timing will vary depending on the institution, so please check with a library staff person for more information. This new catalog interface simultaneously searches for items within your own librarys collection, the offerings of the Orbis Cascade Alliance and listings from libraries around the world. Results are presented in three tiers, so that its simple to identify which items will be the easiest to retrieve.
A. We encourage you to continue to use the Summit catalog as you normally would to find and request the materials you need. The transition has been planned so that you will not have to submit any Summit requests more than once.
As your library participates in the catalog upgrade, staff members will be on a learning curve as they implement the new system. We appreciate your patience, flexibility and support during this process, which may include some minor service interruptions.
We also encourage you to share any concerns you have about the catalog upgrade. Your feedback is invaluable to us in our efforts to ensure that the Summit catalog continues to meet customer needs.
A. The current upgrade of the Summit catalog builds on work recently done by libraries in the University of California system to successfully enhance their unified catalog.
A. Serving over 211,000 students throughout the Pacific Northwest, the Orbis Cascade Alliance is a library consortium involving 36 universities and colleges. Through the Summit catalog, Alliance members share about 400,000 books and other items a yearan average of over 1,000 a day! Per student, the Orbis Cascade Alliance has higher circulation than any other similar library consortium in the U.S., and is nationally recognized for its speed of delivery and successful fulfillment rate.