Library Consortium Enhances Access

An online catalog of more than a half million bibliographic records, the sixth largest in Oregon, will be activated at the Mark O. Hatfield Library at Willamette University at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 4. The project, the first of its kind in the country, will place the bibliographic records of two state libraries on the automated library system of a private university.

The consortium was formed in December 2000 for the purpose of supporting public/private initiatives engaged in public policy research and law reform in Oregon.

Faculty and students of Willamette University and State of Oregon executive, legislative and judicial personnel are the primary beneficiaries of an innovative private/public collaboration to combine the electronic bibliographic records of the Oregon State Library and the State of Oregon Law Library with those of the Willamette University Mark O. Hatfield and College of Law Libraries to create a shared online catalog.

The combined catalog will provide efficient research and information access for such diverse library users as the Oregon Department of Justice attorneys, Oregon legislative staff researchers, and Willamette University students and faculty. The resource sharing will result in improved research capabilities and cost-savings in collection development, library automation and annual system maintenance. Willamette University's automated library system will also be home to the acquisitions, circulation and serials software modules for both State libraries.

The project was supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library, with a $214,917 grant. The participating libraries provided additional funds and in-kind services.