PLAN FOR BIBLIOGRAPHIC ACCESS
As stated in the standards for Services of Illinois Multitype Library
Systems, the purpose of system bibliographic access programs is to
facilitate the identification and location of library materials within
the System through a standardized description of these resources.
Comprehensive identification of the bibliographic resources in our
member libraries is a means by which the goal of increased resource
sharing among member libraries can be achieved.
Within the Rolling Prairie Library System facilitating and increasing
bibliographic access among member libraries has been an important goal
of the System from its inception. In recent years the growth of
technology has enabled the scope of bibliographic access activities to
Bibliographic access in Rolling Prairie Library System is provided by a
number of important resource-sharing mechanisms, all of which have
developed through the participation of both member librarians and System
staff. These mechanisms continue to develop and grow each year. The most
important method for providing bibliographic access to the library
collections in our System area is through participation by our libraries
in the RPLS LLSAP, Serials of Illinois Libraries Online (SILO), OCLC,
ILLINET Online (IO) and the Statewide Illinois Library Catalog (SILC).
The RPLS LLSAP
Our Local Library System Automation Project (LLSAP) began in 1977 as a
joint venture of the System agency and a single member library. Today it
is a cooperative venture of 141 RPLS libraries, of all types, housed on
a powerful computer located at the System headquarters in Decatur,
The LLSAP database provides extensive bibliographic access to both LLSAP
and non-LLSAP libraries. The participating online libraries have
continuous access to each otherís holdings, including shelf status. They
are able to place reserves on titles found in the database. The LLSAP
software will then route the first available copy of that title to them.
Currently over 17,000 items per month are borrowed among these libraries
through the LLSAP.
The LLSAP database is also available for searching on the System web
page by any RPLS member library with Internet access. In recent years,
grant funds have been available to assist libraries in acquiring
Internet access and, as a result, almost all RPLS member libraries can
now take advantage of the availability of the LLSAP database for
SILO and WorldCat
A second major mechanism for providing bibliographic access is our
participation in SILO and WorldCat. The serial holdings of many RPLS
member libraries can be found in the SILO component of the OCLC
Many RPLS libraries are full members of the OCLC database. All System
members have access to WorldCat through their profiling as OCLC
RPLS also participates in the loading of holdings from its LLSAP
database into the OCLC-maintained WorldCat database. The initial
backloading of records is being constantly updated by the quarterly
addition of new records from our LLSAP into WorldCat. Bibliographic
access to holdings from our regional database is thus being made
available to libraries worldwide who utilize OCLC.
ILLINET Online and SILC
The third important component of bibliographic access in our System is
the availability of holdings from many of our member libraries in the
ILLINET Online and SILC databases. The holdings of seven major academic
collections in RPLS, (Millikin University, SIU School of Medicine,
University of Illinois-Springfield, Lincoln Christian College,
Springfield College, Robert Morris College-Springfield and Lincoln Land
Community College), are part of the ILLINET Online database of Illinois
The rich academic resources of the entire ILLINET Online database and
the enormous and varied holdings of the Illinois library systems are
both available through SILC.
Other System Databases
In addition to the three major components for bibliographic access in
the Rolling Prairie Library System, other databases play a role in
bibliographic access within RPLS.
An undetermined number of member libraries, primarily schools, have
acquired small in-house systems such as those marketed by Follett or
Winnebago. Unfortunately, bibliographic access to the materials
contained in these databases by other libraries is very limited. Many
school libraries have converted to LLSAP membership, making their
holdings more widely available.
As can be seen from this brief description of major options for
bibliographic access, there are a variety of possibilities open to our
member libraries for providing access to their collections.
Bibliographic access to the great bulk of library holdings in our System
now exists. There are still collections, however, particularly in school
libraries, to which there is no easy bibliographic access. The expansion
of access to these remaining collections will continue to be a System
goal for years to come.