Virginia Commonwealth University Library Implements NOTIS Multiple Database Access System

Article excerpt

Users of Virginia Commonwealth University Library reach more than just bibliographic records with the new integrated management system from NOTIS Systems, Inc. Specialized medical and education information is readily accessed via the library's familiar online public access catalog (OPAC).

By employing NOTIS'S Multiple Database Access System (MDAS), the library seamlessly interfaces locally mounted external databases with the OPAC. Databases include Medline (National Library of Medicine), ERIC (Educational Research Information Center), PsycInfo (American Psychological Association) and seven databases from the Wilson Company.

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) was created in 1968 by the merger of the Medical College of Virginia and Richmond Professional Institute. VCU has separate academic and medical campuses in Richmond and operates the fourth largest teaching hospital in the United States.

The library, with holdings in excess of one million volumes, operates two major facilities: the James Branch Cabell academic library and the Tompkins-McCaw medical library. Combined, they require a full-time staff of more than 140 plus about 150 student workers, and handle an average of 4,000 patrons daily.

VCU librarians decided to upgrade to an integrated NOTIS library management system in 1990, in part because of the MDAS product. "MDAS provides an integrated environment with the online catalog," says John Duke, assistant director for network and technical services. "The same keyword/Boolean search structures used in the OPAC are used to capture information in the databases. …