RLG Moving to New Network Technology

Article excerpt

The Research Libraries Group, Inc. (RLG) is moving its online services to Internet Protocol-based networking (TCP/IP). RLG will offer a trio of new options for accessing all of its bibliographic databases and its library support system, the Research Libraries Information Network (RLIN). At the same time, RLG plans to phase out its older X.25 packet-switching private network in favor of the newer technology.

Although users can already search the 67-million-record RLIN database via the Internet and through CompuServe dial-up connections, RLG's private network currently supports nearly all of the terminals that libraries use to create and update records in RLIN. Within the next year and a half, both information retrieval and RLIN cataloging will be possible three ways: over the Internet, via "frame relay" technology provided by CompuServe, and through advanced dial-up connections. A dedicated line will no longer be necessary to use RLIN's unique processing features such as local data support, archival materials description, and non-Roman scripts.

"We've been working with RLG members--librarians who understand the complex nature of processing in research institutions," said RLG President Jim Michalko. "Together, we've come up with some breakthroughs." With most of its members and users on the Internet, RLG saw an opportunity to make fundamental changes to its network. In the near term, the shift to TCP/IP opens up a host of connectivity options. …