UnityUK membership tops 100

In excess of 100 library authorities have already signed up to become members of UnityUK: the next generation resource sharing and interlibrary loan service from The Combined Regions (TCR). UnityUK is a part-financed project by the European Unionís European Regional Development Fund delivered through the South Yorkshire Objective 1 Programme. In the four months since the launch, 90% of members have been trained, and four regional user groups have been scheduled. More than 50% of subscribers have already used the service to place a request.

[UKPRwire, Sat Jul 08 2006] County Councils, Metropolitan Boroughs and Unitary authorities are all represented among the UnityUK membership list and library authorities large and small have all signed up for the new TCR service. The geographic spread of UnityUK users is impressive and the service is already being used by libraries across England, Scotland and Wales.

As part of the ongoing development of the service, from mid July 2006 UnityUK subscribers will be able to access the former UnityWeb catalogue, complete with 40 million holdings, and use the information for searching and placing requests.

UnityUK will, for the first time, deliver a national network for resource sharing for the UK as it brings together the union catalogues of The Combined Regions and LinkUK and one integrated service is expected in mid 2007. The new service uses the latest resource sharing technology from world leaders OCLC PICA who also host and manage the new service.

The 78 LinkUK libraries also use OCLC PICA software to share resources and the integration project between UnityUK and the LinkUK libraries is due to start during the summer 2006. Early adopters among the LinkUK libraries will use both services as part the integration project to ensure that the UnityUK service is developed in line with the LinkUK libraries requirements.

More than 175 library authorities across the UK use OCLC PICA software to share resources and manage requesting.

UnityUK will be on show at the Forum for Interlending, taking place at the University of Southampton from 10th to 12th July 2006. (http://www.cilip.org.uk/groups/fil/index.html) .

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Notes to editors:
About UnityUK
UnityUK is the upgraded web-based resource sharing and interlibrary loan service provided by The Combined Regions (TCR). UnityUK, launched in May 2006, delivers leading edge functionality for union catalogue, cross database searching, holdings and item location, interlibrary loan and resource sharing services. UnityUK uses the latest international resource sharing standards and integrates with all major library management systems in use in the UK today. UnityUK also links together the union catalogues of the TCR member libraries and LinkUK library resources, to provide the first national resource sharing service for the UK.

About The Combined Regions (TCR)
The Combined Regions (TCR) is the organisation behind the Unity resource sharing service. For more than 10 years, TCR has provided interlending services to its 140 member library organisations across the South West, North East, East Midlands, North East and Scotland. Under the Unity name, TCRís resource sharing services began with a CD union catalogue, and in 2001 moved to become web-based. In February 2006, The Combined Regions announced the launch of a new and upgraded Unity service to be provided by OCLC PICA.

As the European library cooperative, OCLC PICA offers a broad range of leading edge, high-tech solutions for professionals and end users of academic and public libraries, information centres from the government and health sector, museums, archives and other cultural institutions. Thousands of patrons daily rely on OCLC PICA systems and services for efficient cataloguing, library management, retrieval, resource sharing, portals and preservation. OCLC PICA participates in a large number of important standardisation platforms to make sure its usersí interests are best represented. OCLC PICA staff consists of IT professionals, formally trained librarians and other specialists.
OCLC PICA B.V. has two share holders: OCLC Inc. and Stichting Pica. OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. (est. 1967) is a not-for-profit organisation and offers its services to 54,000 libraries worldwide. Stichting Pica (est. 1969) is a foundation that promotes and encourages the scientific and public information service in the Netherlands. From its head office in Leiden and regional offices in Oberhaching, Sheffield, Birmingham, Paris and Footscray, and the FDI USA office in Kansas City, OCLC PICA provides solutions developed in Leiden, Oberhaching and Sheffield. It also represents the OCLC services in Europe, Turkey, Israel and Southern Africa. More information about OCLC PICA can be found at www.oclcpica.org.

For further information, contact:

Emily Haynes, Marketing Executive, OCLC PICA, Tel: +44 (0)114 281 6040, e.haynes@oclcpica.org
Katie Anstock, Business Development Manager, OCLC PICA, Tel: +44 (0)114 281 6040, k.anstock@oclcpica.org
Mike Thornton, LinkUK Account Manager, c/o OCLC PICA, Tel: +44(0)121 456 4656

Ref TA-330

Company: The Combined Regions

Contact Name: Emily Haynes

Contact Email: e.haynes@oclcpica.org

Contact Phone: 0114 281 6040

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