New look for UnityUK

On 2nd April 2007 The Combined Regions (TCR), in partnership with OCLC PICA, will go live with the next version of the UnityUK resource sharing service. The new version will deliver significant enhancements in workflow and usability and has been developed in partnership with the service’s user community of over 120 libraries.

[UKPRwire, Tue Mar 27 2007] The new features have been designed to further enhance the system in line with the needs of its users. It has been developed in response to comments and suggestions gathered from numerous discussions, workshops, user groups and surveys with the user community during the 12 months since the service went live, and also from the outcome of the LinkUK integration project. This is the first major release for the service, which is part-financed by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund delivered through the South Yorkshire Objective 1 Programme.

The new developments are designed to deliver significant enhancements in two key areas. First, the workflow through the requesting process has been simplified which will make the service easier and quicker to use. Second, the introduction of a new facility that enables UnityUK members and non UnityUK libraries to manage responses through the service. This new feature removes the need for individual email responses to be updated manually.

The new release will be launched on the 2nd April 2007, following the completion of a programme of beta testing during March 2007. The beta test programme has enabled UnityUK customers to test-drive the new version before it goes live. Veronica Robinson, Librarian: Adults and Community Team at North Lincolnshire Library and Information Services gained a great deal from taking part in the beta programme, “It has been great having the opportunity to have our say and the staff here have enjoyed having a sneak preview of the new system. We really like the layout of the new screens and the team have had the opportunity to explore more of UnityUK’s features.”

All the information that users need to make the best of the new release will be easily available via the UnityUK Members’ Area website, which is free to members. For the first time, users will be able to download short training films which demonstrate the key features of the new version.

OCLC PICA, in conjunction with the UnityUK user community, is planning further new developments for release later in 2007. Ideas currently under discussion include the integration of fee management in to the service and an end-to-end improvement in the interface and workflow with the British Library.

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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, TCR’s 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.

OCLC PICA is a leading supplier of software solutions, content and services to libraries. Professionals and end users in academic and public libraries, the health sector, as well as government and cultural institutions worldwide benefit from its services. These include its own union catalogue and resource sharing solutions, integrated library systems and portal products. In Europe and southern Africa, OCLC PICA also offers the full range of OCLC products and services for cataloguing, eBooks, collection and digital content management and virtual reference services.
OCLC PICA B.V. is jointly owned by OCLC Inc. and Stichting Pica. OCLC is a not-for-profit organization 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. OCLC PICA has its headquarters in Leiden, the Netherlands, with offices in the UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, the USA and Australia. More information about OCLC PICA can be found at .
OCLC PICA incorporates OCLC Europe, PICA (a key service-provider in the library infrastructure of the Netherlands), SISIS (the leading library-automation company in Germany) and Fretwell-Downing Informatics (a leading international provider of library automation and resource-sharing solutions).


For further information, contact:

Fiona Leslie Katie Birch
Marketing Executive Product Manager
Tel: +44 (0)121 456 4656 Tel: +44 (0)114 281 6040

Company: The Combined Regions

Contact Name: Fiona Leslie

Contact Email:

Contact Phone: 0121 456 4656

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