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The Alberta Library receives CLA/OCLC Award for Innovative Technology from the Canadian Library Association

The Canadian Library Association / Association canadienne des bibliothèques announced today that The Alberta Library (TAL) is the 2014 recipient of the CLA/OCLC Award for Innovative Technology for TAL Online’s Where Are You From (WAYF) Application, Interface, & Administrative Panel.

Created in partnership with software developer Hybrid Forge, WAYF facilitates resource sharing to TAL’s 49 member libraries, their multiple integrated library systems and interlibrary loan management software. The award is sponsored by OCLC Canada.

The WAYF interface enables requests generated from WorldCat to be processed by any TAL member library, regardless of their ILS or ILL management software. Users can request an item through the high quality interface, and their request is then formatted to the preferences of the relevant member libraries. WAYF reduces the level of staff mediation required to process requests—it automatically verifies user eligibility, and provides users with the ability to independently monitor the progress of their request.

“Using the WorldCat Search API, the WAYF interface can also perform a 'check against local holdings,' and if an item is owned by the local library, it can drive user traffic back to the native OPAC,” said Jason Openo, Director of Planning  & Program Development, The Alberta Library. “Local in this case can mean either a single library or a group of libraries. If a library faithfully indexes OCLC Control Numbers, the WAYF interface will escort users to the item in their catalogue so that they can have their desires fulfilled as quickly and efficiently as possible.”   

WAYF increases the ease with which item requests can be both made and processed, streamlining it for both customers and staff. It provides a seamless ‘discovery to delivery’ experience. While this development has improved lending processes, it has also laid the groundwork for an even deeper level of collaboration between TAL’s member libraries.

The CLA/OCLC Award for Innovative Technology is presented annually to honor a member or members of CLA for innovative use and application of technology in a Canadian library setting. The award will be presented to Clive Maishment, CEO, The Alberta Library, at the Plenary Session from 8:30 to 10:00 am, on Friday, 30 May during the CLA 2014 National Conference & Trade Show in Victoria, British Columbia (Victoria Conference Centre, 28–31 May 2014). Jason Openo, Director of Planning & Program Development, The Alberta Library, and Kristin Delwo, Managing Partner, Hybrid Forge, will also present on TAL’s WAYF project as part of OCLC Canada’s Symposium at CLA on 28 May 2014.