OCLC FirstSearch now allows libraries to authenticate users against their existing patron circulation files using the NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP). There is no need for libraries to maintain additional patron files to use NCIP. This feature can be set up in the FirstSearch administrative module when a library has a local system capable of communicating using the NCIP protocol.

Although OCLC is not aware of any local systems that have implemented this capability yet, vendors are likely to adopt the NCIP protocol in the near future, especially if they hear from the library community that they want to buy systems that can use it.

NCIP will let remote library users access FirstSearch more easily by using their library barcode or another unique patron number designated by their affiliated library. The NCIP patron authentication feature does not replace any existing authentication methods for FirstSearch (manual logon, IP address recognition, scripted access, IP referer and Athens authentication), but provides an additional method of authentication to a library’s FirstSearch account. This is the first feature OCLC has developed based on NCIP, and OCLC will continue to work with NCIP to meet the needs of users.

Last revised: 24 July 2003