Posted: December 17, 2013 -- ray.henry

Patrons of Washington State University Libraries soon will use a single search box to find journals, books and digitized collections. Users will see other improvements, too, including access to some 9 million titles and 26 million resources from 36 other higher education institutions.

“The new system promises to be a more cohesive experience for our patrons,” said Beth Blakesley, associate dean of WSU Libraries. “It will be a true one-stop shop for all our users’ research needs.”

At the end of December, WSU Libraries will move to a new system shared by a consortium of Pacific Northwest universities, colleges and community colleges called the Orbis Cascade Alliance. With its user interface, called Search It, patrons will be able to search a broad array of content from all 37 library collections as well as other open-access digital repositories and WorldCat, the holdings database from libraries around the world.

For more about what users can expect from the change, visit the WSU Libraries Web page at http://libguides.wsulibs.wsu.edu/search_it.

“This is a revolutionary step for us, a fundamental shift,” said WSU Libraries Dean Jay Starratt. “We had an outdated structure of separate systems. We’re moving to a shared, integrated library system that will serve the functional needs of 37 libraries and help our university community achieve the best outcomes possible.

“WSU has held a leadership role in this process,” he said. “With no slowdown to other services, our library staff has been actively leading this regional move. We’ll continue to play this role as we complete the migration.”

Six universities were the first to make the switch to the system over the summer: Linfield College (McMinnville, Ore.), Marylhurst University (Marylhurst, Ore.), Pacific University (Forest Grove, Ore.), University of Washington (Seattle), Western Washington University (Bellingham) and Willamette University (Salem, Ore.).

WSU will join the second group of alliance libraries to migrate before the end of the year. All 37 libraries are expected to switch by December 2014.

For more about the Orbis Cascade Alliance, visit the organization website at http://orbiscascade.org/index/index.