UR students and faculty will have easier and broader access to library sources with the development of a new software called eXtensible Catalog (XC). A second grant of $749,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and additional funding from other sources now complete the $2.8 million needed to develop and implement the software, which is expected to be released in July 2009. UR is working with numerous universities and institutions that have contributed research, time and funding to the project’s development.

XC software will contain applications that provide the UR community with easier access to the collections of partnered libraries. Once XC is adopted, UR will have the opportunity to share collections with about 70 of the members of the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois.

XC will also change how the UR community navigates library systems by expanding access and modifying search techniques. As opposed to the current method where users search for resources by type, a user would also be able to browse by facets in a manner similar to the way commercial Web sites operate. Head of Cataloging of River Campus Libraries Jennifer Bowen explained another change coming to online library navigation, one that will increase the ease with which students and faculty can access sources.

“We want to bring information about library resources into other Web sites that students and faculty are already using, such as the student portal or Blackboard,” Bowen said. “So, if you were already looking at a Blackboard page for a course on chemistry, for example, you might see a link directly to some important library resources related to chemistry right there on the same page.”

Leber is a member of the class of 2011.

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