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NISO Publishes Guide to Standards for
Library Systems

Bethesda, Md., USA - (December 19, 2002) - The National Information
Standards Organization (NISO) announces the publication of The RFP
Writer's Guide to Standards for Library Systems, a manual intended to
aid library system Request for Proposal (RFP) writers and evaluators
in understanding the relevant standards and determining a software
product's compliance with standards.

The widespread use of Integrated Library Systems (ILS), global
communications via the Internet, and growing numbers of digital
library initiatives have made the need for compliance with standards
more critical than ever.  Implementing information products and
systems that support standards can ensure that libraries will be able
 integrate electronic content products from multiple vendors;
 resource share on a wider geographic scale, even globally;
 participate in more cooperative programs with other organizations,
including ones outside the library community;
 speed up the "time to market" of library materials, i.e. the time
to acquire, catalog, process, and circulate an item;
 provide remote access to library services;
 reduce the need for user training;
 operate successfully with their parent organization's computing
 migrate cost effectively to newer systems; and
 more easily adopt new technologies.

The RFP Writer's Guide to Standards for Library Systems identifies
critical standards in the areas of Bibliographic Formats, Record
Structure, Character Sets, Exchange Media, Serials Identifiers,
Binding, Circulation Protocols, Barcodes, Interlibrary Loan (ILL),
Electronic Documents, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Information
Retrieval, Metadata, and Web Access.  For each standard, the
applicability to libraries is described, sample RFP language is
provided, and compliance assessment issues are discussed.  "Having
recently participated in writing an RFP, I wish I'd had this Guide in
hand," stated Priscilla Caplan, Assistant Director of Digital Library
Services at the Florida Center for Library Automation.  "It's easy to
rattle off a list of standards to be supported, but another thing
altogether to specify standards compliance in a way that
discriminates between different vendor implementations."

Copies of the guide are available in print from NISO Press or for
free download from NISO's website

About the Author
Cynthia Hodgson, the author of the Guide, is an independent
information consultant and writer with over 20 years of experience as
a corporate librarian, library manager, and information technology
manager.  She has taught graduate level courses in Library Science
and has held local and national offices in professional library

About NISO
NISO is the only U.S. group accredited by the American National
Standards Institute to develop and promote technical standards for
use in information delivery services providing voluntary standards
for libraries, publishers and related information technology
organizations.  All NISO standards are developed by consensus under
the guidance of experts and practitioners in the field to meet the
needs of both the information user and the producer.  For information
about NISO's current standardization interests and membership
possibilities, please visit the NISO website at

National Information Standards Organization (NISO)
4733 Bethesda Avenue, Suite 300
Bethesda, MD  20814-5248
Tel: 301-654-2512  Fax: 301-654-1721
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