New Library.Link Network to Provide Free Online Data for Libraries, Patrons Across Michigan

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs 517-241-4395
Agency: Education

October 26, 2016

LANSING – Libraries and their patrons statewide will have easier access to Michigan eLibrary (MeL) data under a high-tech, public-private partnership called the Library.Link Network (LLC).

The Library of Michigan (LM) is partnering with Zepheira Technologies and the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS) to transform the MelCat online catalog’s data into the LLC that is more compatible with internet browsers.

The LM’s MelCat shares resources with 442 academic, K-12, special, and public libraries. Available at http://library.link, the LLC publishing platform already represents more than 2,100 library locations.

“The Library.Link Network will make our libraries’ resources more broadly available and visible,” State Librarian Randy Riley said. “In addition to Web searches, we envision that these resources will further connect residents with information provided by libraries in their communities.”

Michigan will be the first state library to bring a large-scale set of library-catalog data to the internet with technology developed by Zepheira, Riley said.

“Due to the highly structured format of machine-readable cataloging records, state libraries and consortia quickly can begin to participate in the Library.Link Network and publish their rich resources to the Web in a meaningful way,” observed John Richardson, Zepheira vice president of Library & Vendor Partnerships.

Zepheira is teaming with Innovative Interfaces to extract the estimated 20 million machine-readable cataloging (MARC) records from the MeLCat database. The MCLS, a long-time partner of MeL, provides technical support for the project.

Implementation began in the late summer and continues through 2017.       

“To remain relevant in today’s Web-centric world, libraries need to market their resources effectively. The MCLS is thrilled to work with Library of Michigan to increase the web visibility of Michigan libraries,” MCLS Executive Director Randy Dykhuis said.

About Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS)

MCLS is a multi-state library membership that facilitates sharing resources and collaboration with other organizations to benefit Indiana and Michigan libraries: www.mcls.org

About Zepheira

Zepheira (http://www.zepheira.com) is a leading provider of linked-data solutions which help clients make information available and more prominent on the internet. Founded in 2007, Zepheira has extensive experience creating products focused on the modernization of library information systems.

For more information about the Library.Link Network, contact MeL Coordinator Deb Biggs at 517-373-4466.