Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

March 14, 2001

New Regional Library Network to Improve Information Access and Services

Fifty-six libraries in the Inland Northwest are cooperating to establish a new information network.

Representatives of the Consolidated Information Network, the Inland Northwest Library Automation Network, and the Valley Automated Library Network have formed a new umbrella organization. The consortium, known as the Washington Idaho Network (WIN), will offer expanded and simplified library services for citizens of the Inland Northwest region.

The new network will serve 180,000 library users at academic, public, school and special libraries in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. Users will have access to more than 2.3 million items jointly held by the member libraries.

The WIN consortium will purchase and operate a library computer system from the Endeavor Corporation. The purchase will be partially supported by a $299,746 grant provided to the Idaho participants through the Library Services and Technology Act.

"The great benefit to us and to the other member libraries is that we're getting a state-of-the-art system while being able to share the cost," says Hans Bynagle, director of the Harriett Cheney Cowles Memorial Library at Whitworth. "One big advantage of the new system for faculty and students is being able to simultaneously search multiple catalogs and databases, making it easier to find and access information they need."

Participating libraries include Whitworth College, Gonzaga University, the University of Idaho, North Idaho College, Lewis-Clark State College, and many public and school libraries in northern Idaho.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The college enrolls 2,000 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Contacts:

Hans Bynagle, Director of Harriett Cheney Cowles Memorial Library at Whitworth, (509) 777-4482 or hbynagle@whitworth.edu.

Greg Orwig, director of communications, (509) 777-4580 or gorwig@whitworth.edu.

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