The University Record, October 31, 1994

Gateway provides ‘single entry point’ to information resources

The Information Gateway Project, a component of the evolving University of Michigan’s evolving Digital Library (UMDL) focuses on making more information accessible and supplying an easy way to find that information.

“The purpose of the project is to provide a coherent information environment for the whole campus,” says Wendy P. Lougee, director of the UMDL program. “We want to provide a way for people to see what is out there, provide the tools for them to use it and bring order to the network.”

An important part of the project, Lougee says, is to provide a single entry point to the vast information available at the U-M. Using Mosaic as the browser interface to the World-Wide Web, the Information Gateway Project is organizing information from the growing array of University networked information providers—the Information Technology Digest, an exhibit of authors and artists of the Oriole Press, LS&A course guides and calendars, job postings, admissions information, information from the Department of Economics, classical and Mediterranean archaeological information, MIRLYN, and an online course reserves collection.

The Gateway establishes a conceptual framework to organize networked information resources existing at the U-M and creates the search and retrieval tools necessary to help local and remote users find information. The range of resources available provides a tremendous opportunity to access a variety of multi-media resources. The opportunities to present the University to the outside world also are notable.

The three units collaborating on digital library projects, including the Gateway, each bring a special expertise. The University Library offers its ability and experience in organizing materials, designing a system of searching and cross-referencing much like the traditional card catalog. The Information Technology Division is instrumental in supplying the necessary tools for information access. The School of Information and Library Science, according to Lougee, is evolving as a center for research and development in information retrieval and storage.

A range of digital library projects are in process and will greatly increase the campus community’s access to information resources—both traditional sources like books and journals, and numeric and geographic data, artifacts and multimedia.

Units interested in supplying information to others through the Gateway can send e-mail indicating their interest to UM-Gateway@umich.edu.