June 26, 2000

Collaboration is a critical move toward a new model for digital libraries

Sun Microsystems Inc. and Cornell University have announced plans to construct the technology platform that will pioneer the next generation model for digital libraries. In addition, as one of the leading adopters of digital library technology, Sun Microsystems named Cornell the Sun Center of Excellence for Digital Libraries. Cornell University Library will serve as an international model for the digital library environment of the 21st century.

Partnered with Endeavor Information Systems, the top-selling library automation vendor, Sun Microsystems technology is the incubator for the first full-featured digital library solution, dubbed ENCompass. Just introduced to market, ENCompass now makes it possible for libraries to digitize their vast collections through the use of a standard commercial package, thereby lowering costs to libraries. The Sun-Endeavor-Cornell alliance provides the critical next step in realizing the new standard for digitizing library collections.

"Developing the technological, professional and economic infrastructure to manage the rapid pace of current change is a tremendous challenge," said Cornell University Librarian Sarah Thomas. "This collaboration allows us to implement a diverse array of digital library services ranging from multimedia publishing to basic research in the long-term preservation of electronic data."

Research libraries are at the center of a revolution in the creation, publication and distribution of digitally processed information. Increasingly, libraries license and manage access to thousands of electronic publications and information services. They create digital collections based on their own holdings and virtual collections by combining unique materials worldwide.

"The Cornell University Library has been a pioneer in such initiatives for over a decade," said H. Thomas Hickerson, associate university librarian at Cornell. "Our combined relationship with Sun and Endeavor is particularly compelling as it allows us to move forward in realizing a new model for research libraries."

The joint Sun-Endeavor solution allows libraries to implement digital collections through the use of a standard commercial package.

"Most academic libraries don't have the technology, expertise or budget to design, implement and maintain a custom digital library application," said Kim Jones, vice president for global education and research at Sun Microsystems Inc. "The availability of ENCompass provides a road map for libraries wanting to digitize their collections."

Such developments allow the research library to function in its traditional role as an encyclopedic resource for the preservation and dissemination of disciplinary and cultural materials while expanding its services to a networked environment that supports teaching, research and distributed learning.

Currently Sun Microsystems technology is the dominant platform for library automation systems, with more than 500 library installations featuring Endeavor Information Systems automated software solutions. Sun and Endeavor are strongly committed to the education market and remain on the forefront of ongoing research and development of cutting-edge academic library technology.

For more information about Cornell Library's role in the association, contact H. Thomas Hickerson at (607) 255-9965, e-mail hth2@cornell.edu; or Sarah Thomas at (607) 255-3689, e-mail set9@cornell,edu.

See below for more information about ENCompass and Sun in Education, or contact Terri Nissen, Sun Microsystems, at (650) 786-9722, e-mail terri.nissen@corp.sun.com; or Betsy Turenne, Burston-Marsteller for Sun Microsystems, at (415) 591-4184, e-mail elizabeth_turenne@was.bm.com.

About Endeavor Information Systems/ENCompass

Endeavor Information Systems, based in Des Plaines, Ill., was founded in September 1994. Over 650 academic and research libraries of every size have chosen Endeavor's high performance library system. ENCompass uses new technology standards like XML, EAD and Dublin Core to describe, index and search electronic resources. ENCompass provides seamless searching across digital object collections while managing and controlling links for separate repositories. ENCompass ties together resources, creating a more effective research base. For more information, visit Endeavor http://www.endinfosys.com.

Sun in Education

Sun is a leading provider of open network computing solutions to colleges and universities around the world, powering academic research on high- performance computing systems, campus administration, digital libraries and student instruction systems. In addition, Sun is committed to connecting the world's students to the Internet, beginning with primary and secondary schools and extending to all levels of higher education. For information about Sun in Education, visit http://www.sun.com/edu.