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[etkn-forum] TLCat

To: "Eastern Transportation Knowledge Network" <etkn-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Amanda.Wilson@xxxxxxx, Nelda.Bravo@xxxxxxx
From: "Winter, Kenneth A." <Ken.Winter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 13:10:10 -0400
Message-id: <D13E431915620D49B92F3C0844817D80029D0AA2@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Betty, other ETKN members-


This is a very good question. 


I suspect you are referring to the “guest view” of TLCat, which is freely accessible to the public.


TLCat is a group catalog created by NTL using OCLC’s “group services” approach.  NTL wisely negotiated with OCLC to create a publicly accessible version of TLCat that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that are available enabled, but which does provide anyone free access to search the holdings of TLCat.  There are also “custom views” for each library, if member libraries want to use them.


Back when TLCat was created (it went live on March 22, 2004), NTL was funding the activities of the MTKN as a pilot project.  I believe the ultimate goal was to expand participation in ways that linked transportation libraries in a national network model.  Nobody wanted to disrupt the MTKN identity (at that time there was no WTKN or ETKN), however, NTL did want to have broader participation in TLCat as it was being created.


With that in mind, Nelda Bravo, director of the NTL at the time, invited several libraries outside the MTKN to participate in TLCat in early 2004.  Those libraries all focused on transportation, but they were also different “types” of libraries and included: UC Berkeley (university), Los Angeles Metro Transit Authority (municipal govt.), VDOT Research Library (state DOT/govt), TRB Library (other).  Nelda and now Amanda have continued to bring in new transportation libraries to TLCat with amazing results!


When TLCat was Created:



  • It contains more than 1.1 million item records
  • 32 libraries are members
  • 11 MTKN member libraries, 21 non-MTKN libraries
  • MTKN item records: 375,808 (34% of all records)
  • Non-MTKN records: 726,912 (66% of all records)


Unfortunately, many participating libraries don’t seem to realize that in addition to the free guest view, each participating library has a “custom view” that has many robust features.  Below is a screen capture showing what our custom view looks like.  We make this accessibly only to VDOT employees (by IP range) and it allows us to put our logo, links to whatever we want, we have a one-click ILL option enabled for our patrons, and most importantly, it helps reveal our library’s holdings to our patrons.


At VDOT we find we get a lot of click through traffic from our custom view of TLCat.  By linking our library’s holdings to this resource, we find we “draw in” far more patrons to our local catalog, where they can not only see our holdings, but they can see availability, and most importantly, how to get in touch with our staff and get the service they need.   Here’s what our custom view (what VDOT employees can access) looks like.  We have complete control over how this looks, colors, fonts, wording, etc.:



I agree with you that NTL should consider either removing the “MTKN” link from the guest view of TLCat, or possibly should consider adding links for the WTKN and ETKN?


Amanda or Nelda, please chime in here if I have any of this wrong or you have additions…




P.S. For more details:
This NTL page shows a timeline of involvement:

This brochure by OCLC describes the project nicely too:


Ken Winter, MLIS
Director of Library and Information Services
VDOT Research Library

530 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville  VA  22903
Ph: 434-962-8979 | Polycom or Skype: By apt. (11-4 ET)
Intranet: http://rclibrary


From: etkn-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:etkn-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Ambler, Betty S
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 1:45 PM
To: Eastern Transportation Knowledge Network
Subject: Re: [etkn-forum] ETKN conference call - and Mailing list check-up!


When I log onto OCLC First Search, on the upper right corner, there are links for TRIS, NTL and MTKN. It is more appropriate for ETKN members to have a link to ETKN website instead of MTKN. How could we change it?


Betty Ambler

ConnDOT Library

2800 Berlin Turnpike

Newington, CT 06111





 From: etkn-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:etkn-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Sandra Brady
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 11:51 AM
To: Eastern Transportation Knowledge Network
Subject: [etkn-forum] ETKN conference call - and Mailing list check-up!

Hi all,

It’s that time again. The next ETKN conference call is scheduled for this Thursday, July 30 at 10:00 am central, 11:00 am eastern. If you have anything you would like to have on the agenda please let me know. I will send out an agenda as well as dialing in information on Wednesday.


And while I have you here - Lately the membership of ETKN has been rather quiet.  With so much turmoil in businesses and governmental agencies recently we are all stressed and pressed for time, so that is understandable. But there have been a couple of problems with the e-mail list, so I would like to make sure at least everyone is getting messages about ETKN meetings and projects.


To ensure we have an accurate mailing list would everyone please reply to this message. That’s all you have to do, just reply. If you would like to say anything else, that’s cool too. One thing to think about, is there anyone else in your organization who should be on the ETKN e-mail list but currently isn’t? Please let me know so they can be added.



Sandy Brady, 2009 Chair ETKN



Sandy Brady

LTRC TTEC Librarian & Transportation Research Advisor

4099 Gourrier Ave.

Baton RougeLA  70808


fax (225)767-9733

Sandra.Brady@xxxxxx f Please note, this is a new address



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