Saint Martin's College's O'Grady Library joins the Orbis Cascade Alliance

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Lacey - Can’t find what you’re looking for at the library? Students at Saint Martin’s College’s O’Grady Library are now more likely to luxuriate in choices than become frustrated by a lack of materials. Saint Martin’s has become the 28th member of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, a library consortium serving Washington and Oregon colleges and universities.

The alliance’s union catalog contains more than 22 million books, sound recordings, films, videos and other materials for the use of its academic patrons.

Two generous gifts, a bequest of about $25,000 from the estate of social worker Frances N. “Fran” Wilson and a matching gift from Saint Martin’s Abbey made the membership possible for the college.

While Saint Martin’s is a member of two smaller consortiums, the Puget Sound Academic Independent Libraries and the Cooperating Libraries In Olympia, joining the alliance will enable its students to use the resources of all 28 Orbis Cascade member libraries as if they were a single collection, she said.

“It places extraordinary resources at our students’ fingertips, both in numbers and in the depth and richness of collections available. We will soon be basically a mouse-click away from choosing a book and having it delivered,” said Dalia Hagan, director of the college’s O’Grady Library.”

Hagan said students already can use the enormous alliance catalog, called Summit, to search for books and other research materials. Come late spring, they also will be able to order what they need through the alliance’s popular self-service system. The materials they select will then be delivered in about 48 hours via the alliance’s streamlined courier service system, which last year delivered more than 214,000 packages. The self-service and delivery services will be added at the same time the alliance incorporates the Saint Martin’s database of about 100,000 volumes to its online catalog.

When the Saint Martin’s library records are uploaded, the college’s collection will add its own unique flavor to the Orbis Cascade database and help enrich scholarship in the Northwest, Hagan said.

“From us, the Orbis Cascade Alliance will get some new materials not just in Catholic theology but also our rich Benedictine collections, along with our Northwest history materials, our collection of children’s literature and history of children’s book illustration, especially the beautiful collection of works by and about children’s author Maurice Sendak. We also have a great collection on the history of labor and laboring classes, with an emphasis on the Northwest.”

Oher benefits offered to Saint Martin’s through the alliance include workshops and conferences, and cost-savings for member institutions through its purchases of a wide array of digital resources such as e-journals,e-books, commercial databases and reference tools.

Other participating member institutions are:
Central Oregon Community College
Central Washington University
Eastern Oregon University
Eastern Washington University
George Fox University
Lewis and Clark College
Linfield College
Marylhurst University
Oregon Health Science University
Oregon Institute of Technology
Oregon State University
Pacific University
Portland Community College
Portland State University
Reed College
Seattle Pacific University
Southern Oregon University
The Evergreen State College
University of Oregon
University of Portland
University of Puget Sound
University of Washington
Washington State University
Western Oregon University
Western Washington University
Whitman College
Willamette University

More information about the Orbis Cascade Alliance can be found on its website,