Holland College | Library initiative wins national innovation award
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Library initiative wins national innovation award

by Sherri Hogan

Isle@sk, a collaborative online reference service developed by Holland College and two other library partners, is the 2004 recipient of the Community and Technical College Libraries (CTCL) Innovation Achievement award. The award, sponsored by Canadian information vendor Micromedia ProQuest and presented by the Canadian Association of Colleges and University Libraries, recognizes libraries that have demonstrated significant achievement in ongoing services or in the conception and delivery of a special event or project.

The CTCL selection committee looked for projects characterized by "innovation, currency, utility, long term impact, and hustle" and the winning initiative, Isle@sk, certainly exhibits all of these features! It is a collaborative, province-wide reference service that uses the web and e-mail plus the abilities of PEI librarians in the college, public and university library sectors to provide answers to questions submitted by Islanders. In the first few months of its operation, Isle@sk librarians have responded to over 100 queries on topics ranging from historical fishing methods to architecture, business start-ups, politics, construction standards, and consumer health. A quick and convenient alternative to a Google search, Isle@sk provides Islanders with personalized answers using authoritative information and mediated by information professionals - all at no charge and within 24 hours.

Originally developed under the aegis of the Virtual Charlottetown TownSquare project, the ongoing responsibility for Isle@sk now rests with Holland College and its partners at UPEI and the Provincial Library Service. The three partners plan on using the proceeds from the CTCL Innovation award to market Isle@sk to the local business, non-profit and educational communities.

For more information about this release, please contact:
Sara Underwood, Media and Communications Officer
Tel: 902-566-9695
Date: Monday, July 26, 2004