ROCKVILLE, Md. (Feb. 22, 1999) - The Montgomery County, Maryland Department of Public Libraries has selected Sirsi Corporation's UnicornTM Library Management System to automate its 22 branches, including four regional, four large community, one storefront and three special libraries. According to Barbara Smith, director of Technical Services, Unicorn will provide library users with their first graphical Online Public Access Catalog, WebCat, and staff and volunteers with their own state-of-the-art interface, WorkFlowsTM, for streamlining daily tasks.
Located just north of Washington, D.C. in a sprawling county of more than 800,000 residents, the libraries circulated nearly 10 million items last year and will clearly surpass that number in 1999. According to a recently published study in "The Public Library Data Statistical Service Report," for library systems in the United States serving populations of 750,000 to 1 million, MCDPL ranks 2nd in the nation. MCDPL provides a wide range of services and collections for people of all ages, including a readers' advisory service, reference services and books, magazines, recorded books, audiocassettes, compact discs, videos and informational databases.
In addition, the libraries provide facilities for specific types of users, such as the Noyes Children's Library, a Special Needs Library, a Detention Center Library and a Children's Resource Center for day care providers and other care givers.
More than 75 percent of Montgomery County households are active library users, more than 50 percent have four or more years of college and more than 20 percent speak a language other than English. In addition, campuses from three different universities—Johns Hopkins University, Montgomery College and the University of Maryland—are also located within county boundaries. To accommodate the needs of this diverse group of users, the libraries offer special collections in business and health, serve as a partial Federal Depository and provide materials in Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Smith noted, "Library staff were especially drawn to SIRSI because of the system's graphical interface capabilities, ease of use and array of 'customer friendly features.'"
SIRSI is a privately held company with headquarters in Huntsville, Ala. SIRSI uses the most advanced technology available to provide easy-to-use information systems for libraries, businesses and archives. With offices in major U.S. cities and subsidiaries in Australia, Canada, Latin American, the Middle East and the United Kingdom, the company has established its Unicorn products as the leading client/server library information systems in the world.