ORLANDO, Fla.-June 26, 2004-Dynix, the world's leading provider of automation technologies, solutions, and services for libraries, today announced the launch of URSA 4.0, the latest version of the company's industry-leading product for interlibrary loan (ILL), featuring patron self-service requesting, full compatibility with Horizon Information Portal 4.0, and complete intra-operability among disparate ILS systems within a consortium.
URSA 4.0 automates ILL request placement through patron self-service requesting, which enables users to autonomously request books, journal articles, specific volumes from a set, or multiple items while enjoying the freedom to select desired lending terms, pickup locations, and need-by dates. URSA 4.0 is fully integrated with Horizon Information Portal 4.0, utilizing a powerful Z39.50 search engine. Through the integration with Horizon Information Portal 4.0, URSA de-duplicates search results, provides home-library authentication, and makes Web-based fill-in request forms available.
As a result of URSA's integration with Horizon Information Portal, users can view and track their requests under the "My Account" page of the library portal, where they can also seamlessly cancel and renew ILL items. URSA's self-service functionality offers users an immediate response to their actions, a key distinguishing feature between URSA and other ILL products.
The power of URSA's intra-operability allows a consortium comprised of different ILS systems to work together seamlessly, eliminating the need for member libraries to use the same product for users to search across multiple sites and place a request. Through technology found in URSA 4.0, Z39.50 allows users to search across multiple ILS systems, and NCIP enables request management between disparate ILS systems, including the creation of bibliographic and item information and automatic user notifications.
"We are extremely excited to be releasing URSA 4.0," said Dynix Vice President of Product Management Steven Nielsen. "While URSA has always been an industry-leading solution for interlibrary lending, new features and functionality in URSA 4.0 will make it the unrivaled industry standard in ILL management."
URSA 4.0 creates a new level of automation request management, allowing libraries to process requests in batch or individual mode before automatically printing wrappers and labels and then notifying partners or patrons. The system provides single-click access to ILL requests and a flexible workflow that allows library staff to mix and match mediation levels and recover from skipped steps. Additionally, URSA 4.0 allows staff to broker requests for other libraries.
URSA delivers substantial time savings for end-users and valuable cost savings for libraries. The industry average amount of time required to fill a traditional ILL request is approximately 16 days, whereas current URSA customers report an average of just four days to fill requests within their consortium, resulting in a much higher pickup rate for loaned materials. Traditional interlibrary loan requests cost approximately $26 per request, but URSA customers report an average of $8 per request. Most of the savings occurs through the automation of tasks that are performed manually in traditional ILL. Staff time accounts for up to 75 percent of ILL request costs.
URSA 4.0 provides enhanced statistical reporting over previous versions of the product, including cross-tabulation of activity reports, detailed borrowing and lending reports, and new reports for lender billing and for tracking copyright information. In release 4.0, reports can be customized for a variety of applications and exported in Microsoft Excel, Adobe PDF, HTML, and comma delimited formats. An adapter is also available to dump URSA statistics into the Director's Dashboard of Horizon Web Reporter.
Administration features in URSA 4.0 have been streamlined to minimize the time necessary to configure and profile the system. Flexible profiling features enable a library to create its profile with consortium, library system, or branch specifications, also allowing for a library to inherit ILL policy information from a parent location. Other advanced administration features allow for cross-consortium borrowing and for sub-group creation, which gives the consortium the ability to determine and assign different levels of borrowing relationships for its member libraries.
To simplify the implementation process, URSA 4.0 is delivered as an ASP solution. A client download is provided, along with policy migration utilities for current Resource Sharing System and URSA customers. Dynix support staff will create the backend infrastructure required for a library's URSA system and will provide a consortium administrator login. Consortium administrators create members and member logins, define workgroups, and modify defaults as desired in order to customize the system to meet their particular needs.
URSA 4.0 will be in general availability from Dynix during the third quarter of 2004. Individuals interested in purchase information or a demonstration of the product should contact their Dynix sales consultant or call 1-800-288-8020.
Dynix is the global leader in new-name sales of library management systems and has the largest installed customer base of any library technology vendor. As a committed advocate of the library community, Dynix serves academic, special, school, public, and consortium libraries in over 40 countries. Dynix has more than 100 professional librarians on staff and proven experience in software leadership. Since 1983, Dynix has provided customers visionary technology solutions that support the latest industry standards and offer intuitive functionality. For complete corporate information and a guide to Dynix products and services, visit www.dynix.com.