In its twenty-year history, Dynix steadily has grown as a provider of library automation systems. It ranks as the largest in the industry, with more and more libraries using either its Dynix Classic or Horizon library management systems.
While the company markets its products to all types of libraries, traditionally it's seen the most success with public libraries. In recent years, Dynix has solidified its position with publics, with a very high percentage of those running the legacy Dynix Classic system electing to migrate to Horizon. According to Dynix, its software finds use in 12,500 libraries worldwide, including 1,100 academics. Now intent on significantly increasing its share in another library market, the company now turns major focus to academic libraries.
Defining the Difference
In most cases, library automation system vendors have decided to market their products to a single library type, or each company has decided to market its products to several library types. If a vendor's ambitions include multiple library types, it also needs to further decide whether will it offer the same system to each, or will it develop and offer specialized versions?
Though libraries share the basic automation needs, academic libraries have specialized concerns. Providing access to thousands of scholarly electronic journals and databases, academic libraries tend to have greater involvement with electronic content. Also, there's a higher need for tools for federated searching and Open URL-based linking as well as and course reserves and links into courseware systems.
At the early April Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) conference in Minneapolis, Dynix launched a new automation system called Corinthian. Designed especially for college and university libraries, Corinthian aims to be the most sophisticated automation system for academic libraries on the market.
Since the June 2002 appointment of president/CEO Jack Blount, Dynix has undertaken a major effort to redevelop its automation systems using state-of-the-art technologies. Those efforts culminate in version 8.0 of Horizon—developed for libraries that don't fall within the ‘academic' category—and the new Corinthian. A company with a 20-plus year ILS development history (see “The Chronicles of Dynix”), Dynix positions Corinthian as its fourth-generation library automation system.
Dynix has partnered with some of its existing academic library sites, including John Hopkins University, University of Chicago, and the University of Iowa, in designing Corinthian. In years past, Horizon has been deemed to be relatively week for academic libraries; some large academic libraries that had utilized Horizon have now migrated to competing systems. But with Corinthian, Dynix believes it has a system that now exceeds the capabilities of those competitors.