HUNTSVILLE, Ala., December 13, 2006 -- SirsiDynix, the global leader in strategic technology solutions for libraries and Alliance Library System (ALS) announced today plans to dramatically improve library services for ALS's more than 170 library automation consortium in central and west central Illinois. ALS serves a variety of library types (large and small public, academic, school and special libraries) and nearly 1 million users across 14,000 square miles. When fully implemented, the SirsiDynix Unicorn Library Management System will manage all technical and public services for ALS automation consortium member libraries.
Unicorn will be installed over the next year and ALS anticipates the system to be fully functional by December 2007. Kendal Orrison, information technology director for ALS, said, "Our current system is behind the times functionality wise. With the large number and variety of libraries that ALS serves, a system is needed that allows member libraries to share resources in a modern way. ALS formed committees with more than 50 library staff from different types of member libraries to examine Unicorn over the last eight months. Because of the flexibility of SirsiDynix's software and its history of enabling libraries to cut overhead costs while increasing the quality of service provided, Unicorn was a clear choice.
"In the past, for example, if a user wanted to borrow a book from another library in the system, staff from the user's home library would request a book by email or fax," continued Orrison. "When the new system is implemented, the user will simply go online, search to see if a library has the desired material and then reserve and renew materials online. Also with the new system, users from small participating libraries will be able to borrow resources from larger libraries simply by searching online and requesting found material be sent to his or her home library. Library users will realize a savings in time. With the automation of some administrative tasks, librarians will have more time to provide one-on-one customer service, meaning library users will experience an improvement in customer service as well."
As part of the Unicorn implementation, ALS will integrate SirsiDynix Enterprise Portal Solution (EPS) and SirsiDynix Rooms, which together will allow ALS and online ALS member libraries to relaunch their Web presence. Libraries will be able to more easily maintain up-to-date Web sites and events calendars.
Additionally, a real-time statistical analysis solution, SirsiDynix's Director's Station, will be implemented that gives library administrators tools to examine trends in borrowing and circulation. Kitty Pope, executive director of ALS, said, "ALS has generally not had access to necessary statistical data that would allow us to secure resources that better meet our libraries' populations. The new system will give library executives a quick and easy-to-use system for both data analysis and deep-circulation analysis to uncover trends, aid planning and allow us to make the most of our data and better serve our users and the community. For example, it will allow us to view the most popularly circulated items at individual libraries and better allocate resources to meet library users' demands."
"Alliance Library System is central to its community," said Jeanne Spala, SirsiDynix regional vice president. "At SirsiDynix, we work with libraries like Alliance to deliver strategic technology solutions that help people in their communities make sense of the vast world of information. We also deliver productivity and business efficiency tools like Director's Station that assist libraries in increasing productivity and efficiency and improving customer service."
SirsiDynix is the global leader in strategic technology solutions for libraries -- vital institutions whose primary mission is to make sense of the vast world of information for people and communities. This is an exciting role as libraries assist people in discovering and using knowledge, resources and other valuable content for their educations, jobs and entertainment. In concert with key industry partners, SirsiDynix supports this strategic role for libraries by offering a comprehensive integrated suite of technology solutions for improving the internal productivity of libraries and enhancing their capabilities for meeting the needs of people and communities. SirsiDynix has approximately 4,000 library and consortia clients, serving more than 300 million people through more than 20,000 library outlets in the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. For more information, please see www.sirsidynix.com.
About Alliance Library System
The Alliance Library System, a regional library system, is headquartered in East Peoria, Ill., and is a high-tech training and continuing education center. It represents a combined client base of nearly 1 million customers encompassing more than 250 school, academic, public, medical and corporate member libraries throughout 31counties in central and west central Illinois. Illinois is divided into nine regional library systems. Funding for Illinois library systems is provided through the Illinois State Library and the secretary of state with funds appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly. Additional information regarding ALS is available at www.alliancelibrarysystem.com.