Wolfsburg (Germany), August 1999. The Volkswagen (VW) people, the makers of Golf, Audi and lately Rolls-Royce automobiles, are constantly modernizing their vehicles, such as the reborn Beetle, along with their research facilities. Accordingly, VW have contracted with Ex Libris Germany to replace their BIS library system (also from Ex Libris Germany), running on a mainframe computer, with the latest version of ALEPH500. The new VW system will be named BIBLIO and will be housed on a HP UNIX server. Initially, this new system will support 20 concurrent full staff plus 30 concurrent Web-OPAC users. To date, about 200,000 documents are cataloged. Ex Libris Germany will provide data conversion, installation, training and ongoing support services.
The switch from the mainframe level to the UNIX/WINDOWS NT environment will allow patrons, already familiar with WINDOWS programs, to benefit from an easier and more open library system. A company union catalog and the virtual sub-library catalogs will facilitate the management and search of VW documents.
The new ALEPH installation is to serve not only the VW headquarters and factories at Wolfsburg, but through the VW Intranet - also provide a professional information and communication system to the VW Group at large. Additionally, VW documents will be accessible to the public via the FIZ Technik database in Frankfurt.
Coming a few weeks after the decision of the Hochschulbibliothekszentrum Köln (HBZ), VW is the second major customer to migrate from BIS to ALEPH.
Says Norbert Schulze-Ballentin, head of the VW library: « We are happy to carry forward our successful cooperation with the Ex Libris (Germany) team in connection with the new automation system.».