DRA has been selected and is in contract negotiations with two major state-wide consortia: Minnesota and Alaska. The first of these would replace the systems of the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. A number of public and school libraries are expected to participate. The project, designated MnLINK, also includes a gateway component using OCLC SiteSearch WebZ software and OCLC distributed interlibrary loan software. The Alaska contract would replace the University of Alaska's system and two other systems shared by multi-type library consortia.
The announcement offsets speculation about the decline in revenues and earnings reported by DRA at the end of its second FY 1998 quarter. As of March 31, 1998, quarterly revenues were down $1.6 million from the comparable quarter of the previous year to $8.3 million; earnings were down from $1.2 million to $583,000. The company attributed much of the decline to the fact that many potential purchasers were waiting for the completion of TAOS, the successor to its Classic product. While some of the modules will not be completed until the end of 1999, the core modules reportedly will be completed in the next few months with delivery to new customers to begin in early 1999. The 1998 installation schedule will focus on existing customers wishing to migrate from Classic or another DRA product and early signers. The largest of the early signers is the Illinois Library Computer Systems Organization (ILCSO), which contracted in 1996 to move its ILLINET online union catalog onto DRA's next-generation system.
[Contact: DRA, 1276 North Warson Road, St. Louis, MO 63132; telephone 800-325-0888; FAX 314-993-8927; URL www.dra.com]