RICHMOND, Va. (Feb. 3, 1999) - The County of Henrico Public Library (CHPL) has selected Sirsi Corporation's UnicornTM Library Management System to automate its nine branches, municipal library and bookmobile. According to Robert Sweet, CHPL technology coordinator, the library staff chose Unicorn because it provides easy-to-use graphical interfaces for both the public access catalog, WebCat, and the staff client, WorkFlowsTM.
Established in 1634 as one of the eight original shires or counties of Virginia, the County of Henrico now includes 240,000 residents and constitutes one-third of the Richmond metropolitan area. During 1997-98, CHPL circulated more than 2 million items to county residents. Sweet commented, "Patrons have more contact with the Circulation department than any other department, and we put great emphasis on this most visible part of our automation system working well. SIRSI's circulation module is well designed and functions smoothly. We believe the WorkFlows client will make both training for the circulation desk and moving patrons through those transactions easier for patrons and staff."
Installation of the Unicorn system is one of the final steps in CHPL's Technology Initiative, which includes linking all county libraries together by Wide Area Network (WAN) and to the information resources of the Internet. The Technology Initiative began in September 1997 with the installation of computer cabling in all the libraries. During 1998, CHPL staff began preparing for the move from a mainframe to a client-server environment and evaluating different library automation systems. Sweet noted that one of the reasons SIRSI was selected was because, "SIRSI has an established track record of supporting medium size sites such as ours, and the company's growth has been strong and steady." CHPL patrons will be able to use the library's new automated catalog by July 1999.
SIRSI is a privately held company with headquarters in Huntsville, Ala. SIRSI uses the most advanced technology available to provide easy-to-use information systems for libraries, businesses and archives. With offices in major U.S. cities and subsidiaries in Australia, Canada, Latin American, the Middle East and the United Kingdom, the company has established its Unicorn products as the leading client/server library information systems in the world.