FORT WAYNE, Ind. (July 28, 1998) - Allen County Public Library (ACPL), recognized as one of the nation's leading public libraries, has selected Sirsi Corporation's Unicorn Library Management System for its main library and 13 branches. According to Jeffrey R. Krull, library director, the library chose Unicorn because it will enable staff members to continue developing the innovative, high quality services and programs for which ACPL is known.
Located in Fort Wayne, Ind., which is cited by the 1998 Places Rated Almanac as the U.S. metropolitan area with the highest "reading quotient," ACPL is ranked by residents as the top service provided by any governmental unit. ACPL provides programs for all ages, beginning at birth with the distribution of gift bags containing the book "Good Night Moon," reading tip sheets and library card certificates to new mothers at each of Fort Wayne's three hospitals. More than 18,000 children from preschool to grade four attend ACPL's summer reading program, and its young adult summer reading program has won an Award of Excellence from the American Library Association (ALA). ACPL also provides special outreach services to nursing homes, senior centers and nutrition sites and operates Fort Wayne's public access and local government television stations.
In addition to its offerings for Fort Wayne residents, ACPL maintains the largest public library genealogical collection in North America. The collection's more than one-half million resources include the largest number of national archives microfilm in a public facility in the Midwest, along with more than 230,000 volumes of compiled local history material and 40,000 volumes of compiled family histories. Local history materials include primary and secondary sources from the beginnings of our country through the present day, such as Revolutionary War through the Philippine Insurrection military records. "On any day of the week, you will see license plates from all over the United States in our parking lot belonging to people who have come to do genealogical research," Krull said.
Because ACPL librarians are very involved in developing and administering this wide range of programs, Krull said, the flexibility of the SIRSI system appealed to them. "The SIRSI system stood out because it is highly configurable and we will be able to use it in interesting ways," Krull said. "For example, within WebCat, SIRSI's Online Public Access Catalog, staff members will be able to create customized lists of items such as award-winning books and staff recommendations. In addition, the WorkFlows staff interface will enable us to customize different library operations. We also expect that WorkFlows will reduce our training time and costs."
SIRSI, founded in 1979, 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.