Ex Libris (USA) announced today a new product offering called ALEPH Cluster™, designed to meet the complex functional and service needs of today's modern consortia and multi-site libraries.
ALEPH Cluster™ enables organizations that form one unit based on geographic proximity, institutional linkage, subject matter, or any other defined need to share bibliographic data, users' data, and reader services while preserving the degree of independence required by the local member organizations. By forming a consortium, libraries are able to extend their services to remote users, support initiatives such as distance education, and expand their resource offerings. ALEPH Cluster™ serves organizations that use ALEPH 500 as their local integrated library system.
The benefits of ALEPH Cluster™ are many, including:
* Provides improved services to both the end user and the library staff.
* Supports various consortium models.
* Permits varying degrees of sharing of both data and hardware as desired by consortium members yet enables each member to remain independent to the extent required
* Maximizes the cost-effectiveness of the investment in hardware. Libraries can share hardware—completely or partially
* Implements in stages to meet the particular needs of the consortium.
* Supports circulation, cooperative collection development, and inter-library loan capabilities across the consortium.
* Supported by the expert staff of Ex Libris, who provide on-site consultations to help libraries analyze their needs and implement the solutions.
"The ALEPH Cluster™ is unique in that it supports additional features not found in competing products" said Russ McDonald, Vice President of Sale/Marketing. "These include the ability to do automatic multi-catalog updating, allowing the update of patron records from anywhere in the consortium and the ability to facilitate resource sharing by allowing patrons to request material from one library but pick up and return the material at another library. ALEPH Cluster™ truly sets a new standard in the services and capabilities that consortia can offer in today's complex information environment."
The products marketed by Ex Libris, ALEPH Cluster™ and ALEPH 500™ are part of the company's offerings called "The IQ Solution"— sophisticated solutions for sophisticated libraries. ALEPH is now installed in over 500 libraries with more than 17,000 concurrent users in 41 countries. Ex Libris is a multi-national company with offices located around the world.