Emeryville, CA, USA, June 25, 1997. In a national ceremony in Estonia, attended by Mr. Tunne Kelam the Vice President of the Estonian Parliament and Chairman of the National Library Board, representatives from the U.S. Embassy and other high ranking staff of Innovative and the Consortium of Estonian Libraries Network (ELNET), an agreement was signed to automate the libraries of the higher education system of Estonia. The ceremony, which was covered by national press and TV, was of such importance because it marked Estonia's continued progress towards freedom and higher education for its citizens since breaking away from the USSR.
Included in this national automation project are the National Library of Estonia, Estonian Academic Library, Tartu Univeristy (TU. Library), Tallinn Technical University, Estonian Agricultural University, Estonian Literary University and the Tallinn Pedagogical University. Matching grants from the Mellon Foundation and Innovative made the project possible. Initially, two computer systems will be installed, one in Tallinn and one in Tartu.
According to Asko Tamme, the Deputy Librarian at the Library of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, this project marks "a giant step forward in reaching the education goals of the country of Estonia which will support our freedom." Bob Walton, Executive Vice President and CFO of Innovative, who attended the ceremony, noted "This is a historic project and will lead Innovative's efforts to establish itself as a principle supplier to research and academic libraries in Eastern Europe."
Innovative Interfaces is one of the world's leading providers of library automation systems to academic, public and special libraries. Innovative's products are installed in more than 600 sites serving over 900 libraries in 19 countries around the world. Innovative is headquartered in Emeryville, California.