UCSB libraries are in the process of converting Pegasus, their online catalog, to a new web-based catalog system. Initial work on the conversion project began in early February, with Pegasus 2 expected to be up and running in mid-August.
ALEPH short for Automated Library Expandable Program was chosen after months of evaluation to replace the current system software. Developed by the Ex Libris group, ALEPH is now being used by more than 3 million people in more than 540 libraries worldwide.
Librarians and staff will notice advantages in the way that the ALEPH system integrates various library functions, allowing the several data modules that comprise the online catalog to interact. This ability will greatly simplify the work of keeping track of acquisitions, cataloging and circulation information for the several million items that make up the UCSB library's holdings.
Library users will also see definite improvements over the old Pegasus. With ALEPH's integrated, web-based system, connecting to Pegasus 2 will be much simpler. Instead of needing a specialized program like Telnet, library users will be able to search the UCSB catalog from any location equipped with internet access and a standard web-browser. Pegasus 2 will also allow library patrons to access information about their own accounts. For example, a borrower could log on from home to get a list of books she has checked out or to find out the status of a recalled book.
Over the next several months, librarians and staff will be busy getting ready for the online debut of Pegasus 2 in mid-August. Between now and then, it will require a great deal of work behind the scenes to make sure that the conversion can happen with a minimum of disruption.