The University of New South Wales Library announced today its selection of the full range of Ex Libris software to meet its requirements for a new integrated Web-based information system. The ALEPH 500 library management system and the Metalib portal and SFX reference-linking software will be implemented before the end of 2002 with additional products, including the DigiTool digital asset management system, to be phased in during the following year.
UNSW is considered by many to be Australia's premier teaching and research institution. In 2000 and 2001, UNSW was named as Australia's most admired public institution by Business Review Weekly magazine, because, according to respondents, “it has retained the traditional values of a university while moving ahead in partnership with business. It is considered the most forward-looking university in Australia” (Professor John Niland, UNSW Vice-Chancellor and President, see: www.vc.unsw.edu.au.)
The Library services the learning, teaching and research needs of the University community (comprising over 35,000 students and 5,000 staff) through five Special Libraries - Biomedical; Law; Physical Sciences; and, Social Sciences and Humanities at the Kensington campus and the College of Fine Arts in Paddington, specialising in arts and multimedia - plus the Water Reference Library at Manly Vale. Administration, processing and library IT services are centralised at the Kensington campus from where the new systems will be managed.
Andrew Wells, the University Librarian, stated that:
"The Library will be implementing a system that will provide students with integrated access, independent of time or place, to digital and print information resources to enhance the learning experience and support the University's teaching activities. The new system will also significantly benefit researchers by providing, through one interface, direct access to both traditional and emerging forms of scholarly communication. After a thorough evaluation of the library systems marketplace we concluded that Ex Libris provided the most comprehensive solution available."
Andrew added that:
"The University Library is rapidly increasing the delivery of resources and services in digital form directly to the desktop, and the ability of the system to provide the interoperability required in this environment was a critical factor in the evaluation process. In the last twelve months alone, around 1 million articles have been downloaded from electronic journal publishers and full text database aggregators, accompanied by over 1.8 million searches of citation and bibliographic databases. In this environment, providing direct access to information at the article level is a major goal. The Library is reducing its collecting of physical information resources, particularly serials, in favour of licensed electronic as well as digital information for use by the UNSW community. We are particularly looking forward to the Ex Libris software enabling us to manage and expand our delivery of services in this area in an efficient and integrated manner."
Michael McLellan, General Manager of Ex Libris in Australia, said: "This contract is a major milestone for Ex Libris in Australia and we are very pleased to be working with one of the leading Universities in the country. The evaluation process was extremely thorough and based on a vision of system implementation, as expressed in the RFP, that many other institutions can benefit from. The University of New South Wales Library has an approach to the delivery of service in an online teaching and learning environment that is in accord with how Ex Libris believes we should be harnessing the technology to provide information to students and researchers. As a result, we are looking forward to the implementation and growth of our systems in such a forward- looking institution."
The University of New South Wales joins UNILINC Ltd, Curtin University of Technology and the University of Technology, Sydney as users of Ex Libris software in Australia.
About Ex Libris
Ex Libris is a leading developer of high-performance applications for libraries, information centres and researchers. Ex Libris has offices around the world, and ALEPH, our integrated library solution, has been installed at over 700 sites in 48 countries. Other Ex Libris software products include MetaLib, an information portal for library collections that provides libraries, institutions, and consortia with a standardized user interface; SFX, a context-sensitive reference linking solution that provides a one-stop reference system for heterogeneous electronic resources in the scholarly information environment; and DigiTool, a solution for building digital collections as components of an overall digital strategy. For more information on Ex Libris, go to www.exlibrisgroup.com.