HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — June 24, 2002 — Two prominent libraries in Alberta, Canada, have announced their decision to upgrade to Sirsi's Unicorn® Library Management System from their existing DRA Classic systems. The University of Alberta Library, which also hosts the NEOS Library Consortium, and the Edmonton Public Library (EPL) are part of a collaborative project to make information resources easily accessible throughout Alberta. According to Doug Poff, associate director for information technology and resources at the University of Alberta Library, and Joanne Griener, EPL associate director of management services, the collaboration "sets the ground for Alberta's vision of a future where knowledge is shared among all citizens."
Poff commented, "The move to Unicorn provides both libraries with the ability to maintain our ongoing, successful relationship with people we have worked with and trusted for a long time. We are also anxious to take part in the technology innovations that Sirsi is known for, while obtaining a system that uses an industry-standard Unix environment. In addition to offering an excellent set of established software modules, the Sirsi system has the potential for integration into the University's Enterprise Oracle environment."
The University of Alberta Library, second largest research library in Canada and automation services provider to the 20-member NEOS Consortium of Alberta government, academic, and medical libraries, will also house the EPL system server. Griener noted, "Sharing system management and equipment sets the stage for further consolidation of resources in the future, which is our goal."
Both libraries offer an impressive range of holdings, services, and resources to users. A member of the prestigious Association of Research Libraries, the University of Alberta Library provides resources throughout the province with interlibrary lending. Together with its NEOS Consortium partners, it offers combined holdings of approximately 5.1 million volumes, access to electronic databases and e-journals, library instruction, and in-person and electronic reference service.
Established in 1913, the Edmonton Public Library today has holdings of approximately 1.5 million items housed in 16 locations and offers a wide variety of children's and adult programs, including a homework "Assignment Alert" for area school children that won a 2001 Smart City Award from the city of Edmonton. Special collections include the Investor Education Centre, the first in a public library in Canada, and a Heritage Room with approximately 100,000 items related to Alberta and western Canada history. During 2001, EPL welcomed 4.5 million visitors and circulated approximately 7.5 million items.
Sirsi CEO Patrick C. Sommers remarked, "Sirsi is proud to welcome two more outstanding libraries to the growing number of libraries throughout Canada that use the Unicorn system. It is a privilege to have our technology used to foster the innovative programs, top-notch customer service, and extraordinary cooperation and energy that are the hallmarks of Canadian libraries."
Sirsi (www.sirsi.com) recognizes that today's librarians are on a mission to break down walls — barriers that limit the knowledge and resources accessible to library users. A partner with leading libraries around the globe since 1979, Sirsi provides software and services that assist libraries in breaking down walls, thereby promoting learning, empowerment, and opportunity for diverse user communities. Sirsi's portfolio of products and services includes the iBistro and iLink e-Library solutions, the Unicorn Library Management System, the Hyperion Digital Media Archive, and a full slate of services.