HUNTSVILLE, Ala.—August 30, 2004—Sirsi Corporation, celebrating 25 years of delivering technology “firsts” to the library community, announced today that it and eBook-provider BWI have completed the industry's first seamless integration of eBooks with an integrated library system – namely, Sirsi's Unicorn® Library Management System and online public access catalog (OPAC) solutions. The result is that now for the first time, library users can search for and download BWI's eBooks directly through Sirsi's iBistro, iLink, or Web2 OPACs, just as they search for and retrieve information about on-shelf materials. Library users can search specifically for works available in eBook format or they can search for eBooks and bound books at the same time. Once users discover eBooks in the OPAC, they can check them out, download them for reading, and rely on the Sirsi-BWI system to automatically check them back in once the loan period has ended. And because eBooks are fully integrated into the library's current Sirsi system, policies set in Unicorn govern how eBooks are circulated; how library user information is associated with eBooks; and how circulation statistics and reports are generated for eBooks, just as they are for more traditional circulating materials. This new capability for BWI eBooks, as well as for other vendors' eBooks, is to be available from Sirsi in the fourth quarter of 2004.
“By fully integrating eBooks into our system, Sirsi and BWI have made it easy, straightforward, and cost-effective for libraries to manage and circulate eBooks with the Sirsi system currently used at their institutions,” said Sirsi CEO Patrick Sommers. “Consequently, eBooks are now more accessible to users than ever before – a key objective when thinking about how libraries must prepare to serve NextGens and others.” Continued Sommers, “And in these cost-conscious times for libraries, it's important to note that these capabilities are already in place within the Sirsi system – no additional investments or changes in workflows are required.”
“Sirsi is the first integrated library system vendor to seamlessly accommodate eBooks in its system – for ease of access to library users and workflow continuity for librarians,” said John Nelson, BWI president. “This collaborative effort will ensure that public libraries will have an information-on-demand service for users searching their collections.”
Added Nelson, “Tomorrow's library users, in particular NextGens, are format-agnostic and will continue to embrace eBooks technology. At the same time, users will enjoy the portability of recreational reading materials on flights or while commuting. Sirsi's and BWI's philosophy for eBooks, which sees eBooks as part of the library collection, will play a critical part in ensuring that the needs of 21st-century library users are met.”
BWI, recognized nationally as a leading wholesaler in books and audiovisual materials, is well known for TitleTales, its free online database dedicated solely to the service of public libraries. This new arrangement with Sirsi means that libraries can now very simply download from BWI's TitleTales database of 400,000 children's and young adult titles, 3.5 million adult titles, and over 800,000 audiovisual titles, and an ever-growing selection of eBooks. As a primary vendor to many of the nation's largest and smallest libraries, this partnership continues BWI's efforts to raise the bar in service and performance to public libraries.
BWI is the public library division of the Follett Library and School Group of the Follett Corporation, and is located in Lexington, Kentucky.
In 2004, Sirsi Corporation (www.sirsi.com) celebrates 25 years as the strategic technology partner to more than 10,000 libraries around the world. A strong, growing company, we are dedicated to providing the library community with forward-thinking information technology solutions, including Sirsi Unicorn Library Management System, the first client/server-based and UNIX-based integrated library system; Sirsi iBistro and iLink, the first e-Library solutions with streaming enriched content; Sirsi Rooms, the first suite of context management solutions; and Sirsi Director's Station, the first information analysis tool for library executives. Sirsi maintains operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Australia, and China.