Over 250 ALEPH and 170 SFX/MetaLib® users were joined by Ex Libris staff and distributors from 14 countries at the 15th annual International Consortium of ALEPH Users (ICAU) and the International SMUG (SFX/MetaLib Users Group) meeting. Hosted by the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, this gathering was aimed at sharing information and experiences relating to the Ex Libris product suite as well as general trends and directions in the library and information center industry.
Following an introductory address by Ana Azavedo, Director of the Faculty of Engineering Library at the University of Porto and head of the ICAU organizing committee, the participants were greeted by ICAU Chairman Guido Badalamenti of the University of Siena, who presented a report about the activities and initiatives of the Users' Association since the previous meeting. Following Mr. Badalamenti's words, Matti Shem Tov, President and CEO of Ex Libris, presented a report outlining the successful year enjoyed by the company as well as strategic directions for the future, including new product developments and enhancements.
Conference sessions, presented by product users and Ex Libris personnel, covered practical subjects such as new product developments and joint projects based on user/vendor partnerships as well as more philosophical topics.
“The increasing number of participants attending our meeting each year bears witness to the vitality of the association and to the evaluation of its activities,” commented Mr. Badalamenti. “Thanks to the good level of partnership we reached with Ex Libris we have been able to present the assembly with the results of many important projects which involved representatives of libraries from all of the continents. Working together with the developers, we have had the opportunity to influence the developments of the software and we are confident of receiving software specifically tailored to our needs.”
"We strive for a balance in the user meetings between user presentations and Ex Libris presentations,” said SMUG Chairman Lawrence Woods of the University of Iowa. “In the SMUG meeting as well as the ICAU meeting, the high level of cooperation between the users and Ex Libris was evident."
”Events such as ICAU and SMUG are unique forums for our customers to meet with a large group of Ex Libris team members in an environment of learning and growth,” commented Mr. Shem Tov. “The social facet of these meetings does much to enhance personal ties within our user community and to focus on individual needs. One of the unique factors of both of these user groups is that although they work in coordination with Ex Libris, they are completely independent of the company.”
The International Consortium of ALEPH Users was created to enable libraries running the ALEPH integrated library system and other Ex Libris products to increase mutual awareness of each other's developments. Members join forces to influence the developmental directions of the software by collecting and discussing requests for ALEPH 500™ with Ex Libris management and personnel.
All ICAU goals and the manner in which they are achieved are decided upon by the Assembly of Members at the annual ICAU meetings. The steering committee comprised of the Chair and four other members elected by the Assembly of Members, is responsible for pursuing ICAU goals between annual meetings.
For additional information on ICAU, please see: www.icau.org.
Formed in 2002, SMUG is an informal users group for libraries and other organizations that have implemented SFX and/or MetaLib software products. SMUG promotes communication among SFX and MetaLib implementors to increase awareness of local development initiatives and offers a mechanism to represent the interests of SFX and MetaLib users in the ongoing development of the software and in communications with content providers.
For additional information on SMUG, please see: www.smugnet.org.
About Ex Libris:
Ex Libris is a leading worldwide developer of high-performance applications for libraries, information centers, and researchers. A multinational company, Ex Libris has offices and subsidiaries worldwide. ALEPH, the Ex Libris integrated library solution, has been installed at over 1250 sites and consortia in over 51 countries. MetaLib, the information portal for library collections, and SFX, the context-sensitive linking solution for heterogeneous electronic resources in the scholarly information environment, have collectively been purchased by more than 600 customers in 32 countries. DigiTool, a solution for constructing digital collections and Verde the new Electronic Resource Management (ERM) system round out the Ex Libris product suite.