CHICAGO—June 25, 2005— Today at the 2005 Annual Conference of the American Library Association, Docutek, a Sirsi Company, a leading provider of Internet software for academic, public, and K-12 libraries, announced that the National Library of New Zealand recently received a national peer recognition award from GOVIS (Government Information Services Forum) for its AnyQuestions.co.nz virtual reference system, powered by Docutek VRLplus. Winner of the “On the Frontier” category for leading-edge initiatives, AnyQuestions.co.nz is a bilingual reference service tailored to New Zealand schoolchildren's curriculum needs and is the fruit of effective collaboration between central and local government agencies. A testament to Any Questions' success is that over 2,700 sessions have been held with students to date – with two and a half times more students wanting to use the service than can be served currently and 80% of students responding that they would use the service again.
Any Questions gives all schoolchildren in New Zealand the opportunity to receive individualized support with homework and building search and information skills from an online librarian. To make it easy for both students and librarians, Docutek VRLplus provides an intuitive interface to Any Questions, consisting of a chat window and co-browse window. The chat window facilitates discussion of the research question and possible search strategies between the student and librarian, while the co-browse window enables them to browse sites together, including online databases and other services that require authentication. In addition, VRLplus collects detailed statistics on system usage, such as number of logins, questions asked, and session duration. It also includes a complete set of email reference features that are fully integrated into all other Docutek VRLplus features, like transcript management and statistics reporting.
“It's great to receive this recognition from our colleagues in the government information sector,” said Michaela O'Donovan, project manager of the Digital Initiatives Unit at the National Library of New Zealand. “With VRLplus our operators are able to step our students through their search using an agreed information literacy approach. We are delighted with Docutek's ongoing commitment to helping us achieve this.”
“Docutek is genuinely excited to work with the National Library of New Zealand on their bold plan to guide all school-aged children in New Zealand through the Internet to ‘find the right information at the right level, right when they need it,'” said Dr. Philip Kesten, vice president of Strategic Directions at Docutek. “We are pleased that they have received well-deserved recognition for this far-reaching project.”
About the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
The National Library of New Zealand's unique role is to collect and maintain literature and information resources that relate to New Zealand and the Pacific, make this information readily available, and preserve New Zealand's documentary heritage for generations to come. The National Library holds rich and varied collections of research material and includes the Alexander Turnbull Library - a storehouse of words, pictures and sounds that tell about the activities of people in New Zealand and the Pacific. For more information about the National Library of New Zealand, see /www.natlib.govt.nz.
AnyQuestions.co.nz is a joint venture project between the National Library of New Zealand, the New Zealand Ministry of Education, Auckland, Christchurch, Manukau and Wellington City Libraries together with SLANZA the School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa, the Horowhenua Library Trust and The Correspondence School of New Zealand.
Founded in 1995, Docutek, a Sirsi Company, is a leader in e-learning collaboration and communications solutions for K-12, higher education, and libraries. Docutek licenses Docutek atSchool, a K-12 documents and communication tool, Docutek ERes, the leading electronic reserves software, and Docutek VRLplus, a leading virtual reference system. Docutek atSchool is installed in a number of the largest school districts in the United States. Docutek ERes is used by 3.75 million students at over 400 college and university campuses worldwide. Docutek VRLplus is licensed by 250 public, academic, and special libraries worldwide. For more information about Docutek, please see www.docutek.com.