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Library automation vendors on the World Wide Web

Library software review [Fall 1996]


Copyright (c) 1996 Sage Periodicals Press

The World Wide Web has become one of the primary places to find information about business and commerce. An increasing number of companies uses the Web as part of their efforts to promote their products and services. The Web competes with print and broadcast media as a method for advertising a company's wares.

What kind of information should you expect to see on a company's Web site? Although each company takes its own approach, most companies provide several categories of information. A well-designed Web site can perform a number of functions for an organization. Some of the more common uses for a corporate Web site might include the following:

  • Presales information. Companies can provide detailed information about their products. Many companies provide a catalog of products and may also provide price lists.
  • Corporate information. It is common to find annual reports, corporate histories, biographical information on the executive management, and other organizational information.
  • Customer support. Many Web sites have a "for customers only" section that provides resources related to product support. A company can provide access to a database of technical reports or other information needed to diagnose and resolve problems with a given product. Many companies use their Web site as a first layer of support, relieving customer support personnel from many routine problems.
  • Product sales. Many companies sell their product directly through their Web site. Originally, security concerns and other complicating factors prevented many companies from accepting orders and receiving payment electronically through their Web servers. With the improvements in security implemented in the latest generation of Web servers and Web browsers, a larger number of companies conducts financial transactions electronically on the Web.

Library automation vendors now have a significant presence on the Web. In the course of the past year or so, the majority of library software vendors has developed Web sites. It is now the case that one can use the Web for preliminary investigation on the products available for library automation. All but a few of the major library automation vendors have Web sites. Those that fail to develop a Web presence will miss opportunities as potential customers increasingly rely on the Web for prepurchase research.

This guide aims to provide a starting point for those who want to learn about the library automation companies on the Web. I list basic information about the Web sites created by each major library automation vendor. Although I have searched widely for all the relevant companies that I can find, I know that it may not be totally comprehensive. Even in the course of developing this directory, a few new sites have been launched. Each directory entry consists of the site's name, a brief summary of its resources, the URL of the site, and a snapshot of the opening page of the site. I do not attempt to provide complete descriptions of the resources on each site but simply provide a basic idea of the kinds of information available.

View Image - Figure 1. Ameritech Library Services.

Last year, I coordinated and edited a directory of resources on the Web called Mecklermedia's Official Internet World World Wide Web Yellow Page (1996), published by IDG Books. At the time, only a few library automation vendors were on the Web. The information in this guide is completely original and, I hope, more up-to-date. I hope that readers of Library Software Review find this a useful resource.

Integrated Library Systems

Ameritech Library Services

Summary: This site describes the products of Ameritech Library Systems. Learn about ALS automation products such as Dynix, Dynix Scholar, Horizon, and NOTIS LMS, its Retro-Link conversion service, its Diogenes copy-cataloging service, and its add-on products such as the InfoShare database server and the NetConnect Internet server.

URL: (see Figure 1). See the Academic Division's Web site at: URL:


Summary: Auto-Graphics offers products related to both the publishing industry and libraries. Its library automation products include its Impact/CD, a CDROM-based OPAC and cataloging module; Impact/ACCESS; Impact/NET, a package that includes Internet access; and Impact/SLiMS, a PC-based integrated library system.

URL: (see Figure 2).

Best-Seller, Inc.

Summary: Best-Seller markets and develops the Best-Seller library automation system and the BestWeb product. BestWeb allows a library to make its on-line catalog available on the Web. Best-Seller Portfolio is the company's new client/server product.

URL: (see Figure 3).

BLCMP Library Services Ltd.

Summary: This UK-based library automation vendor develops the Unix-based, Talis-integrated library system. Talis Web allows Talis-based on-line catalogs to be accessed through the Web. This site describes the company, its products, and provides a list of libraries that use Talis.

View Image - Figure 2. Auto-Graphics.

View Image - Figure 3. Best-Seller, Inc.

View Image - Figure 4. BLCMP Library Services Ltd.

URL: (see Figure 4).

Carl Corporation

Summary: This company, now a subsidiary of the Knight-Ridder Information Company, describes its products and services on its Web site. Its major products include the CARL library automation system and the Uncover periodical indexing and document delivery service.

URL: (see Figure 5).

CASPR Library Systems, Inc.

Summary: CASPR offers a microcomputer-based library system, primarily for the Macintosh, called Library Works. The Web site also describes its other products such as the Library Browser, an OPAC program available for both Macintosh and Windows systems, and LibraryNet, a Web server for a library catalog. CASPR also provides corporate background information and offers customer support services.

URL: (see Figure 6).

Contec North America

Summary: Contec describes its library automation products on its Web page: C2, a client/server-integrated library system, and C3, an image-oriented electronic reserves system. In addition to product information, visitors to this site will also find discussion papers on virtual libraries, electronic libraries, and library automation.

URL: (see Figure 7).

View Image - Figure 5. Carl Corporation.

View Image - Figure 6. CASPR Library Systems, Inc.

View Image - Figure 7. Contec North America.

Data Research Associates

Summary: DRA uses its Web site to describe its products and services. DRA's mainstay is its DRA library system that is used by many academic and public libraries. Other search tools and optional products include DRA Web, DRA Find, DRA Kids, DRA Z39.50, and DRA Net. DRA also owns the INLEX/3000 and multiLIS library automation products, but these products are not promoted on DRA's Web site.

URL: (see Figure 8).

Endeavor Information Systems, Inc.

Summary: Endeavor develops and markets the Voyager library management system. Endeavor uses its Web site to describe the company, its mission, management, and products. In addition to the Voyager library management system, Endeavor offers the ImageServer image management system.

URL: (see Figure 9).

EOS International

Summary: EOS International is a company formed from the merger of Data Trek, Inc. and IME and is a subsidiary of Dawson Holdings PLC. This company develops and markets the products of the former companies, including Data Trek's Manager Series, Professional Series, Graphical Library Automation System, and IME's TINLIB/Information Navigator system. A new product called Q-Series is in development.

URL: (see Figure 10).

Follett Software Company

Summary: Follett's Web site describes the software products and services that the company offers for school libraries, including the Catalog Plus, Circulation Plus, and Alliance Plus products. The company also offers multimedia products, conversion services, and other services for school libraries.

URL: (see Figure 11).

Gaylord Information Systems

Summary: Gaylord offers a variety of products for libraries, including supplies, furniture, security products, and library automation products. The GALAXY Integrated Library Automation System is featured on this Web site.

View Image - Figure 8. Data Research Associates.

View Image - Figure 9. Endeavor Information Systems, Inc.

View Image - Figure 10. EOS IntemationaL

View Image - Figure 11. Follett Software Company.

View Image - Figure 12. Gaylord Information Systems.

URL: html (see Figure 12).

Geac Computer Corporation Ltd.

Summary: Geac describes its products and services on this Web site. Its primary products include its Advance and PLUS (formerly CLSI LIBS100Plus) library automation system. Geac's most recent product, GEOS, is not represented on this Web site, which was last updated in December 1994.

URL, hun (see Figure 13).

Inmagic, Inc.

Summary: Inmagic, Inc. uses its Web site to describe its company and to promote its software products. Inmagic's primary product line is its DB/Text software. This includes the DB/TextWorks text management system, the DB/Text WebServer, and several related products. DB/SearchWorks includes only the search interface for the product. Inmagic also offers a "Library Guide" for DB/TextWorks that customizes the product for common library automation applications.

URL: (see Figure 14).

Innovative Interfaces, Inc.

Summary: This site describes the library automation products of Innovative Interfaces, Inc., including the INNOPAC-integrated library system and its recently released INNOPAC Web Library Catalog. It lists the libraries that use INNOPAC and highlights recent installations. Recent newsletters, press releases, and other company information are also available.

URL: (see Figure 15).

InSite Software

Summary: Creators of a PC-based integrated library system called On Your MARC, Insite describes its products and services on its Web site. Also featured is InterMARC, the company's new Web-based on-line catalog.

View Image - Figure 13. Geac Computer Corporation Ltd

View Image - Figure 14. Inmagic, Inc.

View Image - Figure 15. Innovative Interfaces, Inc.

URL (see Figure 16).

Kelowna Software Ltd

Summary: Kelowna Software Ltd. produced a microcomputer-based integrated library system for schools called L4U. The software operates on both Windows-based PCs and on Macintosh computers. The company's Web site describes the software products, provides company background and contact information, and publishes on-line newsletters.

URL: (see Figure 17).

The Library Corporation

Summary: This site highlights the products of The Library Corporation, including BiblioFile, a CD-ROMbased integrated library system; NETPac, a package that allows a BiblioFile on-line catalog to be accessed on the Internet; ITS, a Windows-based cataloging system; and NLightN, a general-purpose indexing and document delivery system.

URL: (see Figure 18).

OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.

Summary: OCLC provides several information products and services for libraries. This site describes the organization and describes its products, including the Prism bibliographic database, PromptCAT cataloging service, SiteSearch, its electronic journals, FirstSearch, and the following subsidiary organizations: OCLC Asia Pacific Services; Information Dimensions, Inc.; OCLC Europe; OCLC Forest Press; OCLC Pacific; and Preservation Resources. Visitors to this site will also find documentation and white papers related to library interests. A search engine is provided.

URL: (see Figure 19). For Information Dimensions, see:


SIRS, Inc.

Summary: SIRS describes its products and services on its Web site. SIRS creates and markets a number of database products and hardware platforms and networks to access these products. SIRS also highlights the SIRS Mandarin-integrated library system it recently acquired. On this site you can learn about the company's history and read recent on-line newsletters as well as other related information sources.

URL: (see Figure 20).


Summary: This site describes the products and services of SIRSI Corporation. The products highlighted include the Unix-based Unicorn library automation system, UnicornSTIL,AS (for technical and scientific libraries), UnicornECOLE (for school libraries), UnicornOASIS (for public libraries), WebCat for making Unicorn-based on-line catalogs available through Web browsers, and InfoBase, a Z39.50-based information server.

View Image - Figure 16. InSite Software.

View Image - Figure 17. Kelowna Software Ltd.

View Image - Figure 18. The Library Corporation.

View Image - Figure 19. OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.

View Image - Figure 20. SIRS, Inc.

URL: http:/ (see Figure 21).

Softlink Library Automation Software

Summary: Softlink uses its Web site to describe and promote its Alice library automation system. This is a PC-based integrated library system designed for schools, academics, and special and public libraries and is marketed worldwide. Corporate information, product descriptions, and customer support are all available.

URL: (see Figure 22).

VTLS, Inc.

Summary: This site describes the VTLS library automation system and the new VIRTUA system created by VTLS and gives information about the company and the libraries that use its products. On-line newsletters, press releases, and other documents are available.

URL: (see Figure 23).

Winnebago Software Company

Summary: In its well-designed Web site, Winnebago Software Company provides current information about the company, its products, and representatives and offers recent newsletters and other information sources. Winnebago specializes in library automation products for school libraries. It develops integrated library systems for PCs and Macintosh computers.

URL: (see Figure 24).

Information Services and Database Providers

Ovid Technologies

Summary: Ovid Technologies produces libraryoriented database products and creates software to access these products. On its frames-oriented Web site, the company describes its products and publishes company information, press releases, and technical information. This site also offers product support services to Ovid customers.

View Image - Figure 21. SIRSI.

View Image - Figure 22. Softlink Library Automation Software.

View Image - Figure 23. VTLS, Inc.

URL: (see Figure 25).


Summary: RoweCom offers software and services related to library acquisitions of serials subscriptions and book orders. Its Subscribe97 product allows libraries to order and process payment for serials subscriptions. The company uses its Web site to describe its services and software as well as the company's background and history and to publish on-line newsletters and press releases.

View Image - Figure 24. Winnebago Software Company.

View Image - Figure 25. Ovid Technologies.

View Image - Figure 26. RoweCom.

URL: (see Figure 26).

SilverPlatter Information

Summary: SilverPlatter Information produces library-oriented database products and creates software to access these databases. The software products from SilverPlatter include the ERL database server software, PCSPIRS, WinSPIRS, MacSPIRS clients for accessing SilverPlatter databases from microcomputers, and WebSPIRS that allows SilverPlatter databases mounted on an ERL server to be accessed through a Web browser. SilverPlatter offers extensive information about its database and software products through this Web site as well as publishing company information and on-line newsletters.

URL: (see Figure 27).


Summary: UMI uses its Web site to describe its products and services. UMI offers a number of libraryoriented database products. These databases are searched through its ProQuest software and via the Internet through a product called ProQuest Direct. UMI offers many full-text information sources. Visit this site to see detailed information on UMI as a company and its databases and learn about its latest information delivery technologies.

URL: (see Figure 28).

Bibliograpic Utilities

Research Information Systems

Summary: Research Information Systems recently acquired the ProCite bibliographic citation database management software from Personal Bibliographic Software. This Web site describes ProCite for Windows, provides links for customer support, offers demo versions of the software, and lists related software products.

URL: (see Figure 29).

Sea Change Corporation

Summary: Sea Change produces a Z39.50 client for Microsoft Windows called BookWhere?. The home page for BookWhere? offers descriptive information about the product and allows you to download an evaluation copy or place an order for the production software. Sea Change publishes technical information and online newsletters and provides opportunities to join discussion lists related to the product.

URL: (see Figure 30).

Other Related Resources

Association of Research Libraries

Summary: The home page of the Association of Research Libraries describes the mission and administration of the organization and provides documents describing its meetings and projects. ARL gathers statistical information from its member libraries related to collections, operations, and staff. This page provides links to these statistics. One link points to the University of Virginia, which provides a Web-based interface for obtaining customized reports from these statistics. URL: (see Figure 31).

Cataloging Foreign Language Materials

Summary: This site provides links to a number of resources on the Internet that are useful to catalogers of foreign language materials. Some of the categories of resources include Africana cataloging and resources, authority work tools, cataloging home pages and tools, cultural and historical resources, dictionaries, fonts and multiscript resources, and language tools.

URL: (see Figure 32).

View Image - Figure 27. SilverPlatter Information.

View Image - Figure 28. UMI.

View Image - Figure 29. Research Information Systems.

View Image - Figure 30. Sea Change Corporation.

View Image - Figure 31. Association of Research Libraries.

View Image - Figure 32. Cataloging Foreign Language Materials.

Coalition for Networked Information

Summary: CNI is a partnership of three organizations: the Association of Research Libraries, CAUSE, and EDUCOM. This site provides information on the mission, administration, and programs of CNI and provides links to related resources. Reports and proceedings related to CNI activities are available through an FTP server linked from this site. CNI maintains a number of databases searched through the BRS search engine, which are available through a telnet login.

URL: (see Figure 33).

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

Summary: This site describes the organization and administration of the organization and gives information on membership services. It includes sections on the publications of the organizations and on grants and fellowships sponsored by IFLA.

URL: (see Figure 34).

The Internet Public Library

Summary: This service, originated as a library school student project, has grown into one of the best-known library-oriented sites on the Web. IPL includes search tools to answer reference questions; on-line books, magazines, and serials; on-line exhibits; and many other resources.

URL: (see Figure 35).


Summary: Maintained by the Library of Congress, this site provides up-to-date information on matters relating to the U.S. MARC standards.

URL: (see Figure 36).


Summary: PACS-L, created in 1989 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr., is a moderated discussion list relating to library public access catalogs. This Web page describes the list and provides information on how to subscribe to the list and search its archives and gives information about related resources.

View Image - Figure 33. Coalition for Networked Information.

View Image - Figure 34. International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.

View Image - Figure 35. The Internet Public Library.

View Image - Figure 36. MARC.

View Image - Figure 37. PACS-L.

View Image - Figure 38. The Research Libraries Group, Inc.

View Image - Figure 39. The ANSI/NISO Z39.50 Protocol: Information Retrieval in the Information Infrastructure.

View Image - Figure 40. Library of Congress Web Page for the Z39.50 Maintenance Agency.

View Image - Figure 41. Zephyr:RLG's Z39.50 Service.

View Image - Figure 42. The Library of Congress Z39.50 Gateway.

URL: (see Figure 37).

The Research Libraries Group, Inc.

Summary: RLG is a nonprofit organization for academic and research libraries. This site describes RLG's projects, services, and products. Some of RLG's information services include RLIN, a bibliographic database; CitaDEL, an article and citation database; and the English Short Title Catalogue. Eureka is a service for finding information in any of RLG's databases.

URL: (see Figure 38).

The ANSI/NISO Z39.50 Protocol: Information Retrieval in the Information Infrastructure

Summary: This on-line article by William Moen describes the Z39.50 protocol and its history, development, and applications.

URL- www/SO.brochure.toc.html (see Figure 39).

Library of Congress Web Page for the Z39.50 Maintenance Agency

Summary: The Library of Congress is the official maintenance agent for the Z39.50 protocol. This Web page provides pointers to documents related to the development of the standard. Some of the documents listed include the ANSI/NISO Z39.50-1992 document, the ANSI/NISO Z39.50-1995 document, changes to Z39.50-1995, the Z39.50 Register of Implementors, Z39.50 Profiles, the Z39.50 Implementors Group (ZIG), interoperability testing, papers, tutorials, and bibliography and Version 4 development.

URL: (see Figure 40).

Zephyr: RLG's Z39.50 Service

Summary: This site describes Zephyr, the Z39.50 server for RLG's information services, including the RLIN bibliographic catalog, the ESTC English Short Title Catalogue, and CitaDel.

URL: http:l/ (see Figure 41).

The Library of Congress Z39.50 Gateway

Summary: The Library of Congress provides a gateway through which you can search LC's catalog as well as a number of other library catalogs. URL: (see Figure 42).

View Citation
Publication Year:1996
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Library software review
Publication Info:Volume 15 Number 3
Issue:Fall 1996
Publisher:Sage Periodicals Press
Place of Publication:Thousand Oaks, CA
Subject: Library automation -- vendor profiles
Record Number:1270
Last Update:2014-04-30 07:43:49
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00