February 26, 2009 UAE. Edutech Middle East, a leading provider of technology-enabled learning solutions, in partnership with VTLS, a leading global company known for its breakthrough technologies in library solutions, hosted yesterday the UAE’s first ever ‘Virtua Integrated Library System Users Meet’ at the Canadian University of Dubai.
The event gathered regional users of cutting edge software and services for digital libraries, along with leading global online publishing icon, Bowker Solutions.
Leading the group of speakers was Ian Pattenden, International Business Development Manager of Bowler UK, the world’s leading source for bibliographic information, who shared information on the company’s latest products and services during the event.
The users meeting was meant to highlight the benefits of ‘Virtua Integrated Library System’ (VTLS) among its current users in the Middle East.
The forum proved to be an apt venue to discuss ideas, best practices and other library solutions that enhance the capabilities of library management system.
Participants spoke of the advantages of using VTLS, which include its user-friendliness, and its integrated functionality, which covers OPAC, cataloguing, acquisitions, serials, circulation and reporting. Present at the event were representatives from leading universities and colleges in Dubai and Abu Dhabi including the Canadian University of Dubai; Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research, Sharjah; Abu Dhabi University; and eTQM College, alongside officials from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development; Sharjah Institute of Technology, and Dubai eGovernment.
"Our experience as a leader in providing analytical, promotional, research and ordering services to publishers, booksellers, libraries and patrons, has led us to identify the need for major streamlining within the library systems in the UAE," said Ian Pattenden, International Business Development Manager, Bowker UK.
"This event is truly a remarkable platform to build awareness on the newest innovations in managing and disseminating bibliographic information, and on how adopting the right solutions will help educational institutions and government regulatory bodies enhance learning among students. We would like to commend Edutech for spearheading this event, and I am hoping for the continuous success of this initiative."
Pattenden delivered a presentation that tackled the importance of powering the business of books, in addition to the need to understand modern innovations and software for libraries and how these can be used to their advantage.
The opening address was delivered by Dr William Gordon, Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Canadian University of Dubai, who emphasised the importance of such an event in terms of promoting collaboration between universities to share resources, best practices and experiences. Furthermore, representatives of the Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research also delivered a presentation encouraging participants to form a ‘Virtua Users Forum’, which would allow for a continuous and more fluid exchange of ideas and feedback with regard to VTLS.
"We are very pleased with the turnout of participants at the first Virtua ILS Users Meet in the UAE and we hope that this initiative will pave the way for further communication and collaboration among Virtua users in the Emirates as well as the GCC in the near future. The effort to bring together Virtua users is based on our belief that sharing experiences with other users would help them better serve their respective communities," said Raghavendra Manbol, Head Information Solutions, Edutech Middle East.
"In line with our commitment to provide best-of-breed technologies to our regional clients, we are currently outlining a strategic plan to bring in the latest trends, tools and technologies related to Integrated Library Systems & Libraries to the GCC and the whole of the Middle East."
Bowker's diverse brands include AquaBrowser, a visual-faceted search platform; Globalbooksinprint.com, a bibliographic cataloguing system; and Syndetic Solutions, which is an OPAC enriched platform that is widely used among academic-based libraries.
Worldwide, Bowker UK serves customers in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia. VTLS, on the other hand, boasts of a deep and broad knowledge of the current needs of libraries and information centres. Software under the VTLS line includes Virtua, the first Unicode-compliant ILS.