Jerusalem, Israel – March 2, 2009. Ex Libris Group is pleased to announce the release of version 20.0 of its Aleph integrated library system. Over 85 enhancements, the majority of which have been garnered from the Aleph user community, focus on further streamlining staff workflows to maximize efficiency and reduce total cost of ownership. New functionality in this release enables library staff to be even more responsive to the special requests of their users.
Significant enhancements have been made in all the modules of Aleph 20.0, assisting libraries worldwide in continuing to meet their goals. Among these enhancements are features that enable librarians to perform a wide range of cataloging and administrative tasks on bulk records, perform editing work offline, and accelerate their response to user requests.
A prerequisite to the general release of any major Ex Libris product version is collaborative testing, in which customers representing libraries of different types and sizes from around the world convene at the Ex Libris product development center to become acquainted with new aspects of the product, take part in collaborative meetings, and work directly with product developers—using test scripts and real-life scenarios—to explore product functionality from the perspective of end users and librarians. For this release, collaborative testers from Utrecht University (in the Netherlands), Porto University (in Portugal), the Online Dakota Information Network (ODIN) and University of Minnesota (both in the United States) joined Ex Libris development and product management staff at Company headquarters to test Aleph version 20.0.
"I was pleased to take part in the Aleph version 20.0 collaborative testing initiative," said Linda Allbee, trainer/documentation specialist at the Online Dakota Information Network, Chair of the Aleph Product Working Group. "It was an excellent opportunity for both customers and the development team in Jerusalem to get an insider's look at the realities and challenges encountered by those on the other side. My area of specialty is ISO interlibrary loan. It was very evident to me that the Aleph development team had taken extra care to assure a continued standard of functionality in the integrated Interlibrary Loan module which should provide a smooth transition to version 20.0."
"Version 20.0 provides users with several new features to make workflows more efficient, including new parameters for circulation jobs and offline editing capabilities for editing records with huge numbers of items," commented Betsy Friesen, a technical services analyst at University of Minnesota Libraries and one of the collaborative testers. "My personal favorite enhancements are the new option to map material types from orders to item records and the new bulk arrival workflow. This workflow will now enable our staff to retrieve all orders based on various filters and "arrive" them simultaneously, without running any extra services," added Ms. Friesen.
Carmit Marcus, Aleph product manager at Ex Libris, commented: "Aleph 20.0 attributes many of its features to the ongoing work that we have conducted with our user community. The majority of the new enhancements in this product version originate from customer requests. We are very pleased with the active role our customers are taking in influencing the definition of the product. Full road maps already exist for Aleph versions 20.1 and 20.2, scheduled for release later this year and in the beginning of 2010, respectively. Planning for Aleph 21.0—the next major version of Aleph—has already begun."
About Ex Libris
Ex Libris is a leading provider of automation solutions for academic, national, and research libraries. Offering the only comprehensive product suite for electronic, digital, and print materials, Ex Libris provides efficient, user-friendly products that serve the needs of libraries today and will enable them to transition into the future. Ex Libris maintains an impressive customer base consisting of thousands of sites in more than 70 countries on six continents.
Dedicated to developing creative solutions in close collaboration with our customers, Ex Libris enables libraries to maximize productivity and efficiency and, at the same time, greatly enhance the user experience. By empowering users to discover and obtain the information they need, libraries ensure their position as the bridge to knowledge.