DATAPOINT-FRANCE S.A., the exclusive distributor of ALEPH in France, has signed up the municipal libraries of Le Havre and Les Ulis (near Paris) to replace their TOBIAS library automation systems with the latest version of ALEPH500. Prior to its association with Ex Libris, Datapoint had equipped some 400 libraries with TOBIAS and ORPHEE automation software, mostly in public libraries. Recent successes of ALEPH in the French academic library sector (Ecole Polytechnique, Sorbonne, Montpellier, Le Havre, Nanterre, Ecole Normale Superieure) opens the way to ALEPH's penetration into the municipal libraries segment.
The ML of Le Havre comprises one central site, seven neighborhood branches and one mobile library (bibliobus). It was one of the first French public libraries to be fully automated (1983). It possesses about half a million multi-support documents and serves a readership of 27,000 with 570,000 loan transactions per year. Initially, the Le Havre municipal network will dispose of 87 concurrent workstations. According to Madame Isabelle Nyffenegger, Library Director, "The decisive criteria in selecting ALEPH500 were its great parametrisation flexibility and its evolutive character. A further strong point was the quality of Datapoint's support and maintenance services as experienced with the Tobias system supplied by Datapoint in 1983."
The ML of Les Ulis handles some 90,000 multimedia items. Its older Tobias system, unable to handle the Year 2000 and Euro problems, is being replaced by ALEPH to overcome these problems and generally to improve services to its patrons.
For both projects, Datapoint is providing full services, including data conversion, training and continuing support.