Three library networks in the pristine alpine three country-corner by the lake of Constance (Bodensee) have chosen ALEPH500, namely the State Library of Vorarlberg in Bregenz (Austria), previously announced and already in production, the Cantonal Library of St.Gallen (Switzerland) and most recently the State Library at Vaduz (Principality of Liechtenstein).
The St. Galler network (SGBN), comprising 21 libraries and the Liechtenstein network, combining the State library with 6 smaller branches, have been using a common SIBIL catalogue of some 400,000 records. This makes it the fourth largest library database in German Switzerland. The two institutions have decided to replace the SIBIL system with the same software, namely ALEPH 500, as recently adopted by the Swiss German Information Consortium (IDS), which they intend to cooperate with ever more closely and ultimately join as full fledged members (see our previous press release "ALEPH scales the Swiss Alps").
The SGBN includes the historic Vadiana Cantonal Library with renowned collections of German humanities and reformation literature, the convent library, one of the largest in Switzerland before 1800, with famous collections of codices and early prints, the textile library with special collections of fashion patterns, drawings and photographs, the library of the Rapperswil College with original prints of panoramic architecture and the "House of Sounds" with about 10,000 musical documents.
The Liechtenstein network is somewhat younger, dating back to 1961, and of more modest dimensions. It combines the national, government, judicial and historic libraries and state archives and aims to serve a regional readership of some 50,000 patrons in and around the principality. Liechtenstein, small, quaint and prosperous, becomes country number 40 in the ALEPH community. It expects to be operational with its new library system in the summer of 1999. Further institutions, such as local schools and the International Philosophical Academy are expected to join the network later.
Speaking on behalf of their institutions, Dr. Monica Hutter, leader of the St.Galler network (SGBN) and Dr. Alois Ospelt, chief librarian and archivist of the Principality of Liechtenstein, commented "Our decision in favour of ALEPH is justified by the rapidly expanding use of this system in Europe and particularly in German-speaking Switzerland. It will facilitate our communications with other library networks, create a uniform multi-library system in the region and improve the services to our users. We look forward to working with Ex Libris."