Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A. Göteborg University Selects VTLS' Virtua. Göteborg University Library, one of Sweden's largest research libraries, has joined the growing list of libraries choosing to implement Virtua. GUL conducted an exhaustive two-year evaluation of all major library automation solutions. Based on this thorough evaluation of available solutions, the review committee determined that the Virtua solution was "the most advantageous considering both price and quality". The overall design of Virtua, the strength of Virtua functionality and the reputation of VTLS Inc. were all influential in their decision.
Jon Erik Nordstrand, Library Director of GUL, stated that "We have had a long relationship with VTLS since 1988. However, we decided that we should acquire our future system in an open competition between all vendors. It was very pleasing to find out, after a very thorough evaluation, that the new VIRTUA product was the over all winner."
According to the review committee, three factors differentiated Virtua from other solutions: adherence to standards (including Z39.50 and UnicodeÔ), a truly open and modern architecture, and overall flexibility. In addition, among the functional criteria the committee cited as being decisive in the selection of Virtua were flexible, user-friendly search functions; ease of record importing; fully functional and reliable authority control; a very sophisticated materials requesting function; and a commitment to continue to support Swedish MARC format (SweMARC). Finally, the committee praised VTLS Inc. for its long-term commitment to development and maintenance of the software; willingness to adapt the software to meet specialized needs; and the reliable, high-quality support provided to GUL throughout their relationship with the company.
Göteborg is the first major Swedish University to decide on Virtua. Most significant in the decision, however, is the thoroughness of their review of their options. Jack Bazuzi, Vice President of International Operations, noted that the inherent flexibility of Virtua and the strength of its design made it well suited to meet the needs of a large research university. "GUL's selection of Virtua is a strong endorsement of VTLS' ability to provide the products and services for a complex environment," said Bazuzi.
Göteborg University Library consists of six library units with over three million volumes (occupying 60,000 meters of shelf space) in its collections. It is one of the seven libraries in Sweden which have the right to receive legal deposit. GUL also handles more than 14,000 periodicals upon publication, and grows by about a gross volume of 50,000 books per year. GUL ranks second in terms of number of books borrowed per year in Sweden.