HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Aug.10, 1998) - Large public school districts in Kansas, Oregon and Texas have purchased Sirsi Corporation's Unicorn Library Management System to provide their libraries with a fully integrated information system. According to librarians in each district, the SIRSI system will enable their libraries to share resources online and provide students with classroom and remote access to the library catalog and the Internet.
The Wichita (Kan.) Public Schools is the largest public school district in Kansas, with more than 90 schools that serve nearly 48,000 students from pre-kindergarten through adult. According to Richard Soash, supervisor of library automation for the Wichita Public Schools, "The SIRSI system is a cost-effective way to provide the services that we see as essential for the students of the district. After Unicorn is installed, students and teachers will be able to access their school library's online catalog from the classroom or from home via SIRSI's WebCat."
Located in Albany, Ore., the Greater Albany Public School District comprises 19 elementary, middle and high schools. According to Peter Tromba, technology coordinator for the district, the school libraries and central district library will share a central server and a union catalog. The ability to check the availability of library materials district-wide "will facilitate interlibrary loaning to get the right materials to the right people on time," Tromba said. "We had a huge criteria list and several vendor demonstrations, and the SIRSI system scored the highest. Most important were the robustness of the product, the fact that it provided a union catalog with individual library options, the fact that it was Z39.50 compliant, the WebCat, and the ability to author our own search screens," he concluded.
Mesquite (Texas) Independent School District's (MISD) 41 campuses include 14 schools that have been built within the last 10 years to accommodate the city's rapidly increasing population. MISD has a history of using technology to facilitate learning and share resources. It operates one of the few instructional television stations in Texas, as well as a noncommercial radio station that is staffed part-time by MISD high school students with career interests in broadcasting. According to Mary Woodard, MISD library systems manager, the district's libraries will share a union catalog on a central server. "This will enable librarians not only to search their own school's catalog, but also to view resources that are available at other libraries in the district," Woodard said.
SIRSI, founded in 1979, is a privately held company with headquarters in Huntsville, Ala. SIRSI uses the most advanced technology available to provide easy-to-use information systems for libraries, businesses and archives. With offices in major U.S. cities and subsidiaries in Australia, Canada, Latin American, the Middle East and the United Kingdom, the company has established its Unicorn products as the leading client/server library information systems in the world.