Sunshine Coast University College at Sippy Downs in Queensland has become the newest VTLS user in Australia. Sunshine Coast University College is a new, independent public university and possibly the last to be established in Australia. The university was established to provide for the momentous growth in Queensland, the fastest growing state in Australia, but current federal legislation embargoes any further independent universities.
"Because this is a new university," said Heather Gordon, the University Librarian, "our library is literally being established from the groundup. We have an exciting opportunity to create new procedures and workflows to utilize, whenever possible, the very latest in technologies to ensure that our library is highly effective."
To help ensure this effectiveness, Sunshine Coast University College is installing several of VTLS' latest products to complement the integrated library management system running on an IBM RS/6000 server under UNIX. A 16-user VTLS system installed in January 1996 is working with several Windows-based client products, including the VTLS EasyPAC for OPAC use and multimedia retrieval, the VTLS EasyCAT for full-screen cataloging capabilities, and the VTLS Z39.50 Client for retrieval of bibliographic information from external databases.
The library, which is using Macintoshes and Power Macintoshes at the desk top, is also serving as a beta test site for the VTLS EasyPAC client for Macintosh. Other products installed include the Bibliographic Filtering Module that restricts access to certain collections, and the VTLS 3M SelfCheck System that allows patron check-out and renewal of materials.
"The major reasons that we chose VTLS as our library management system include the user friendly GUI interfaces, the multimedia information retrieval capabilities, the robust reputation of the system, and the company's ongoing commitment to the provision of virtual library capabilities," stated Gordon.
Part of those virtual library capabilities will be the implementation of the Virtua-Web Gateway, as well as the consideration of future imaging projects. The Virtua-Web Gateway will enable access to the library's catalogue via World Wide Web browsers such as NCSA Mosaic and Netscape. In addition, by way of the 856 tag in the bibliographic records in the database, the software dynamically links records to full text, images or other resources that may be available on the Internet, local area network, or on the local PC. Gordon also explains that the library is exploring the feasibility of digitizing exam papers, setting up electronic reserves, providing document delivery applications, and working with faculty to assist with the development of any multimedia courses.
"We hope to soon be using the image integration features of VTLS and to make Web access available from our OPAC," she added.
Currently, Sunshine Coast University College offers bachelor's degrees in Business and Arts and will introduce Applied Science in 1997. Located minutes from coastal beaches and hinterland forest reserves, the university will offer new approaches to practical tertiary programs and the use of information technology.