BURNSVILLE, MN, March 22, 2000 - Sagebrush Corporation announced today the release of Athena v8.1. The latest release of this award-winning library automation program is a 32-bit application that provides additional features, better performance, and greater flexibility. In addition, Sagebrush is releasing Athena Webserver v3.1 as well as updates to several other Sagebrush add-on products.
"This extensive update builds on Athena's strengths while providing additional solutions our customers have requested." said Mark Hammer, Vice President of Marketing. "Athena is as easy to use as ever," Hammer continued, "and now gives the librarian the ability to print patron summaries, store patron email addresses, and import images for Visual Search buttons. Other capabilities, like the integrated Z39.50 search interface, ranking of search results by relevance, and customizable icons for search results continue Athena's tradition of intuitive yet powerful searching."
These releases demonstrate the Sagebrush commitment to continuing to develop current product lines. A new release of the Winnebago Spectrum library automation system will be forthcoming.
Athena's new and enhanced features include:
Printing patron summaries - when checking out items, you can print a circulation summary for the current patron. The summary includes your library name, the patron's name or ID, information about items on loan, as well as information about current and estimated fines.
Using a Slip printer - you can print patron summaries on small, cash register-type slips.
Identifying patrons with items on hold - whenever a patron with an item on hold checks out materials or is identified for any other circulation desk task, Athena will display a dialog box reminding you that there are items on hold for this patron.
Displaying an item's status - Athena lists all copies and displays the status of each.
Entering patron email addresses - you can now store patron email addresses in Athena.
Capturing pictures for Visual Search - you can add images captured from the Web or other graphic sources to the Visual Search screen.
Ranking search results - Athena will list items in the search results according to their relevance. You can also configure Athena to use a thermometer icon to show item relevancy.
Including icons in the search results - Athena can identify with a specific icon the format or the call number of each title in the search results.
Backing up files - you can back up to devices other than floppy drives, including zip and network drives.
Integrating Athena zMARC - Z39.50 client features can now be fully integrated into Athena.
Athena Webserver v3.1
In addition to Athena v8.1 enhancements, Sagebrush is also releasing Athena Webserver v3.1. This powerful software makes a library's entire collection available online, and now offers exciting features that allow patrons to access their patron information, search on full subjects, and request reserves and interlibrary loans. Here are details regarding a few of the updates we've made to Athena Webserver:
Accessing Patron Information - patrons can use Athena Webserver to display their personal information such as outstanding fine balances, items on loan, and so on.
Including icons in the Search Results - if your library has configured Athena to display icons depicting item format or call number prefix, Athena Webserver will use the same icons.
Ranking Search Results - Athena Webserver can now rank items in the search results according to their relevance.
Requesting Reserves and Interlibrary Loans - this Athena Webserver features allows patrons to request reserves on items in their home library. It also allows patrons and librarians to request interlibrary loans from other libraries.
Other Add-on Updates
Athena WebLink - Gives patrons the tools to take advantage of all the Internet has to offer. Makes it simple to access web sites, electronic files, and provides a Reference Search feature that allows a search of the library to be carried over to a search of many pre-determined online resources.
Athena zMARC - Z39.50 Technology allows a librarian to access MARC records from hundred's of the world's leading libraries. With this latest release, this functionality can be fully integrated into Athena.
Athena Espanol and Athena Francais - Spanish and French Interfaces for Athena Search stations.
PatronPorter (formerly BCON) - Software used for converting patron data for use in Athena.
In other news, Sagebrush has improved customer workshop and training opportunities, so our customers can learn to get the most from their programs. Our professional trainers host workshops all over the United States, and also provide on-site training designed specifically for customer needs. In addition, the 6th annual International Library Automation Conference (ILAC) will be held July 19-22 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. It's the ideal opportunity for all Sagebrush customers to further their knowledge of their Sagebrush programs and industry trends and network with colleagues.
Athena is the best-selling library automation system for Windows and was rated #1 in a recent edition of the American Library Association's Library Technology Reports (L.T.R.). The L.T.R. report rated 36 library automation systems and awarded Athena the highest ratings in 10 of the 12 categories considered and the highest rating overall. Athena provides circulation, searching, cataloging, Internet solution options, cross-platform capabilities (Windows, Macintosh, and DOS), and related functions for large and small public, academic, corporate, and school libraries and school districts.
About Sagebrush Corporation
Sagebrush Corporation is a fast-growing provider of integrated information management solutions for the education world. On January 14, Sagebrush Corporation merged with Winnebago Software Company. The merger of Sagebrush and Winnebago unites two proven, successful, and profitable companies with a history of superior customer focus and innovative products. Operating under the Sagebrush Corporation name, with headquarters in Burnsville, MN, the company is now the largest and fastest-growing company serving schools and libraries. Sagebrush offers library automation systems, information solutions, and learning resources with a focus on the education and library market. Through its employees and representatives, Sagebrush Corporation markets and distributes its products throughout North America and the world. For additional information, visit the Sagebrush Corporation web site at www.sagebrushcorp.com.