DES PLAINES, IL, May 8, 1998- Endeavor Information Systems Incorporated announced today that Eastern Michigan University has become the first university in the world to utilize the Voyager library automation system as the integrated library system (ILS) behind their Automated Retrieval Collection (ARC). The ARC is an automated storage and retrieval system manufactured by HK Systems that is typically purchased by industrial customers for storing manufactured parts. This technology takes a new twist at Eastern Michigan University's new $41 million, 218,000 sq. ft. Bruce T. Halle Library facility where it will be used for storing and retrieving books and other informational items.
Powered by Endeavor's Voyager library automation software and HK's material system software, the ARC is one of the most dynamic collection management systems available today. Located in an 8,000 sq. ft., 3-story vault incorporated into the new Halle Library, the ARC can store over 800,000 volumes in 7,500 bins (holding an average of 101 items per bin). Eastern Michigan's Dean of Learning Resources and Technologies, Morell Boone, explains, "Back in 1987 I was reading the Library Hi Tech issue on book storage methods and I was intrigued with the idea of what seemed to be a revolutionary new system under development at California State University at Northridge. Of course, at the time I had no idea that eleven years later Eastern Michigan would be the second in-library application of this system. I never liked the idea of any type of compact storage and I never wanted to get into an off-site storage situation." In 1992 Dean Boone had a chance to visit the site and see Northridge' s ARC in action. He knew that if he had a chance to build a new library facility it had to include an ARC for these three reasons:
- Using automated storage and retrieval system technology allows for a minimum of 50,000 sq. ft. of additional space to accommodate "people" instead of a browsing collection.
- Adopting the ARC and a state-of-the-art client/server library management system provides the perfect metaphor for changing our clients' long held habit of physical browsing. Now they can take full advantage of the emerging world of integrated electronic browsing in a space that would have been dedicated to a physical collection
- Eastern Michigan can now keep the majority of their books (awaiting their call to duty) in an inventory controlled, clean and climate controlled environment.
Using the ARC is a quick and easy process for the library's clients. When a client uses Voyager to request material housed in the ARC, a system message is sent to the automated retrieval system. Barcode matching prompts an electronically directed crane equipped with a mechanical arm to move along a track to the appropriate storage bin, retrieve the bin and carry it to a student worker in the enclosed pick room behind the circulation desk. Then the worker, through the use of barcode technology, removes the ordered book from the bin, puts a printed transaction slip in the book and places it on a conveyor belt that takes it to the circulation desk— all this in less than five minutes.
Jane Burke, President and CEO remarks, "Endeavor is about innovation and pushing the limits of technology. That's why we are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Eastern Michigan University as they take the university library into the 21st century. Voyager's smart design is the ideal system to integrate with this truly innovative Automated Retrieval Collection."
It's no wonder this smart-tech approach is being used at Eastern Michigan. Ten years ago Dean Boone had a vision of creating a leading-edge library facility incorporating a fresh approach to learning resources and technology. Today this vision is about to become reality. Boone, along with his Library Department Head, Sandra Yee, and Associate Administrator for Learning Technologies, Jennie McCafferty, has used this innovative thinking to turn the Halle facility into a very different kind of "library." In addition to housing the 800,000 ARC and 200,000 volume browsing collection, the library includes the following impressive features:
- Six electronic learning labs with over 200 computers offering compressed video capabilities
- 300 student and faculty computers in four separate "commons" areas:
- Multimedia production facility and video studio
- One Distance learning classroom
- Five multimedia conference rooms
- 100 seat auditorium featuring multimedia capabilities
- 80 seat teleconferencing room
- Electronic head end housing over 40 servers and electronic distribution equipment
- 150 powered and network-ready carrels
- 41 powered and network-ready collaborative and faculty studies
- The Paradox Café complete with cappuccino, best sellers and a computer store
"After five years of planning, designing and building the new library, we will finally see it come together when the Halle library opens its doors June 1. We are able to accommodate over 2,500 clients at one time. Voyager's flexible design allows us to continue to develop a totally integrated front end to all our information services. Now it is up to the people— library faculty and staff, technologies staff, and most importantly, our clients— to take full advantage of the features and benefits this new library offers. We realize it will take time, but it will be the programs developed by the staff and students that make the biggest impact on Eastern Michigan University— not the mere facility, no matter how wonderful it is."
Based in Des Plaines, Illinois, Endeavor Information Systems Incorporated is an employee-owned information technology company formed in September, 1994. Over 225 academic and research libraries of every size have chosen Endeavor's high performance library system.