The ALAN network, comprising the National Library of Armenia (NLA) and the National Book Chamber of Armenia (NBCA) has today awarded a contract to Ex Libris for the license and implementation of its ALEPH 500 library management and information system.
Besides allowing the automation of the participating libraries, ALEPH 500 will enable the creation of an Armenian national bibliographic database and Union Catalog of Armenian libraries.
The NLA serves as the center for scientific information, library science, bibliography, Armenology, and other cultural activities, as well as interlibrary loans within Armenia and with some 30 foreign countries. It has a collection of more than 6.2 million items and receives about 10'000 periodicals and 650 newspapers. Annual circulation amounts to approximately 1.7 million items. Its current staff counts 433 employees of which 250 are full-fledged librarians. The number of registered users is over 30'000.
The National Book Chamber of Armenia's mission (as of 1922) is to function as the center of National Bibliography and Statistics, sociological research and central depository of publications. It currently possesses archival funds of some 1.5 million items published in the Armenian Diaspora in the last 78 years.
Armenia, the 47th country on the « ALEPH map », looks back on three millennia of rich and at times tragic history. It is one of the oldest Christian nations and its language is a discrete Indo-European branch with a unique alphabet. About 3.6 million live in Armenia, some 1 million more in other parts of the former Soviet Union and another 4 million are scattered around the world. Present-day Armenia comprises only about 10 percent of its erstwhile territory. In 1915, a large segment of the Armenian population was massacred in what has become known as the first genocide of the 20th century. The country declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Among the critical requirements for its new library system, the ALAN consortium has listed the ability for individual libraries in Armenia to work independently within a cooperative, open and standardized environment ; mechanisms for secure entry and manipulation of the most diverse types of records; sophisticate searching, retrieval and display functions ; context-sensitive help facilities and interoperability with other information resources ; and, last not least, support of a wide range of languages.
At the signing ceremony Mr. David Sargsyan, the director of NLA, expressed his gratitude to the Open Society Institute for funding this important project. Mr. Tigran Zargaryan, the president of the Armenian Library Association, described the implementation plans and expressed his trust in Ex Libris's ability to complete the project, having a worldwide experience in similar projects. Mr. Azriel Morag, the chairman of the board of Ex Libris, thanked the management of NLA for their confidence in Ex Libris and committed to complete the project before the end of 2002.
For information about the National Library of Armenia, please refer to:www.iatp.am/sites/nla/index.html. Further information about the history of Armenia can be found at: www.aaainc.org/armenia-nkr/armhistory.htm.
About Ex Libris
Ex Libris is a leading worldwide developer of high-performance applications for libraries, information centers, and researchers. A multinational company, Ex Libris has offices around the world. ALEPH, the Ex Libris integrated library solution, has been installed at over 560 sites in 47 countries. Other Ex Libris software products include MetaLib, an information portal for library collections that provides libraries, institutions, and consortia with a standardized user interface; SFX, the context-sensitive linking solution for libraries and information centers; and DigiTool, a solution for constructing digital collections as components of an overall digital strategy. For more information about Ex Libris, ALEPH 500, MetaLib, and SFX, please link to: www.exlibris-usa.com and www.sfxit.com.