Today Ex Libris and the National Library of China (NLC) signed a contract for the licensing, implementation, and ongoing support of the Ex Libris ALEPH 500 system at the NLC. Initially, ALEPH 500 will serve 200 concurrent full professional and 400 concurrent Web PAC users.
A major step for both parties, this agreement signals the growing recognition of the ALEPH system in the People`s Republic of China and will constitute the second Chinese installation, after Beijing Normal University. A key factor in NLC`s selection of ALEPH was the system`s compliance with the Chinese market`s special script-related needs in the areas of indexing, word ordering, and English transliteration.
The NLC, one of the most important libraries in Asia, is the fifth largest library in the world, after the Library of Congress, the Russian State Library (also an ALEPH site), and the national libraries of the United Kingdom and France.
Formerly known as the Beijing Library, the NLC was established in 1906. It is a comprehensive research library and national repository of publications. The NLC also plays a leading role in the standardization, digitization, and networking of the library communities in China. Spanning a floor space of 170,000 square meters, the library offers a collection of well over 22 million volumes, of which 1.6 million are ancient monographs and another 270,000 are rare books. In addition, it houses a unique historic treasure of 35,000 scripted turtle shells and animal bones. Open to the public every day of the year, with on-line services available 24 hours a day, the library lays claim to the largest collection of Chinese books in the world, and of foreign-language materials in the country.
In her address during the signing ceremony, Professor Sun Beixin, Deputy Director of the NLC and Vice President of the China Society for Library Science, commented, "We decided, after evaluating the available library systems thoroughly and weighing all the important technical and commercial elements, that ALEPH 500 will best meet our requirements. We are also fully confident that Ex Libris will be a good, reliable partner for the NLC and will help us equip this institution for the twenty-first century. Our choice is very significant not only for the NLC and other libraries in China but also for other libraries in the world that deal with Chinese-language materials."
Fucheng Shen, head of Ex Libris` Beijing office, added, "This contract award is a great event and an honor for my company and our future activities in the People`s Republic. I shall apply my best efforts toward coordinating all project activities between the NLC and Ex Libris headquarters in order to have our ALEPH system go live at an early date."
For more information on the National Library of China, please link to nlc.nlc.gov.cn. Mr. Fucheng Shen can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 600 sites in 44 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, a context-sensitive reference linking solution for heterogeneous electronic resources in the scholarly information environment; and DigiTool, a solution for constructing digital collections as components of an overall digital strategy.