PROVO, Utah — The New Hampshire State Library is upgrading the library automation system used by the New Hampshire Automated Information System (NHAIS) to Horizon Sunrise and the Universal Resource Sharing Application (URSA) from epixtech. The move will help the State Library to maintain the union catalog of more than 1.5 million records and to provide interlibrary loan services for the nearly 400 NHAIS libraries. The public, school, academic, health sciences, and special libraries that comprise NHAIS will at last be able to share resources entirely through a web interface.
"The state-of-the-art union catalog provided by epixtechwill greatly improve services to all of the libraries in the New Hampshire Automated Information System. The web-enabled approach offered by epixtechfor its URSA system will be much easier to use than our previous system. We are very pleased to be working with epixtechon this very important project for New Hampshire,"says Michael York, New Hampshire State Librarian.
Since 1985, NHAIS has been operating a statewide union catalog and doing interlibrary loan through a Gaylord Galaxy system. The dial-up modems, analog phone lines, and DOS computers originally used to connect to the system have given way in many libraries to high-speed Internet, digital phone lines, and newer operating systems. However, many users found they had to keep an older computer tucked away in a corner of their libraries to be able to use NHAIS features.
“We needed a system that was Web based,” says Mary Russell, librarian for network services at the State Library. “Some of our libraries had to maintain outdated, complicated communication systems in order to access the union catalog.”
NHAIS member libraries will now connect to the statewide union catalog and perform copy cataloging and interlibrary loan functions entirely through their own Web browser. Client software will not be needed at each location. “This has huge advantages,” says Russell, “because it allows libraries to make independent choices about platforms and local automation software while still being able to access the system with a common interface.”
“We're excited about the Web functionality of URSA and the graphical interface,” Russell continues. “Its point-and-click nature will make it much more like the other systems our libraries are using.” In fact, she believes that the number of interlibrary loans will shoot up, encouraging non-member libraries in the state to join the system, potentially doubling the number of participating libraries in New Hampshire.
Another benefit of the new system is improved statistics and report tracking. In the past, statistics were kept manually by the State Library and the participating NHAIS libraries. “With the new system, handling reports and statistics will be much easier,” says Russell. “The State Library will be better able to provide our libraries with more detailed information about their system usage.”
The decision to go with Horizon Sunrise came after an extensive review by NH State Library staff and a committee of librarians from throughout the state. “The cataloging module provides us with many wonderful tools to maintain a cleaner, more consistent union catalog then we have been able to have in the past. The driving force behind our decision, however, was the powerful functions of the URSA system for tracking interlibrary loan and the ability of epixtechto provide us with an entirely web-based interface for our libraries,” says Russell.
An enriched content feature from Syndetics will be included as part of the iPAC interface to the statewide union catalog which will provide a great tool for collection development as libraries will be able to link to reviews, tables of contents, and summaries as well as graphical images of materials.
epixtechis the world's leading provider of automation technologies, solutions, and services for libraries. Their award-winning library automation systems—including Dynix, NOTIS, Horizon Sunrise, and access products for patron self-services and interlibrary loan, along with its new web-based solutions—are installed in more sites than any other library automation vendor. epixtech, formerly Ameritech Library Services, became a private corporation in December of 1999. epixtechlibrary automation services meet the needs of academic, research, public, corporate, consortia, and K-12 school libraries. Headquartered in Utah, epixtechhas offices in Evanston, Illinois; Waterloo, Ontario; Australia; France; the United Kingdom; New Zealand; and Taiwan. epixtechheadquarters are located at 400 W. 5050 North, Provo, UT 84604 and at www.epixtech.com