HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — July 1, 2002 — Sirsi Corporation, the leader in new-name sales of technology for libraries around the world*, announced today that two distinguished public library systems, the Jacksonville (Fla.) Public Library (JPL) and the Spokane County (Wash.) Library District (SCLD), will migrate to Sirsi's Unicorn Library Management System and iBistro Electronic Library. According to officials at both libraries, Unicorn and iBistro provide the flexibility and functionality necessary to meet the unique needs of each library, along with easy-to-use interfaces for staff and users.
Jacksonville Public Library's main library, 14 branches, and bookmobile serve the residents of the consolidated city and county of Jacksonville. In response to the area's rapid growth, the city of Jacksonville is implementing a "Better Jacksonville Plan" that includes construction of a new, 300,000-square-foot main library and six branches by 2004.
According to JPL Deputy Director Sylvia Cornell, the library decided to move to Sirsi's Unicorn because, "We wanted to have the latest automation technology in place before construction began on our new facilities. Sirsi offers a technology that is as state-of-the-art as the buildings will be. In particular, this technology will make library staff work more efficient through an integrated, Windows®-based staff client - a very important factor for us, since the number of services we offer and users we serve continues to increase rapidly."
Founded in 1904, JPL today serves more than 800,000 people with holdings of 2.4 million items; a genealogy collection; a grant resource center; and special collections that include the works of 19th - century British composer and former Jacksonville resident Frederick Delius and Northeast Florida history dating back to the 1600s. Library services include free workshops on a wide range of topics, youth activities ranging from traditional storytimes to nature programs to a popular bookmark design contest, and seasonal celebrations.
Spokane County Library District's 10 branches have total holdings of more than 400,000 items. During 2001, the libraries circulated more than 1.8 million items and served more than 800,000 visitors. SCLD services include reference assistance, homework support, outreach services to day and adult care centers and the homebound, and an emphasis on youth programs, including storytimes, puppet shows, and a very popular summer reading program.
According to SCLD Director Mike Wirt, "After library staff viewed a demonstration, there was no question in anyone's mind that Unicorn offered the functionality and flexibility we need. The integrated staff client is easy to navigate and use, and iBistro will increase our options for Web site content enhancements that our customers will find useful. We're very happy with our decision."
Established in 1942, SCLD is an independent special purpose district that serves suburban and rural Spokane County surrounding the city of Spokane. It is the second oldest library district in the state of Washington. As the result of three voter-approved measures, SCLD has experienced rapid growth over the past 15 years, including renovation and expansion of four branches, replacement of three branches with larger facilities, construction of a new branch, and major materials collection enhancements.
Sirsi (www.sirsi.com) recognizes that today's librarians are on a mission to break down walls — barriers that limit the knowledge and resources accessible to library users. A partner with leading libraries around the globe since 1979, Sirsi provides software and services that assist libraries in breaking down walls, thereby promoting learning, empowerment, and opportunity for diverse user communities. Sirsi's portfolio of products and services includes the iBistro and iLink e-Library solutions, the Unicorn Library Management System, the Hyperion Digital Media Archive, and a full slate of services.
*Library Systems Newsletter, March 2002, named Sirsi the leader in new-name sales of integrated library systems for 2001. Sirsi held the same distinction in 1999 and 2000.