Huntsville, Ala. (August 4, 2000) The Brisbane Library Service, the largest public library service in Australia—serving 850,000 citizens—has implemented Sirsi Corporation's Unicorn Library Management System for its 32 libraries located throughout the city of Brisbane. Operating under the authority of the Brisbane City Council and under the direction of Christine Mackenzie, the libraries loan 9 million items annually from a total collection of 1.2 million titles. According to Mackenzie, the Brisbane libraries chose to replace their Dynix system with Unicorn because it rated tops in functionality, offered a match for the library's platform requirements, had a proven record of success in other large public libraries and scored high in user-friendliness.
"We were very pleased with the smooth implementation of Unicorn throughout such a large library system," Mackenzie noted. Although the Brisbane libraries carried out a thorough test prior to implementing Unicorn and allowed for system problems, the "going-live" experience was problem-free everywhere in the system, even with the additional traffic following the three-day holiday that preceded implementation. "Despite the complex structure of the Brisbane system, which is based on five ‘hub' libraries that cover the entire city and support an additional five to six branches each, the ease of changing from our old system to Unicorn confirmed our decision to go with SIRSI," Mackenzie said.
According to Mackenzie, Brisbane libraries are working to expand their traditional role from book repositories to centers of the community and gateways to information from a variety of sources, including electronic ones. "In addition to the Unicorn system and WebCat, which initially attracted us to SIRSI, the recently introduced iBistroTM Internet access center will enable us to go even further in fulfilling our goal of providing information anywhere, anytime in our community," Mackenzie said. After seeing iBistro in action at the American Library Association conference in Chicago, Mackenzie is enthused over iBistro's features. "I like the categorized searches across both the local library's and other libraries' catalogs; Web resource searches; record enrichments such as book reviews, author biographies, and tables of contents; popular web sites and best seller lists; and updates managed by SIRSI. And I find the potential of creating electronic book clubs especially intriguing," Mackenzie added.
SIRSI, the leader in library technology, is a privately held company founded in 1979, with headquarters in Huntsville, Ala. SIRSI uses the most advanced technology available to provide easy-to-use information systems for libraries, businesses, and archives. With offices in major U.S. cities and subsidiaries in Australia, Canada, Latin America, the Middle East, the People's Republic of China and the United Kingdom, the company has established its Unicorn products as the leading client/server library information system in the world.