Information Today
Volume 17, Issue 10 • November 2000
SIRSI Announces iBistro Alliances, Implementation of Unicorn System

SIRSI Corp. has announced an alliance with netLibrary to integrate the latter’s e-book infrastructure into SIRSI’s new iBistro Internet Access Center. SIRSI has also announced an alliance with Syndetics Solutions, Inc. to integrate Syndetics’ enhanced bibliographic information into SIRSI’s iBistro. SIRSI also announced that both the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau and the Maryland Department of Legislative Services have selected SIRSI’s Unicorn library management system for their libraries.

netLibrary, SIRSI
The integrated netLibrary and SIRSI system will enable libraries to seamlessly incorporate netLibrary’s e-book management architecture into collection-development functions. In addition, patrons in libraries served by the integrated technology will be able to preview and check out netLibrary e-books through SIRSI’s iBistro.

“As more libraries see the value of offering netLibrary e-books, it is increasingly important to provide opportunities to search, preview, and buy e-books through a proven client/server system such as SIRSI’s,” said Larry Smith, SIRSI’s COO. “From a patron’s standpoint, the ability to discover and access e-books directly from iBistro is a powerful benefit of the alliance between SIRSI and netLibrary.”

By interacting with netLibrary’s digital content-management infrastructure, SIRSI’s library system will be able to notify librarians as new netLibrary e-books become available. Libraries and corporations will be able to purchase netLibrary e-books electronically and provide patrons with the ability to search for and access those e-books through iBistro, which enables libraries to deliver personalized information from the library or the Web directly to users.

“netLibrary has long recognized SIRSI as a leading innovator in the library automation system field,” said Rob Kaufman, netLibrary president and CEO. “We are pleased to work with SIRSI to provide the best possible e-book architecture and service to our public, academic, corporate, and other special customers.”

SIRSI, Syndetics Solutions
The SIRSI and Syndetics Solutions alliance enables libraries to provide end-users with more online information about a book than ever before. Through SIRSI’s iBistro, when library users search for a book, they can view not only the title, author, and call number, but also the book’s cover, table of contents, summary, and author’s biography. Users can determine whether a book is a match for their interests without having to retrieve it from the stacks or sort through multiple print resources. In addition, librarians can utilize this readily available, easy-to-use information to determine whether a particular book is appropriate for specific readers, such as children or outreach users.

SIRSI’s iBistro Internet Access Center is designed to help libraries better serve the needs of today’s online information seekers. Using iBistro, library patrons can search a library’s catalog; visit other libraries; peruse high-quality Web sites; read book reviews, summaries, and other book information; and purchase books currently unavailable in the library, all from a single interface. Users can also personalize iBistro to create a MyBistro resource, where they receive information about new titles of interest just to them.

“Syndetics Solutions is committed to helping libraries deliver a new level of catalog access and descriptive bibliographic information for their users,” said Allan Graham, Syndetics Solutions’ marketing director. “Our alliance with SIRSI enables us, through iBistro, to provide a wide range of libraries with information that will enhance their public access services and their users’ library experience.”

Smith said: “Library users have always relied on a variety of sources to provide them with current book information that will aid them in selecting materials. Our alliance with Syndetics will enable libraries to provide users with access to that information from a simple, single online source.”

Syndetics Solutions, Inc. acts as a centralized collection and distribution center for “content data” for books currently in print. The company serves both booksellers and publishers alike by consolidating and standardizing data formats, and by providing the most cost-efficient method of gathering and disseminating the data for the widest audiences possible, according to the announcement.

SIRSI Unicorn
Unicorn will enable libraries of the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau and the Maryland Department of Legislative Services to make their collections and services easily accessible to legislators and staff through SIRSI’s Web-based online catalog, WebCat.

Established in 1901, the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau comprises three sections: Legal Services, Research Services, and the Theobald Legislative Library. The library has extensive collections pertaining to state, local, and federal government and issues related to the lawmaking process, as well as a large microfilm collection of drafting records, legislative committee hearing records, and clippings. It also serves as the repository for Wisconsin state documents. Marian Rogers, managing librarian, said: “Currently, users must come to the library to search our holdings. We do have an online catalog, but they must come here to use it. We look forward to offering a Web-based online catalog that legislators and staff can access from their offices. We are also pleased with the maturity and integration of the SIRSI system.”

The Maryland Department of Legislative Services Library has a 76,000-volume collection that includes Maryland laws and related legislative and legal materials, laws of other states, and public-policy materials. In addition to providing reference and research services, the library also serves as an official depository for the publications of Maryland state agencies and for all local codes published by county governments. Lynda Davis, legislative librarian of library and information services, said: “The library serves the legislative branch of government, including legislators, their staff, and legislative services staff—approximately 650 people. We chose SIRSI because we desired an integrated system with a Web OPAC that would provide desktop access for our users.”

Source: SIRSI Corp., Huntsville, AL, 256/704-7000;

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