Information Today
Volume 18, Issue 9 October 2001
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VTLS, Inc. Introduces Chameleon Gateway XBS, Announces Virtua Implementations

VTLS, Inc. has announced that, in partnering with Syndetic Solutions, Inc., it now offers extended bibliographic services to libraries and institutions with the Chameleon Gateway XBS, a fully customizable Web OPAC for Virtua ILS (Integrated Library Systems). VTLS also announced the implementation of Virtua at the Jewish Public Library (JPL) in Montreal, three university libraries in Sweden, and two libraries in Spain.

Chameleon Gateway XBS
According to the company, XBS is seamlessly integrated with VTLS' Web-based Chameleon Gateway. Libraries already using the Virtua ILS with the Chameleon Gateway can quickly install and activate XBS content. VTLS' Chameleon Gateway XBS provides additional content that extends and complements information already present in a title's bibliographic record. By simply clicking on an icon or link in the Web OPAC, library patrons can access a variety of content relating to a particular title. This information covers art images, tables of contents, book reviews from industry publications, excerpts, synopses and annotations, author notes, and fiction and biography headings.

Chameleon Gateway XBS benefits library patrons in several ways. It provides a simple and intuitive means for patrons to retrieve information on items that interest them. XBS also helps patrons find the desired information about an item and increases the overall satisfaction with library services. With XBS, libraries can provide enhanced content at very affordable prices.

Jewish Public Library
Montreal's Jewish Public Library completed its migration to Virtua ILS this month, citing the system's full Unicode support as one of the features that will offer better service to patrons.

"The Unicode features of Virtua and Windows 2000 have enabled us to better serve our multilingual community with a much more user-oriented OPAC and have offered us a more streamlined process of checks and balances in our cataloging procedures," said Eddie Paul, head of technical services at JPL.

According to the company, Virtua ILS is the only system currently on the market that fully complies with the Unicode standard on both the client and server levels. Virtua stores data in Unicode so that users may import, catalog, and display records in any language or change interface languages with a click of a button. With Unicode as an integral part of the design, Virtua can also store multiple scripts within the same MARC tag or subfield, allowing users to search for the same records in different languages.

"For the first time, we will be opening up access to our Yiddish and Hebrew holdings, approximately 40 percent of our collection, through our [Virtua Chameleon] Web Gateway, and users will be able to browse a previously inaccessible collection of material unique in North America," said Paul.

Swedish Universities
Sweden's three largest university libraries, Uppsala University Library (UUL), Lund University Libraries, and Goteborg University Library (GUL), have completed their migration to Virtua ILS.

UUL was founded in 1620 and is the largest and oldest university library in Sweden, with over 5.4 million volumes in its collections. During the last decade, UUL has evolved into a network of libraries consisting of the main library, Carolina Rediviva, and 15 branches.

With its seven facilities, science centers, and special university colleges, Lund University is the largest center for research and higher education in Scandinavia. In order to satisfy all the university libraries' needs, VTLS staff had to merge 14 separate databases together, move over 1.3 million bibliographic records to a new MARC format, and then migrate the system to Virtua.

GUL conducted a 2-year evaluation of all major library automation solutions before choosing Virtua ILS. According to the review committee, several factors differentiated Virtua from other solutions. First, the system's adherence to standards, including Z39.50 and Unicode, were attractive to the committee. Second, Virtua's truly open and modern architecture was appealing. Third, the committee found the overall flexibility in Virtua's design, including a commitment to continue to support Swedish MARC format (SweMARC), to be an important factor.

Ranking second in Sweden in the number of books it lends each year, GUL consists of seven library units and holds over 3 million volumes in its collections. The library also manages more than 14,000 periodicals and grows by a gross volume of about 50,000 books per year.

Spanish Libraries
The Caixa Laietana Bank and Diputació de Barcelona, both in Spain, are scheduled to go live with Virtua by the end of this year.

The Caixa Laietana Bank houses a public library and has locations in the cities of Mataro and Argentona, Spain. Previously, Caixa Laietana Bank's library used a modified version of Micro VTLS, a PC-based product. The library will join Virtua with an eight-user license and will implement Virtua's OPAC, Cataloging and Authority Control, System Client, Language Editor, Statistics and Reporting, Circulation, Serials Control, and Chameleon Web Gateway subsystems. The bank's libraries have over 80,000 titles, 1,000 of which are serials. In total the libraries have over 120,000 item records and serve 15,000 patrons. Caixa Laietana is currently in the process of migrating to Virtua. It is scheduled to go live by the end of December.

Fons d'Història Local represents a retrospective book collection comprising bibliographic information that was formerly located in several different libraries. Currently, more than 80,000 bibliographic records about Catalan history and information in this database will be migrated to Virtua and will be available to people worldwide via Virtua's Chameleon Gateway.

For the purposes of the main database at Diputació de Barcelona, the consortium has decided to use Virtua's Acquisitions subsystem, which now offers libraries the ability to manage centralized acquisition and distribution of items. This new functionality in Virtua's Acquisitions subsystem is called Distribution Groups. This feature allows the central acquisitions department to create different distribution groups. Once created, orders may be placed for one or more distribution groups. The librarian may also select specific libraries to be excluded from group orders if so desired. When using Distribution Groups, the librarian can identify the library locations that have ordered copies, determine how many copies have been ordered by each location, and then distribute the copies. Distribution Groups have been developed by VTLS and will be implemented in Diputació de Barcelona by the end of the year.

Source: VTLS, Inc., Blacksburg, VA, 540/557-1200;

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