Information Today
Volume17, Number 2 • February 2000
Libraries Select SIRSI’s Unicorn Library Management System

SIRSI Corp. has announced that the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL), Indiana University, and the U.S. Air Force have selected its Unicorn Library Management System to automate their libraries.

The DC Public Library
The DCPL, which has served users throughout the District of Columbia for more than 100 years, will use SIRSI’s Unicorn System to automate the Martin Luther King Memorial Library and 26 branch libraries. Mary E. (Molly) Raphael, DCPL’s director, said, “I have made customer service a major focus throughout the DCPL system. The SIRSI system is an important component in our goal for excellent service, not only for our external customers, but also for internal customers.”

Established in 1896 in a house on New York Avenue, the District of Columbia Public Library has expanded to include the 400,000-square-foot G Street main facility, four regional branch libraries, 17 local branch libraries, four community libraries, and a kiosk. As the number of buildings has grown, so have the services offered by the library. The combined DCPL collection includes approximately 3 million items, including books, periodicals, books on tape, videotapes, compact discs, filmstrips, talking books, Braille books and periodicals, and musical scores. In addition to regular exhibits and educational programs, the DCPL offers special services for blind, deaf, physically handicapped, homebound, and institutionalized users; mobile service for senior citizens; licensed family day-care providers for children; telephone information services; and a systemwide Community Information Service.

Raphael said: “The Unicorn System will play an integral part in the DCPL’s ability to meet the anticipated goals of our strategic plan. As we move into the 21st century, I am very excited about rolling out this state-of-the-art integrated online system. It not only will allow us to continue to provide services to meet the needs of the traditional library user, it makes available services to attract the non-user and introduces improved services for the sophisticated user.”

Indiana University Libraries
Indiana University will use the Unicorn System to automate the collections of the libraries on its main and outlying campuses.

Suzanne Thorin, Ruth Lilly University dean of university libraries, said: “Following a thorough and careful evaluation of library information systems currently on the market, Indiana University found the Unicorn system to clearly be state of the art for providing the Web-based library services that are critical to the university. The Unicorn System will enable the university to provide electronic access to library resources through a World Wide Web-based online catalog.”

According to the announcement, the Indiana University Libraries comprise one of the leading academic research library systems in North America, providing strong collections, quality service and instructional programs, and leadership in the application of information technologies. The system includes libraries on the main campus in Bloomington, Indiana, as well as libraries at the Indianapolis, Columbus, Fort Wayne, Richmond, Kokomo, Gary, South Bend, and New Albany campuses. The Bloomington campus libraries include the Main Library, 16 campus libraries that support specific schools or departments, the world-renowned Lilly Library for rare books and manuscripts, the Indiana University Archives, and the 1840s home of the university’s first president. Indiana University’s Digital Library Program, which encompasses all campuses, makes unique collections—from historic photographs to audio recordings—available online.

Michael McRobbie, Indiana University’s vice president for information technology and chief information officer, said, “SIRSI will be an integral partner as we build upon and expand our library services and digital library program to support research, teaching, and learning at Indiana University.” He noted that the University’s goal is to provide reliable access to a comprehensive and coordinated collection of electronic information resources to both on-campus and remote users.

Air Force Bases
The U.S. Air Force has chosen the Unicorn System to automate 10 base libraries. According to the announcement, this integration tool was selected to provide an information resource that is powerful yet easy. The bases include Dover AFB, Delaware; Cannon AFB, New Mexico; Shaw AFB, South Carolina; Mountain Home AFB, Idaho; MacDill AFB, Florida; Minot AFB, North Dakota; Moody AFB, Georgia; Hurlburt Field AFB, Florida; Altus AFB, Oklahoma; and Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona.

According to the announcement, providing high-quality libraries is an important part of the Air Force morale and welfare program to counter the disconnection of many military families from their extended family and friends. SIRSI’s WebCat Online Public Access catalog will provide online access for the entire base community. Patrons can track developments at their previous duty stations, access local events at their current bases, or obtain information about their next assignments. In addition, SIRSI’s WorkFlows staff client will assist library staff with everyday administration tasks.

Source: SIRSI Corp., Huntsville, AL, 256/704-7000; Fax: 256/704-7007;

Table of Contents Information Today Home Page