Joint uni library system goes live

The Conzulsys consortium of university libraries has finished the first phase of implementing its combined and centralised "information and resource access management system" or IRAMS.

The Conzulsys consortium of university libraries has finished the first phase of implementing its combined and centralised “information and resource access management system” or IRAMS (see Universities link libraries).

The core modules of the system, covering acquisitions and serials, circulation, cataloguing and online user access to the catalogue, are running at Auckland University of Technology and Waikato and Otago universities.

Victoria University of Wellington will follow with the core modules in December. This is scheduled later than the other institutions because of VUW’s internal priorities, says Rosemary Hudson, deputy librarian at Otago and chair of the project steering committee.

The project puts all four universities on a centralised platform, hosted by Datacom. US-based Endeavor [sic] Information Systems provides the software, known as Voyager.

The centralised implementation puts New Zealand universities up with the state-of-the art in most university libraries around the world and ahead of many of them, says Hudson.

The University of Auckland bought Voyager independently five years ago. Conzulsys is hoping to establish links so Auckland can assist it with the implementation of remaining parts of the system, says Hudson. It has particular experience in Encompass for Resource Access, part of the planned system that assists online access to external digital databases. This is part of Phase 2 of the Conzulsys implementation, which will also include Link Finder, for indexing and linking to online resources, media scheduling (booking of rooms, equipment and recorded material), and interlibrary loans.

Phase 2 is due for completion in February next year. Later in 2004, Conzulsys will move to Phase 3, which includes cataloguing and access to the universities’ own internal digital objects; these include “basically anything that has been scanned”, says Hudson – pictures, documents, even 3D objects. The National Library is already using the pertinent software, Encompass for Digital Objects, and is likely to prove helpful in the Consulsys implementation.

Canterbury University went in a different direction some years ago, buying the Dynix Horizon system. Lincoln and Massey, however, are at the stage where they will be looking for new systems.

“One option for them is to join Conzulsys,” Hudson says.

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