Schools gain access to online library system

Schools will be able to rent library management software over the web from application service provider Jade Direct by the end of this month.

Schools will be able to rent library management software over the web from application service provider Jade Direct by the end of this month.

The system, called .eLM, runs on Windows NT. It was developed by Christchurch-based Contec Group International using the Jade programming language.

After looking at the product, Jade Direct decided to offer schools the option of renting .eLM online.

Jade Direct general manager Ken Camp says delivering the library management and cataloguing system through the ASP model will make it more affordable for small schools.

The company is proposing a package of cashbook, .eLM and a timetabling system for a monthly fee of $1 per pupil.

The ASP offering will be marketed to New Zealand’s 2700 schools and in Australia, which has 11,000 schools.

In New Zealand Jade Direct is working with Telecom because schools will need a high-speed service such as JetStream to run the system online.

“It does work over dial-up,” says Camp, “but realistically if you’ve got 100 kids checking out books, you want a bit of bandwidth.”

So far 25 schools around the country have bought .eLM, Jade says, and are running it on their servers.

Contec managing director Tama Haas expects to have 300 schools using it by the end of the year.

It is multilingual and can convert plain English cataloguing instructions into Mark — the library cataloguing system used around the world.

As well as schools, several textile companies in Australia and New Zealand, including Wardlaw-St. James, Mokum Textiles, Textilia, and Unique Fabriques, have bought the system to track circulation of samples.

Contec has been writing library software for 25 years.

Its original DOS-based systems Catalyst and Image 2 have more than 500 customers worldwide including NZ Post, NZ Lotteries Commission, Australian Securities Commission, all the polytechs in Queensland, Christchurch Polytech, Macquarrie Bank in Australia.

The company, which has 40 staff, also develops a dairy analysis system called MadCap that is used by dairy companies around the world.

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