AIT library upgrade makes use of Web

When AIT students return to study this year they will encounter quite a different library system to the one they left last year - with resources they can access without even setting foot on campus. The library went live with the latest version (6.0) of URiCA, a library system from Sanderson New Zealand, in December. The PCs in the library were upgraded at the same time, moving to Windows NT. Anyone can access the catalogue via the Internet -- and plenty already have -- but only students (using a password) can access the electronic resources that the library pays a licence for.

When AIT students return to study this year they will encounter quite a different library system to the one they left last year — with resources they can access without even setting foot on campus.

The library went live with the latest version (6.0) of URiCA, a library system from Sanderson New Zealand, in December. The PCs in the library were upgraded at the same time, moving to Windows NT.

AIT director of information services Wendy Bussen says she is delighted with the system.

“It’s going really well. With any implementation, especially a system that large, you are always going to have teething problems as you go along. But the good thing about project management is as long as you face problems one at a time as they come along then you solve them. Really, I would say it was a very smooth implementation.”

Bussen describes the new library system as leading edge.

When the students are back, they will be able not only to access the library catalogue and electronic resources from anywhere on campus, but remotely as well.

“We’re getting hits on it from all over the world at the moment.” Anyone can access the catalogue, but only students (using a password) can access the electronic resources that the library pays a licence for.

Bussen says a lot of publishers are providing resources online which AIT will be able to link into, as they appear.

“Say you use the Journal of Information Technology for research. That’s published in the UK. Once that comes online and we pay our licences for it, then we just make a link to it.

“In the past students doing research would actually go into the library and search a CD-ROM for a particular index and then wait for a copy of it to come from the UK, or if we had the journal physically on the shelves, they’d take a photocopy of it. So it’s taken away all that.”

Bussen says AIT has a commitment for the use of education technology within education delivery.

“For our students doing research, this is certainly going to help them out.”

URiCA integrates all the previously standalone systems (such as the catalogue, the electronic database and the archive) into one. The AIT library site can be found at: www.ait.ac.nz/library/.

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