Tauranga library takes interim steps toward full upgrade

Tauranga District Libraries wants a new library management system which will allow people to tap into the library’s resources, and eventually district council information, over the Internet.

Library and information services manager Jane Nees says there has been a “stop-gap measure” involving upgrading the library hardware, and its existing URiCA 5.1a software to URiCA 5.1b, before looking at a bigger upgrade.

The Tauranga District Council allowed the temporary measure because the library was growing.

“We were unable to cope with the demands on the library system — we were having very, very slow response rates.”

The council then funded the library to evaluate new systems. However, there is no guarantee the council will fund the new system. The library will make a recommendation to the council in December, and if successful, it will be able to purchase it in the 1998-1999 financial year. If it’s unsuccessful Nees says the library will have to try again next year.

Nees says the library wants a system that will be searchable over the Internet.

“And we want it to be capable of integrating our CD-ROM network and other databases with one user interface. We are hoping it will interface with the council intranet, currently in development.”

Nees says that intranet will probably be developed further and become an external customer interface.

“People would have one interface and they could access council information and access library information through the Web. That’s looking down the track.”

Nees says the library also wants a user- friendly Windows/GUI interface.

The library requires the ability to index and store full text documents and store images so it can provide an integrated information service in future.

Nees says the library is not ruling out an upgrade to URiCA 6.0, which she says has a lot of the functionality the library is looking for.

“URiCA version 6.0 will be a hot player — but rather than just going out and saying we’ll upgrade to this version, we want to make certain we’re choosing something that will meet our needs for the future.”

She says the library is unlikely to go for an unproven technology.

“We would want to have something that’s operating well in public libraries and is supported well in New Zealand.”

She says the library has not yet thought about Network Computers, but it will look at all the solutions offered.

The system must be year 2000 compliant and be capable of supporting 100 terminal sessions, a database size of 200,000 bibliographic records, 350,000 items and an issue rate of 150,000 a month — with good response times.

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