A Long-Term Solution for Library Technology
Through two decades, University of Hong Kong Libraries have turned to Innovative to address their most pressing technology needs. During the early nineties, the Libraries struggled to find and implement an overall library technology solution that would support a deep and extensive Chinese-language library— without character-handling problems, maintaining separate or home-grown systems, or extensive cataloging woes. In 1996, Innovative presented a solution in Millennium that included Unicode® character support, and the market-first web-based online catalog.
“At the time there were almost no other vendors offering Chinese support. Since that time, the selection of Innovative has been a very good decision,” says Dr. Anthony Ferguson, University Librarian. “Having an integrated Chinese system has allowed us to merge our Western and Chinese operations into one rational work flow that has enabled us to make much better use of our existing staff.”
Later in the partnership, when the Libraries faced the challenge of creating the first cost-effective resource-sharing partnership in Hong Kong, Innovative was again ready with a solution. With Innovative behind them, the Libraries took the lead in a Hong Kong INN-Reach pilot project, initiated in January of 2004, which made over 3 million items available for direct borrowing from a union catalog.
“The new INN-Reach system was found to be much cheaper than operating a traditional ILL system. Items were 42% less expensive to lend and 45% less expensive to borrow,” says Ferguson. “Turnaround was also faster with 95% of patron requests met within two working days, compared with only 9% of ILL requests. INN-Reach simply makes life easier and is a convenient system for academic libraries exchanging books and other materials.” During the initial project, over 6,700 items were requested and delivered with a user satisfaction rate of 80%. In July 2005, the system expanded to include all eight tertiary education institutions in Hong Kong.
“We’re also taking advantage of WebBridge, MetaFind, and many other Innovative offerings,” says Ferguson. “Each one extends the Libraries’ service to its users and improves how we are perceived by University administration. The partnership between our Library and Innovative has been a long-term achievement and we expect to see many more successes in the future.”
Unicode® is a registered trademark of the Unicode Consortium.