News from Ex Libris

Program: electronic library and information systems

ISSN: 0033-0337

Article publication date: 1 December 2004



(2004), "News from Ex Libris", Program: electronic library and information systems, Vol. 38 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

News from Ex Libris

News from Ex Libris

Beijing Normal University chooses MetaLib

Ex Libris has announced that Beijing Normal University has selected the MetaLib information portal with the SFX context-sensitive linking server to provide management tools and services for its ever-increasing electronic resources. Four years ago, Beijing Normal University became the first Ex Libris ALEPH 500 customer in both China and Asia.

Ontario consortium chooses SFX

Ex Libris has announced that the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) in Canada has selected SFX, to provide linking services for all 20 OCUL members. The OCUL SFX system will be hosted at the University of Toronto.

“The OCUL members see SFX as an integral part of the Ontario Scholars Portal services,” commented Leslie Weir, chair of the OCUL Scholarly Information Resources project. “SFX will facilitate linking to over 6,000,000 journal articles from the more than 4,500 electronic journals available through one of the Scholars Portal systems. Research, teaching and learning by faculty and students of the 20 Ontario universities will be enhanced through the capabilities of SFX.”

The OCUL membership comprises the following institutions, representing a range of library management systems: Brock University, Carleton University, University of Guelph, Lakehead University, Laurentian University, McMaster University, Nipissing University, Ontario College of Art and Design, Ontario Institute of Technology, University of Ottawa, Queen’s University, Royal Military College of Canada, Ryerson University, University of Toronto, Trent University, University of Waterloo, University of Western Ontario, Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Windsor, York University. The University of Calgary and the University of Manitoba are among the growing number of SFX customers that have opted for the Ex Libris-hosted SFX subscription service.

Established in 1967, OCUL has a long history of collaboration and co-operation among its member institutions. OCUL’s Ontario Scholars Portal initiative supports more than 350,000 faculty members and students at Ontario universities by drawing together, in a unified framework, access to electronic full-text resources, index and abstract databases, numerical and statistical data, and geospatial data. Together, the holdings of the 20 Ontario university libraries include over 31,000,000 volumes. Access to, and delivery of, items in these collections are facilitated through a consortium-wide interlibrary loan and document delivery system.

DigiTool developments

Ex Libris has announced the release of DigiTool Version 2.4, a significant developmental milestone in the company’s powerful digital asset management solution. Among other new features, DigiTool Version 2.4 is designed specifically for managing institutional and national repositories, into which publishers submit material published in digital format. Originally developed to meet the needs of Ex Libris customers that serve as copyright deposit libraries such as the Royal Library of Belgium, Version 2.4 supports easy submission and cataloguing of digital objects and descriptive metadata through a new, Web-based user interface and workflow. The institution registers approved depositors who create and contribute records and associated metadata. Approvers accept, revise, or require revisions to these records. This interface is also exceptionally well suited to the creation of institutional digital repositories enabling non-staff users (professors, researchers, and graduate students) to contribute digital objects, such as e-theses, to the institution’s digital repository.

Support for qualified Dublin Core is handled through a user-friendly, forms-based Web interface featuring drop-down lists of Dublin Core elements and qualifiers. Staff choose desired elements, attach descriptive metadata and digital files, set file permissions and access levels, and save records. Thumbnails are created and full-text indexing takes place automatically upon upload. Objects and metadata are accessible via the DigiTool Web interface.

Modern library, archive and museum collections contain an ever-increasing amount of digital content - text, image, audio and video. Institutions managing digital assets require tools to organise this content as a distinct collection to be shared with a growing number of end users and other organisations. DigiTool is a stand-alone product that enables organisations of any size to manage existing digital content or to embark on the digitisation of a collection.

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven chooses ALEPH

The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U. Leuven) has decided to replace its DOBIS/LIBIS system with ALEPH 500. Professor Vervenne, Chairman of the Library Council, said “We chose ALEPH 500 after a very thorough selection process, from which ALEPH clearly emerged as the system best suited to bringing our library and information services in tune with the high educational and research ambitions of our university. The Ex Libris software will also be used to serve the LIBIS network (LIBIS-Net) including several academic institutions and specialised libraries such as the Belgian Parliament, the Flemish Parliament, and KBC Banking and Insurance. We also have an option under which we shall acquire Ex Libris’ MetaLib portal software and SFX context-sensitive referencing tool. We really look forward to this partnership with Ex Libris.”

Situated at the heart of Western Europe, near Brussels in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, K.U. Leuven has been a centre of learning for almost six centuries. Founded in 1425, K.U. Leuven bears the honour of being the oldest Catholic University in the world still in existence. The university is composed of 14 faculties, 50 departments and about 240 research units.

The university library consists of the Central Library, two campus libraries and nine faculty libraries. Today, the library houses a total of 4,500,000 volumes and about 15,000 periodicals. Since 1977 the K.U. Leuven also houses the LIBIS network (LIBIS-Net), the largest library network in Belgium holding almost 4.5 million volumes.

Ex Libris is a leading worldwide developer and provider of high-performance applications for libraries, information centres and researchers. Ex Libris’ ALEPH integrated library solution has been installed at over 1,250 sites and consortia in 51 countries. MetaLib, the information portal for library collections, and SFX, the context-sensitive link server for heterogeneous electronic resources in the scholarly information environment, have been adopted by more than 600 institutions in 32 countries. The DigiTool product, for the construction of digital collections as a component of an overall digital strategy, rounds out the Ex Libris product suite.

For further information please contact: Ex Libris (UK) Ltd, Bridge House, 119-23 Station Rd, Hayes, Middlesex UB3 4BX. Tel: +44(0) 20 8561 5614; Fax: +44(0) 20 8561 5634; E-mail: URL:

Related articles