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Seven Early Adopters Select URM from Ex Libris for Next-Generation Library Services

Prestigious institutions and two major consortia in Australia and New Zealand form the first regional Collaborative Partnership Program

(PresseBox) (Jerusalem, Israel and Adelaide, Australia, ) Ex Libris® Group, a world leader in the provision of library automation solutions, is pleased to announce the establishment of the Collaborative Partnership Program for Australia and New Zealand. Designed as a regional early adopters program, the program will facilitate long-term collaboration between Ex Libris and the program partners during their adoption of the company's Unified Resource Management (URM) Framework, a platform for the delivery of next-generation library services.

The following institutions are members of the Collaborative Partnership Program:

- Monash University
- Swinburne University of Technology
- University of Western Sydney
- A consortium of South Australian universities that comprises Flinders University, the University of South Australia, and the University of Adelaide
- UNILINC-a network of academic and research libraries including the Australian Catholic University, Charles Sturt University, and Southern Cross University

As members of the first group in a series of regional collaborative programs, these institutions will play a significant role in the Ex Libris initiative to accelerate and facilitate the transition to next?generation library services and management systems for major libraries worldwide. The Collaborative Partnership Program kicked off in October 2010 with a series of seminars and workshops in Melbourne, Australia.

"We are very excited to begin working with Ex Libris and the other URM collaborative partners," commented Cathrine Harboe-Ree, University Librarian at Monash University. "This is a unique opportunity to join the nascent URM customer community, and to shape its long-term evolution. We are particularly pleased that the collaborative program will emphasize the needs of libraries in the Australia and New Zealand region."

Ex Libris is also continuing its extensive development work for URM with four development partners-Purdue University Library, Boston College, Princeton University Library, and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U.Leuven) in Belgium, a Small Libraries Advisory Group, and a series of focus group sessions involving customers that represent institutions worldwide.

Derek Whitehead, Library Director at Swinburne University of Technology, remarked: "As users of a full suite of Ex Libris solutions, we believe that URM can provide us with a complete and streamlined framework for managing our library's diverse print, electronic, and digital collections, and we are excited to have begun reviewing some elements of URM as one of the first early adopters. We are looking forward to developing extensions to the system in line with the Ex Libris open-platform strategy."

Rona Wade, Executive Director and CEO of UNILINC, said "We are very pleased to have this opportunity to bring our experience to the URM Regional Partnership program to help realize the dream of integrating disparate information management systems into the one unified solution".

"We are delighted to be launching this exciting collaboration program with such a distinguished group of customers, who have chosen the URM solution to manage their library resources," commented Bar Veinstein, vice president of resource management solutions at Ex Libris. He added: "URM manages materials of all types, drives collaboration across institutions, and accelerates the delivery of new value-added services. The development of URM is proceeding on schedule, following the deployment of the first partner release in June 2010 and with the second partner release due later this month. We are looking forward to working with the Australian and New Zealand collaborative partners to receive their valuable input over the coming months."

About URM

URM is a next-generation platform that supports the unified management of library operations-selection, acquisition, cataloging, management, and fulfillment-for the full spectrum of library materials, regardless of format or location. URM enables libraries to implement more streamlined workflows, to become more fully integrated with campus systems, and to leverage Web 2.0 and community features necessary for working in more collaborative ways. A centralized system for managing metadata along with a data-services environment provides new ways of creating, managing, and sharing metadata and other types of information that is common to all libraries.

By centralizing data services in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) environment, URM supports flexible models for collaboration across the functional spectrum-from cooperative collection development to more seamless sharing of metadata and resources with peer libraries. In this new network environment, libraries can join forces to optimize technical support, purchasing power, collections, and even staff knowledge and resources.

Über die Ex Libris (Deutschland) GmbH

Ex Libris is a leading provider of information management solutions for academic, national, and research libraries. Offering the only comprehensive product suite for electronic, digital, and print materials, Ex Libris provides efficient, user-friendly products that serve the needs of libraries today and will facilitate their transition into the future. Ex Libris maintains an impressive customer base consisting of thousands of sites in more than 75 countries on six continents.

Dedicated to developing creative solutions in close collaboration with customers, Ex Libris enables libraries to maximize productivity and efficiency and, at the same time, greatly enhance the user experience. By empowering users to discover and obtain the information they need, libraries ensure their position as the bridge to knowledge.

For additional information on Ex Libris Group, see our Web site, join us on Facebook, visit our Initiatives and Commentary blogs, and follow our Twitter page.

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