Major donation to libraries means other universities benefit
McGill's massive library catalogue is now Internet accessible, thanks to a powerful web-based search engine: the Aleph 500 software designed by Israeli manufacturer Ex Libris and baptized internally as MUSE 2.
New Aleph 500 system provides global Internet link to McGill libraries
A new frontier in library technology has been crossed at McGill. The Universitys massive library catalogue is now Internet accessible, thanks to a powerful web-based search engine: the Aleph 500 software designed by Israeli manufacturer Ex-Libris and baptized internally as MUSE 2.
The purchase of the new Aleph 500 system was made possible through an alumnus gift; McGills second big donation announced within two weeks. While Richard Tomlinson made national headlines for giving the University a sizeable amount last week, the $1.5 million MUSE 2 funding was provided by Seymour Schulich, a McGill graduate (BSc 61, MBA 65) and Montreal-born businessman who is now chairman and CEO of the Toronto-based Franco-Nevada Mining Corporation Limited.
Journalists wishing to speak to Mr. Schulich are welcome to attend a special inauguration of the MUSE 2 system in the lobby of the McLennan Library Building (3459 McTavish St.) on June 5, 11 a.m. McGill Principal Bernard Shapiro and Ex-Libris staff will also be present.
McGills new Unix and Oracle-based system will allow:
- 1.7 million library items to be catalogued and accessible to everyone, everywhere, via web browsers (membership in the McGill libraries is $200 per year for the general public);
- the retrieval of information in French and English;
- the expansion of McGills book-sharing agreements with other university libraries, particularly Concordia University, its downtown educational neighbour;
- web access to McGills electronic publications, updated at a cost of $1 million per year;
- students to consult their library records, renew book loans and check for outstanding fines from home, whether home is in Rimouski, Paris or Hong Kong;
- easier searches of hard-to-find documents by allowing users to navigate through multiple library sites simultaneously.
"Soon internal documents -- from course evaluations to theses -- will be available through this system too," explains McGill libraries director Frances Groen. "Ex Libris Aleph 500 has given our libraries nothing less than a gateway to the world."
"By adopting the Aleph 500 system were now able to provide our members the convenience theyve come to expect from other on-line services," says Sharon Rankin, McGill Systems and Automation Librarian. "Its allowed us to offer the next generation of library services today."
Click here for more information on MUSE 2.