Nov. 24, 2006 – Softlink Europe’s new release of its powerful library management software solution for schools, Oliver, combines many innovative new features with a new content management solution to enable educational establishments to create their own customisable library webpage. Oliver 3.5 will be available from the end of November and is a free upgrade for existing Oliver customers. The new release will be on show for the first time to the public at the Online Show in November on stand 710.
Iain Dunbar, director of Softlink Europe explains, “We believe the new release of Oliver is the most innovative and user friendly school library system yet devised. We’ve had an excellent response from our focus groups and roadshows, with librarians particularly impressed by the new alerting and help features.”
Dunbar explains some of the key new features, “The developments include an innovative new ‘Things to do’ list and ‘Alerts’ which pop up when the user logs on, meaning that the librarian can see key tasks to do at a glance – this might include 27 loans overdue, 9 reserves expired and 4 orders that are late. Effectively the system does some of the thinking for you and brings priority tasks to the forefront of the system and the librarian’s mind. Information professionals can click on the items on the ‘to do’ list to go straight through to the relevant part of the system such as purchase orders, whilst on the left hand side of the screen the ‘menu tree’ will show where the user is in the drop down menu, ie in ‘acquisitions’ for orders.”
He continues, “The Wizard help function is also a key part of the new Oliver – and has been revolutionised in response to our customer focus groups and research and development team’s suggestions.” It uses ‘movie style’ tools which mimic the screen moves a user would make by capturing and annotating the moves, to lead librarians through a processes which they carry out infrequently or for novice users. Users can select the speed of replay that suits them and can pause, stop and start or select a specific point in the video to begin the video. Dunbar adds, “Librarians can now gain help passively by text in the traditional way or interactively using animated capture files. The movie-style help is a first for library management systems.”
Oliver can run over the web or over a network, making it suitable for any school environment whether or not highly advanced in terms of IT systems and allowing management and pupil users to access it from any PC not just those within the library itself.
Schools can now develop their own library webpage for each branch of the library by tailoring the front page of the OPAC to show up to six different news or information areas using Oliver’s content management system. Even novice IT users can edit the colours and fonts on the screen to their own preferences and branding.
Oliver can now output whatever information users want, in whatever order they want. Librarians can search for information full-text to make their own customisable reports, sort the results in the order they require and export them to Microsoft Office applications.
Librarians can decide which information sources they would like Oliver to search and can allow users to search for information in places that they didn’t even know existed. Oliver carries out a full text search as standard on any PDF, Word or Excel files which have been attached to library records and an upgrade allows users to access files on the school’s Wide Area Network. The federated search option allows users to search up to 4000 external information sources.
Pupils can now log into the OPAC and can immediately see the status of their items on loan, reserved or overdue. Attractive visual images of items are available immediately as cover images are now automatically updated to the records. Icons are used to show at a glance whether items are videos, books, web links etc. Students can also carry out catalogue searches direct from the school’s library home page making the library service more integrated than previously. Dunbar adds, “Schools are particularly keen on our new ‘Did you mean’ facility which helps users whose spelling is not accurate or who mistype a search term to receive suggestions from the catalogue without having a 100% accurate match to catalogue items.”
To find out more about Oliver, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Softlink’s website, www.softlink.co.uk
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