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Libraries' computer upgrades

Libraries' computer upgrades

North Shore City's libraries are faced with a major upgrade of their computer software and systems.

The current DRA software, in operation since 1986, will no longer be supported by its original developer. Last year DRA was sold to another company, which will stop development, and support is likely to be withdrawn within the next two years.

North Shore City's community services and parks committee heard that the council will need to buy and maintain new software for its library service, and transfer catalogue and other information systems to a new supplier.

Committee chairperson, Margaret Miles, says the automated library management system is the key tool that makes it possible to provide a library service to the city's 200,000 residents, and it is imperative that a new software solution be found.

"Other libraries in the Auckland region have been using this same software for many years, and we have formed a consortium with four other councils to seek a package that will properly serve all our needs," says Councillor Miles.

"We expect there to be significant cost savings in working together and buying any new software and services, and we are currently talking to software vendors.

"In this way we can be sure to get the most cost-effective solution, and one that will cope with the current and future needs of a modern, technology driven library system," she says.

It is expected that current hardware will be compatible with any new system, although there will be costs of approximately $850,000 associated with new licences, staff training and data transfer. Detailed final cost estimates will be available early next year, and the final estimate will be put in the long-term council community plan for the financial year 2004/05, and the following two years.

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