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Kiwi Firm To Help Put Librarians Online

Online Librarian Project

A collaborative project between public and school libraries, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna M*tauranga o Aotearoa and the Ministry of Education

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Kiwi firm to help put librarians online

A New Zealand company has beaten off international competition to host the software behind a new website to help Kiwi school students.

The Online Librarian Project team, comprising people from public and school libraries, the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna M*tauranga o Aotearoa and the Ministry of Education, has named Docutek VRLplus hosted by Datacom as the preferred solution for the soon-to-be launched Anyquestions.co.nz service.

Docutek Information Systems provides innovative virtual reference software for academic and public library reference services overseas, such as Notre Dame University Library and the Swedish Librarian on Duty service.

The system will be hosted entirely in New Zealand by Datacom, and will offer English and te reo M*ori pathways into the service.

Anyquestions.co.nz will initially be available Monday to Friday 1-6 pm and operated by trained library staff who, using interactive "chat-type" software, will guide students through the Internet to find the right info at the right level, right when they need it.

Project manager, Michaela O'Donovan, said: " It's a really exciting project, and we're all so pleased that against international competition, the locally hosted solution came out as the most effective and suitable.

"This whole service is aimed at helping connect Kiwi school children with relevant information when and where they need it, and the solution being offered by Docutek and Datacom is a big step towards that.

"As a New Zealand based solution it offers quicker response times for students, which is of real importance to those outside the main towns and cities, as well as localised support for us so we can keep the service running.

"We're now looking forward to fully developing the system, before going live in November."

The Online Librarian project, funded by a $250,000 grant from Sun Microsystems, is a collaborative project between National Library of New Zealand, Auckland, Manukau, Wellington and Christchurch City Libraries, the Horowhenua Library Trust, Ministry of Education, Te Kete Ipurangi Joint Venture, the Correspondence School and the School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa.

ENDS


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