Altarama Information Systems announced that it has acquired the VRLplus business from the Docutek division of SirsiDynix, Inc. Altarama, a provider of digital reference tools, has already assumed day-to-day responsibility for customer support and product development, aided by former Docutek technical experts. The Virtual Reference Librarian plus (VRLplus) system is used to provide live reference services over the web by over 200 academic, public, special and school libraries and consortia in North American, Europe and Australasia. It provides a web portal that invites online chat, and a management system that ensures that multiple library staff can deliver an online reference service with all the required chat, file sharing and co-browsing functions.
Altarama's flagship product, RefTracker, is a tool for managing and responding to all of the requests that come into a library. Reference staff create web forms for use by patrons to submit requests online, and by staff members to capture more traditional requests (walk-up, phone, fax, etc.). Librarians use its tools to communicate with the patron via email, phone, letters, SMS/texting, and Instant Messaging, and in concert with chat reference products to manage off-line completion of queries that cannot be completed online. RefTracker is used by public, academic, corporate, law and government libraries, and by other information management organizations around the world.