Sirsi Acquires Docutek, Joins Normative Data Project for Libraries, Partners with Bluesocket on WLAN Security; Partners with Rittenhouse Book Distributors

Jan 18, 2005


Sirsi Corporation has acquired Docutek Information Systems Inc., announced participation in the Normative Data Project for Libraries, partnered with Bluesocket, Inc. to deliver security and management to library WLANs, and has announced that it is working with Rittenhouse Book Distributors, Inc. to provide enhanced functionality for placing electronic book orders.

Sirsi and Docutek Information Systems Inc. have jointly announced that Sirsi has acquired Docutek, a library technology company whose focus is on eresource and elearning solutions. Now a wholly owned subsidiary of Sirsi, Docutek will continue to design, develop, sell, and support its Docutek ERes, Docutek VRLplus, and Docutek atSchool products. Docutek's offices, personnel, and day-to-day operations remain virtually unchanged. The new Docutek subsidiary will be an independent business unit that reports up to Sirsi's board of directors and CEO. Dr. Philip Kesten, Docutek's VP of marketing and co-founder will retain his role in the new Docutek subsidiary, as will Yonn Samuels, Docutek's director of engineering. Other development, support, and sales personnel within Docutek also remain unchanged. Nathan Vince, president and CEO of Docutek, and Slaven Zivkovic, Docutek's VP of technology and co-founder, will pursue other interests.

Library community organizations, including hundreds of libraries in North America, the GeoLib Program at Florida State University, and Sirsi Corporation, have announced the Normative Data Project for Libraries (NDP). The goals of this cooperative effort are: to compile transaction-level data from libraries throughout North America, to link library data with geographic and demographic data on communities served by libraries, and to empower library decision-makers to compare and contrast their institutions with real-world industry norms on circulation, collections, finances, and other parameters. NDP data and reports will be available online in the second quarter of 2005.

More than 700 library outlets are contributing data to the project; data for 10.5 million unique titles and 30 million copies are contained in these libraries' collections. Additional libraries continue to be added, with plans to have data from approximately 500 library systems and 2,500 library outlets in the NDP database. Library leaders and other organizations, companies, or individuals interested in accessing data and reports from NDP will be able to do so online beginning in the second quarter of this year. Statistics for the library community will be available free of charge, along with other resources. Access to NDP's full reporting and analyses capabilities will be provided via subscription.

Sirsi has also announced a partnership with Bluesocket, Inc., a vendor of open-systems wireless local area network (WLAN) systems, to deliver security and management to library WLANs. Bluesocket's Wireless Gateways are designed to integrate seamlessly with Sirsi's patron authentication servers, preventing unauthorized user access while allowing library patrons simple and secure authentication to the library's WLAN network. Library administrators can control user access to its servers and services and manage bandwidth usage on incoming and outgoing traffic.

Additionally, Sirsi will be collaborating with Rittenhouse Book Distributors, Inc. to provide enhanced functionality for placing book orders electronically through electronic data interchange (EDI) using the x12 protocol. The two companies will also complete functionality for online book ordering via the Sirsi 9XX Loader. This partnership is intended to enable Sirsi libraries using the Unicorn Library Management System to electronically order, invoice, and receive materials from Rittenhouse quickly and more efficiently. Rittenhouse Book Distributors, Inc. is an aggregator of print and digital content and provides access to products, services, and information for health sciences, scientific, and technical publishing.