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Caithness News Bulletins January 2005

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highland libraries launch 24/7 service

Pauline chapman, Librarian Database Co-ordinator demonstrates to Councillor Andrew Anderson, Chairman of The Highland Council's Education, Culture and Sport Committee how the Talis Prism Highland Libraries Catalogue can be accessed any time, any place, anywhere.At The Highland Councilís Education, Culture and Sport Committee, today (Thurs 20th January, 2005), members saw a demonstration of the Highland Libraries on-line catalogue, which provides users with an internet-based interactive service 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Through the Councilís website www.highland.gov.uk , anyone can now access the Highland Libraries Catalogue and other sources such as the National Library of Scotland and the British Library.  People with current library cards can renew loans, request items and review their borrower accounts, as well as accessing a range of electronic reference materials, newspaper files and business information.

The Highland Libraries Catalogue has been developed for The Highland Council in partnership with Talis and Fujitsu.

Following a ten year programme to automate customer services and backroom operations in community libraries and extending into school libraries, all 43 built (which includes 5 community schools) and 12 mobile community libraries are now live on the system along with all backroom operations at the Councilís Library Support Unit in the Longman area, Inverness. An additional 10 school library sites are also live helping to provide a one-step access to information and learning.

Councillor Andrew Anderson, Chairman of The Highland Councilís Education Culture and Sport Committee said: "Being able to access the Highland Libraries Catalogue by yourself in the comfort of your own home will make a huge difference to many people. Library opening hours donít always suit everyone so being able to access the service at times to suit is a huge benefit."

Pauline Chapman, Librarian Database Co-ordinator said: "The Highland Council has a duty to ensure access for all people to library and information resources and the introduction of Talis Prism will ensure that anyone can access the Highland Libraries Catalogue, as long as they have internet access, any time, any place any where.

At the same time as the library automation programme, Peopleís Network has been implemented in libraries throughout Highland. A UK Government initiative financed by the Big Lottery Fund, Peopleís Network has provided in Highland: ICT training for library staff; internet access in all built libraries and the creation of electronic content on the Am Baile website.

Christopher Phillips, Highland Councilís Lifelong Learning Manager said: "We will continue to maintain and develop Talis Prism to meet our users ever changing and emerging needs. We have plans to automate the remaining secondary school libraries form par of the Modernising Government Fund Round 3 (MGF3) bid. Also through partnership with the Highlife/Young Scot cards we intend to bring library cards into the smart card age of technology. We believe that all of these developments will bring a better service to our users and attract more people to using and accessing the library service."

The schools that currently have the Highland Libraries Catalogue include: Fortrose Academy, Glen Urquhart High, Ardnamurchan High, Ullapool High, Gairloch High, Wick High, Thurso High, Tain Royal Academy, Alness Academy, Dingwall Academy, Nairn Academy, Culloden Academy, Inverness Royal Academy, Inverness High and Lochaber High.