26 November 1999

Heidelberg University Library Closes Lending Section for Three Weeks, 20 December 1999 to 8 January 2000

HEIDI system up for conversion – Library regrets any inconvenience – Users should update their accounts – Improved service with new EDP – User training sessions from mid January

The University Library is closing its lending section for three weeks over Christmas and the New Year. As of mid-January users will have a new EDP library system at their disposal with a modern surface and improved service, including free-of-charge availability notification for books reserved in advance and automatic extension for books taken out. When the lending section re-opens there will be training sessions familiarising users with the new HEIDI system.

The lending section will be closed from 20 December to 8 January. During that period the data on and for the use of just under 3 million books will be transferred to the new Year-2000-safe library system. Distance borrowing of books and articles from other libraries will be temporarily discontinued as of 6 December 1999. The Library regrets any inconvenience this may cause but the data transfer marathon can only succeed if there are no changes to the data during the transfer process. Data chaos would be the result if there were uncertainty about whether books had been returned or about the persons taking them out.

Get your books now!

Users are recommended to procure the literature they are going to need up to mid January right now. Lending periods have been extended accordingly. Another recommendation is to make sure the data in the user accounts at the branches of the Library in the Old Town and on the Neuenheimer Feld campus are up to date. So far 8,000 users have corrected or confirmed their personal data and most of these have also given their e-mail addresses. Having an e-mail address is a necessary condition for receiving free-of-charge notification about availability of books reserved in advance. This is one of the new improved services the Library will be offering. Another is one-off automatic extensions for books borrowed. This replaces the present system where users have to type in the request on a computer or speak it onto an answering machine.

So the new HEIDI has advantages, not only for users but also for library staff. Keeping tabs on journals ordered has now gone fully electronic and records on books lent out will be optimised. HEIDI's new library system (Sisis) will no longer be operating on an old-fashioned big-brain computer but on a modern server platform from which all the other terminals can be operated.

HEIDI is designed to be easy to use. User training will of course be provided, complete with detailed information on the EDP catalogue and ordering/lending. As of 10 January there will be two weeks of almost non-stop training on offer from Mondays to Fridays both in the Old Town and in the Neuenheimer Feld branch. After that, further training sessions will take place at regular, though less frequent intervals.

Please address any inquiries to:
Ralf Werner Wildermuth
University Library
phone: 06221/542626, fax: 542623

Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 542317

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