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Weekly News Digest

May 12, 2008 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Altarama Acquires Docutek’s Virtual Reference Librarian plus Business

Altarama Information Systems ( announced that it has acquired the VRLplus business from the Docutek division ( of SirsiDynix, Inc. ( The Virtual Reference Librarian plus (VRLplus) system is used to provide live reference services over the web by more than 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 members can deliver an online reference service with all the required chat, file sharing, and cobrowsing functions.

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. Altarama’s flagship product, RefTracker, is a tool for managing and responding to all of the requests that come into a library. Altarama plans to embed some of its RefTracker functionality to enhance the current staff experience in reporting problems, administering surveys, and handling offline completion with greater control. It will also begin a consultation process with its new customers about priorities in addressing the cobrowsing issues as well as examining opportunities to integrate tools such as instant messaging (IM), text messaging, VoIP, and webinar software. The company sees VRLplus as a perfect add-on to RefTracker, and it plans to utilize its queuing engine to provide new ways of delivering online reference services.

Source: Altarama Information Systems

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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