Thursday, September 22, 2005

SirsiDynix Offers Emergency Hosting and Consulting Services for Libraries Affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.—September 21, 2005—SirsiDynix announced today that it has established an Emergency Hosting and Consulting Services Program for libraries in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama affected by Hurricane Katrina, as well as customers in Texas and Louisiana that are likely to face Hurricane Rita by Saturday, September 24. Disaster-recovery services available include ASP hosting of (1) Web servers and general Web page information and (2) entire Unicorn or Horizon integrated library systems, plus general emergency consulting services to assist libraries in their system recovery efforts. The objective of these services is to enable libraries with back-up data to run their systems remotely on SirsiDynix servers housed in secure facilities. These services are available immediately at no cost to currently or potentially affected SirsiDynix customer libraries.

For libraries facing Hurricane Rita
SirsiDynix customer libraries in the projected path of Hurricane Rita that want to take precautionary steps to protect their library data and to use SirsiDynix secure hosting facilities can send back-up data to SirsiDynix now. Then, if the need for hosting arises, SirsiDynix will work to get a given library's system - for staff and patrons alike - up and running on a hosted basis as soon as possible. These customers, most likely in Texas and Louisiana, should consult their SirsiDynix Customer Support Web sites or call 1-800-325-0888, ext. 337.

For libraries already affected by Hurricane Katrina
For SirsiDynix customer libraries affected by Katrina three weeks ago, which have back-ups of their data in hand, hosting services are available immediately. These customers should also consult their SirsiDynix Customer Support Web sites or call 1-800-325-0888, ext. 337.

“We're aware that library facilities that house servers may be severely damaged or even destroyed, while one or more outlying branch facilities remain fully functional,” said Mike Casale, SirsiDynix vice president of Client Care. “That's why the hosting option can be so helpful - libraries can continue to serve their users during a time when having access to information is such a critical need. That's a benefit in addition to simply securing the library's valuable data for long-term use.”

Other relief efforts
In addition to the Emergency Hosting and Consulting Services, SirsiDynix and its user community have undertaken a number of other efforts to aid SirsiDynix libraries along the Gulf Coast affected by Hurricane Katrina. These efforts include special initiatives to assist with PC and Internet access for affected libraries and communities, collection of replacement library materials, and leadership in a Library Adoption Program, in which one or more libraries “adopt” and assist a damaged or destroyed library.

Within days of the storm, SirsiDynix contacted Florida customers who have experience in restoring library operations after multiple hurricanes. Their unique insights helped the company formulate a list of recovery FAQs, offering Gulf libraries proven and practical advice on how to get systems up and running again. These disaster recovery FAQs are accessible through SirsiDynix customer Web sites. Plans are also in place to develop a series of Webinars, offering a convenient, cost-effective means for sharing this disaster-recovery expertise.

SirsiDynix is communicating with the Mississippi Library Commission, the State Libraries of Louisiana and Alabama, and individual libraries to determine additional ways of meeting specific needs. The company is also coordinating with affected libraries to determine where it could donate PCs, and even possibly Internet capabilities, for use by library staff, and particularly for communities where people are in dire need of access to Web-accessible resources and information.

SirsiDynix users groups have also taken action to assist with the immediate needs of affected libraries. When Louisiana libraries outside the affected areas needed extra PCs to support the large numbers of evacuees pouring into their libraries, announcements were posted to the SirsiDynix users listservs, and the need was filled within 24 hours. The same offer has been extended to Mississippi libraries.

For customers facing Hurricane Rita, SirsiDynix will pursue similar initiatives if and when the need arises.