VTLS, Inc.: Paving the Way for Library Solutions

VTLS, Inc.: Paving the Way for Library Solutions Image

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1701 Kraft Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24060

VTLS was the first tenant at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (VTCRC) in 1987. After growing considerably from its early beginnings, VTLS built a new corporate headquarters at 1701 Kraft Drive in 1998.

VTLS is a global company that works to create visionary technology for library solutions. VTLS provides library automation software and services to a diverse customer base of more than 1,900 libraries in 44 countries. The company offers software solutions including complete library and archive management (Virtua), digital asset management (VITAL) and RFID circulation and security systems (FASTRAC). VTLS also provides Drupal consulting, design and development services as well as a full range of consulting, data processing, training and project management services. Its latest product initiative is the Open Skies Library Services Platform, a unified framework for providing access to all library services, both print and electronic, from any type of device.

The company’s achievements have been vast, most recently with the delivery of Virtua and Chamo to the Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL). HKPL has been using Virtua and Chamo Discovery in production since the completion of Phase I of the project in January 2012. Phase 1 of the project required development of 309 new features and enhancements to deal with the special requirements of the Hong Kong government.  More than 148 design documents were created to complete Phase 1. Phase 2 of the project was completed in June 2013, and included implementation of a separate Virtua database with development of additional features to automate the processes of the Hong Kong Books Registration Office, a legal depository for each book first printed, produced or published in Hong Kong. It also introduced 111 new Virtua ILS features created to meet specialized workflows and local requirements. The entire company was involved in the project delivery, with many staff members travelling to Hong Kong for training and project management. The VTLS Project Manager spent 33 weeks in Hong Kong during the course of the project. The Hong Kong Public Libraries are one of the world’s busiest library systems, managing over 56 million circulations in 2012. The 67 libraries and 10 mobile libraries serve over 4 million patrons.

Another success VTLS is proud to highlight is the delivery of Virtua to Queens Public Library. The project involved new hardware, new software features, complete data migration and training for almost 1,200 staff spread across 64 locations. Normally, a project of this size and complexity would have required 1-2 years. VTLS was able to complete this project in six months, on time and within budget. The contract was signed in late December 2007 and Queens went live in early July 2008. This was an extremely aggressive schedule, but the library was highly motivated to make the move which meant they were very timely with providing VTLS feedback for review of database loads and software.  Consequently, the company was able to work very effectively to make the transition for the library. Queens is one of the busiest libraries in the United States with 64 branches and over 21 million annual circulations.

The accomplishments of VTLS have been recognized by the Roanoke - Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC). RBTC awarded the first ever Technology Hall of Fame award in 2013 to VTLS in recognition of the lasting impact the company has had on the region.

Going forward, VTLS is as busy as ever with its many products including the Open Skies Library Services Platform, data visualization tools and mobile applications. Company projects include working with the Library of Congress Overseas Field Offices Replacement System (OFORS), Kansas City Public Library Civil War website and the Swiss National Library’s comprehensive web portal that integrates all its data and databases.

George E. Nichols, Vice President of Finance for VTLS, said “The VTCRC is a wonderful location which is very scenic and calming. We like the fact that we can concentrate on our business and VTCRC handles all the logistics of the building including power, security and networking.  They make the grounds look green and inviting and provide walking paths and fitness facilities. This helps reduce stress and keeps us healthy. After more than 25 years in the park we still love it here.”