As the largest library in China, the National Library of China (NLC) has spent more than 20 years in automating its processes, and has not yet had an integrated library management system, lagging behind libraries of developed countries and also other major libraries in China. In the 1980s and 1990s the NLC made slow progress; reasons for lack of success in the past include the inadequacy of budgets, the extent of the collections, the pursuit of processing of materials in all languages in a single system, and some management problems. In 2001, the NLC signed a contract with Ex Libris to implement its Aleph 500 system and aimed at comprehensive solutions. Aleph 500 meets most of the library’s requirements, supports Unicode and is flexible, extendible and cost-effective. The new system is expected to help the library to fully automate all of its processes, provide services better than other Chinese libraries and process all languages in a single system
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