The new British Library flung open its doors last week, letting readers in to sample the new environment for the first time. One of the first services available to readers was provided by Dell. Dell's OptiPlex Gxi systems are installed in the Humanities Reading Room, the first reading room to be open to the public. Using the computers, readers will be able to access the library's on-line catalogue. When all 11 reading rooms are opened in 1999, 1,200 readers will have access to the systems. Stephen Moran, IT services manager at the library, said several major PC manufacturers were evaluated for the contract: "Dell (machines) were the winners, aesthetically, technically and financially." The value of the contract was not disclosed. Multimedia specialist Scala also got in on the act. The company will provide the infrastructure for multimedia information systems in the library's entrance hall and conference centre. The library had originally intended to build its own system, before evaluating the Scala software. Scala will complete the project in April next year.
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