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VTLS Inc was a global company that provided library automation software and services to a diverse customer base of more than 1900 libraries in 44 countries The for-profit company was founded in 1985 by Dr Vinod Chachra, who became the President and CEO of the company VTLS originated as "Virginia Tech Library Systems", an automated circulation and cataloging system created for Virginia Tech’s Newman Library in 1975 In addition to its headquarters in Blacksburg, Virginia, United States, VTLS had five international offices in Australia, Brazil, India, Malaysia and Spain VTLS was one of the few ISO 9001:2008 quality-certified companies within the library industry for many years The company was acquired by Innovative Interfaces in 2014


VTLS Inc was the offspring of a project launched in 1974 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University's Virginia Tech’s Newman Library, a member of the Association of Research Libraries with more than 2 million cataloged volumes Having explored available library automation alternatives and having found no system suitable for the needs of its libraries, Virginia Tech initiated a development project to create an automated library system, spearheaded by Dr Vinod Chachra, head of Systems Development SD This forerunner of VTLS Classic and Virtua, consisting of an Online Public Access Catalog OPAC and an automated circulation system, was installed at Virginia Tech's Newman Library in September 1975

By 1980, the software had evolved into the integrated library system ILS known as "VTLS Classic", a MARC based ILS including library automation In 1983, VTLS became the first integrated library system to implement linked Authority Control and to feature full integration and support of the MARC Format for bibliographic records On July 1, 1985, VTLS Inc was formed by Dr Vinod Chachra as a subsidiary corporation of Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties VTIP, which granted VTLS Inc exclusive, worldwide rights to enhance and market VTLS software The ensuing years witnessed dramatic growth for VTLS and innovative development of the VTLS system By 1987, VTLS became the first ILS to fully support the US MARC Format for Holdings and Locations in a fully integrated Serials Control Subsystem In 1989, VTLS introduced a multilingual user interface design that allowed users to change language dynamically within their user session VTLS also began offering imaging services and digital library solutions in 1993

In 1998, VTLS launched their next-generation library automation suite with the first release of the "Virtua Integrated Library System" ILS Virtua incorporated all of the functionality of VTLS Classic but utilized an entirely new software architecture that included full Unicode support throughout the system as well as full native Z3950 support Since the introduction of Virtua, VTLS continued to develop support for new standards and emerging technologies In 2000, VTLS introduced support for radio-frequency identification RFID technology for circulation and security, later expanding it into the "Fastrac" product division In 2002, VTLS introduced full support for Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records FRBR, a key bibliographic standard enabling full Resource Description and Access RDA Level 1 implementation In 2004, VTLS introduced the "VITAL Digital Asset Management System" Later developments focused on discovery software for patrons with the introduction of "Visualizer Discovery" in 2008, the "Chamo Social OPAC" in 2009, and a hybrid of the two products called "Chamo Discovery" in 2012 VTLS later introduced a service called "Vorpal Solutions", which offered custom Drupal modules that allowed deployment of a complete custom Drupal-based front-end for VTLS solutions This was followed in 2013 by the introduction of the "Open Skies" unified software platform initiative, planning for the future interconnectivity of various VTLS-based software components as well as more open connectivity with external library services

Throughout its history, VTLS was a member of many industry organizations, including: American Library Association ALA, Book Industry Study Group BISG, Coalition for Networked Information CNI, EDUCAUSE, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions IFLA, MARBI, National Information Standards Organization NISO for Z3950, Online Computer Library Center OCLC, the Unicode Consortium, and the Virginia Business Pipeline VBP VTLS was also a founding member of the Coalition for Networked Information CNI

In June 2014, VTLS was purchased by Innovative Interfaces Inc, who continues to actively develop and support most of the VTLS-based software suites


  1. ^ "Innovative Acquires VTLS - The Digital Shift" The Digital Shift Retrieved 2016-01-15 
  2. ^ "VTLS, Inc: Paving the Way for Library Solutions" Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center Retrieved 16 March 2016 
  3. ^ "Innovative Acquires VTLS - The Digital Shift" The Digital Shift Retrieved 2016-01-15 

External links

  • Innovative Interfaces Inc Website
  • Innovative Interfaces Company Profile on Library Technology Guides Maintained by Marshal Breeding

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