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Type Private
Industry Software
Founded 1985
Headquarters Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
Area served Worldwide
Products Library & Archive Management, Digital Asset Management, Tracking & Security (RFID), Discovery
Website www.vtls.com

VTLS Inc. is a global company that works to create Visionary Technology in Library Solutions. VTLS provides 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 is currently the President and CEO. 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, USA, VTLS has five international offices in Australia, Brazil, India, Malaysia and Spain. VTLS is one of the few ISO 9001:2008 quality-certified companies within the library industry.


  • 1974 – Systems Development (SD) then headed by Dr. Vinod Chachra, works with Newman Library to create an automated library system.
  • 1975 –Virginia Tech SD develops an automated circulation system and an OPAC for Newman Library
  • 1980 – Software originally developed for Newman Library evolves into VTLS Classic, a MARC based ILS and Center for Library Automation is created at Virginia Tech
  • 1983 – VTLS supports MARC Bibliographic format with linked Authority Control
  • 1985 – Dr. Vinod Chachra (along with VTIP) founds VTLS Inc.
  • 1987 – VTLS becomes first ILS to fully support MARC Format for Serials Holdings and Locations
  • 1989 – VTLS introduces multilingual user interface
  • 1993 – VTLS introduces imaging services and digital library solutions
  • 1998 – VTLS launches Virtua ILS with full Unicode support
  • 2000 – VTLS expands RFID technology, creates Fastrac products
  • 2002 – VTLS introduces full support for FRBR, enables RDA implementation
  • 2004 – VTLS launches VITAL Digital Asset Management System
  • 2008 – VTLS introduces Visualizer Discovery
  • 2009 – VTLS releases Chamo Social OPAC
  • 2012 – VTLS introduces Chamo Discovery
  • 2013 – VTLS anticipates its release of Open Skies, a comprehensive unified software platform
  • 2014 - VTLS purchased by Innovative Interfaces, Inc.


VTLS Inc. is 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. 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. 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, after a decade of experience, 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.

In 1998, VTLS launched a new era in library automation 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 includes full Unicode support throughout the system as well as full native Z39.50 support. Since the introduction of Virtua, VTLS has 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 introduced the VITAL Digital Asset Management System. More recent developments have focused on discovery software for patrons with the introduction of Visualizer Discovery in 2008, the Chamo Social OPAC in 2009, and Chamo Discovery in 2012. In addition, VTLS has introduced Vorpal Solutions, custom Drupal modules that allow deployment of a complete custom Drupal-based front-end for VTLS solutions.

In June 2014, VTLS was purchased by Innovative Interfaces Inc.[1]


VTLS takes active leadership roles as corporate members of groups such as the American Library Association (ALA) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) as well as in standards organizations such as MARBI, Z39.50, and the Unicode Consortium. VTLS is a founding member of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI). VTLS is also a participating member of EDUCAUSE and a voting member of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO).


Library and Archive Management[edit]

  • Virtua
  • Virtua for Archives

Digital Asset Media[edit]

  • VITAL Media

Tracking and Security (RFID)[edit]

  • Fastrac


  • Chamo
  • MozGo
  • Chamo Visualizer

Open Skies[edit]

In July, 2012 VTLS announced its intention to transition to a more unified software platform with a product called Open Skies, which will be rolled out in stages beginning in the second half of 2013. The goal of Open Skies is to create a more unified user interface for VTLS’ various products and to increase interoperability with outside systems and vendors. The Open Skies platform was developed in response to the following key library trends:

  • Rapid transitions in libraries from print media to electronic media
  • Increasing use of streaming services for education and training
  • The phenomenal growth and sophistication of mobile devices



  1. ^ "Innovative Acquires VTLS - The Digital Shift". The Digital Shift. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 

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