Katherine Blauer, president of Gaylord Information Systems (GIS), visited Salem Public Library October 9 to celebrate the implementation of the GIS Polaris automated circulation and catalog system in the library. Blauer was accompanied by Marne Rogers and Kathleen Richter, members of the Gaylord Continuum of Services team, a team well acquainted with library needs and how Gaylord Information Systems can best meet those needs. GIS is a division of Gaylord Bros., of Syracuse, New York, the country's oldest library supply company.
“We are honored to welcome Ms. Blauer and her associates to Salem,” library director George W. S. Hays said. “We have an excellent history of service and reliability with Gaylord and we are pleased to continue that relationship with our new Polaris system.” Gaylord has been the library's automation vendor since 1994.
Upon arriving in Salem, Blauer said, "Ohio libraries have a long history of being forward-thinking in developing services for their citizens, and no library exemplifies this more than the Salem Public Library - one of the first libraries to provide computers for public use twenty years ago. By selecting the Polaris library automation system, the library has again demonstrated its leadership in embracing new technology.”
Ms. Jane Massa, system administrator for the library, worked throughout the summer to assure the success of the project. She managed and coordinated the project, and was responsible for onsite setup of new equipment, loading software and monitoring staff training. The system became operational August 12, 2002. Gaylord was commended on the excellent service and support received during the migration period. “We had an outstanding data specialist who paid attention to every detail of the project. The result was a smooth implementation project that was completed ahead of schedule,” Hays said.
Among the strengths of GIS is that many of the staff, including president Blauer, are professional librarians, who have chosen to concentrate on developing and implementing automation solutions for libraries. “They understand libraries because they have been practitioners in the field, working with library patrons. They are well positioned to provide products and services that help us meet our needs,” Hays said.
Salem was the first stop in a statewide whistle-stop tour that included stops in North Canton, Amherst, Oberlin, Norwalk, New London, Willard, McComb and concluded in Paulding where another celebration was scheduled to celebrate Paulding County Public Library's move to Polaris® earlier this year. Blauer expressed her excitement in coming to Salem and visiting Ohio cities, saying “Gaylord is focused on meeting the needs of all public libraries regardless of size with the advanced functionality of the Polaris system.”
Polaris is a Windows based, state-of-the-art third generation system that enables the provision of better service to library patrons. Polaris is a fully integrated system that combines cataloging, inventory, circulation and serials functionality into one complete system. “Polaris employs the design and navigation familiar to Windows and Internet users, making it easy for the library to provide ready access to all its resources and to participate in programs that enable Ohio's libraries to share materials statewide," Blauer said.
Remote access to the new Polaris catalog of library materials via the Internet means that patrons have 24/7 access to the collections, and with a borrower's card and password can manage their account from any Internet connection. Patrons can view a list of materials they have checked out, items they have placed on hold and any fines or fees owed. Patrons can place holds on materials and renew materials. The new catalog is accessible on the Internet from the library's home page at www.salemohio.com/library.