Emeryville, CA. Innovative Interfaces, a leading provider of library automation software that empowers libraries globally, has launched the Polaris Release 5.5 with a configurable, responsive PowerPAC to provide patrons with a consistent experience using any type of device for catalog access.
In Polaris Release 5.5, the PowerPAC uses responsive web design to help library patrons fulfill their information needs using the latest techniques in user experience design. Built on the existing highly scalable relational database technology, the PowerPAC continues to offer users a robust set of indexes and discovery options. Patrons who use the PowerPAC to search for items from a computer, tablet, or mobile phone will always see the same navigation options no matter the device.
"We found the commitment to responsive design very timely and essential as one-third of our patrons uses a handheld device when accessing our site," said Juliane Morian, Associate Director/UX at Clinton-Macomb Public Library in Clinton Township, Michigan. "We believe that with the Polaris Release 5.5, the product designers were able to improve the mobile experience by modernizing it, streamlining content, and distilling information to the most important pieces – which in turn, benefits the tablet and desktop experience as well."
Other enhancements to the PowerPAC include an improved search framework to retrieve titles with words that are close to, but don't exactly match, the user's search words. Patrons will have the option to choose "Include Related Words" in their search results.
In addition to a fully responsive design, the five theme options for the PowerPAC have been redesigned with new, modern color schemes. Libraries can easily personalize the themes with individual settings and branding, and Innovative offers the option for libraries to take the next step with more library-specific customization.
Morian shared that even with a small IT team, they felt empowered to make the customizations they needed. "What's so great about the Polaris product is that we're still able to tinker with the code – we enjoy the challenge of making our public website and the online catalog look fully integrated. We appreciate the thoughtful documentation and coding practices that make it easier to expand upon the CSS and architecture in new and exciting ways with our small but nimble IT team."
In Polaris Release 5.5, enhancements to the Polaris Web Application include expanding the cataloging capabilities, as well as additional workflow and productivity enhancements for circulation staff. New features in the Polaris Web Application include:
- Record Set Management. The ability to create and delete record sets, as well as update content, from all of the same familiar locations as in the Polaris Staff Client.
- Delete Access to Records. Staff can now delete cataloging records, including item, bibliographic, and authority records. A cascading workflow offers the option to delete associated records for last copy or last record instances.
- Resource Sharing. The ability to view and modify an existing ILL request – regardless of ILL vendor.
- Object Locks. With the addition of edit capabilities to all records, the application now accesses workforms in read-only when another user already has it open.
In the latest release of Polaris, the development team was able to respond quickly to library partner feedback shared during the annual Innovative Users Group meeting in April 2017. Over 10 enhancements in the release came directly from feedback offered during the 2017 IUG meeting, and another 60 changes and enhancements were made during the beta testing phase.
"The power of Innovative's release momentum, driven by agile methods and iterative developments, means we can respond as quickly as within a few months to user-suggested enhancements," said Leif Pedersen, Executive Vice President, Product, at Innovative. "We expect many library partners will adopt the new Polaris release quickly because of the modern design for patrons and wealth of enhancements for library staff."
For more detailed release notes, library partners can review the Polaris Release 5.5 announcement in the Innovative Supportal.
For more information on the flexible and scalable Polaris solution for your library, visit the Innovative website.
Innovative (www.iii.com) provides leading technology solutions and services that empower libraries and enrich their users worldwide. Innovative offers one of the most comprehensive portfolios of library automation products on the market today, serving academic, public, national, corporate, and special libraries, and consortia. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, Innovative has a global presence—serving thousands of libraries in 66 countries and offices worldwide.