September 15, 2017 -- Emeryville, CA. Innovative Interfaces, a leading provider of library automation software that empowers libraries globally, has launched the newest release of the Sierra integrated library system with new options to improve processes at the library. Sierra Release 3.2 includes three new API endpoints and integration for PCI-compliant credit card payments at Express Lane self-service stations. Sierra is a powerful, modern integrated library system (ILS) that combines complete functionality with the power and scale of an open services platform.
Improving Patron Self-Services
In Sierra Release 3.2, library partners can take advantage of Innovative's partnership with Comprise to connect PCI-compliant Smart Terminals at Express Lane self-service stations. Comprise is the leading independent provider of revenue management solutions for libraries throughout North America, providing modern hardware that meets industry standards for credit card purchases.
For the Minuteman Library Network in Massachusetts, a Comprise integration beta partner, having a credit card payment option at self-service stations during check out has been a big hit with patrons. The solution was a breeze to implement for staff and patrons, and it has increased the number of fine payments the library has received.
"Patrons are thrilled to have an easy, simple system to pay their fines, and the staff likes how intuitive it is," said Todd Strauss, Reference/Technology Librarian at the Waltham Public Library. "From a tech perspective, the device has been flawless. Since the installation, I haven't received one question from staff or patrons! It has been working perfectly."
New API Features
Innovative introduced three new open API endpoints for smoother integration in Sierra Release 3.2. A Patron API endpoint for finding patrons by patron varField tag, a new Users API endpoint for validating a Sierra username and password, and a new Agencies API. The Agencies API makes it easy for consortia or academic libraries to get a list of agencies (often campuses). This release marks the completion of Innovative's effort to provide create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) access to full patron records. All non-custom fields in the patron record are now supported for all CRUD operations, which makes it easy to synchronize patron data between Sierra and other systems.
Sierra Beta Testing Program
A key part of every Sierra release is the beta testing program with Innovative library partners. For many institutions, it's a great way to stay close to the product's development and test features before they are released.
"Being a beta tester means that we are on the cutting edge of Sierra, trying out all the new features before anyone else," said Lesley Nelson, Library Systems Coordinator at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. "There may be a few bumps in the road, but the Innovative team smooths it out quickly."
"As we continue to develop all of the products in the current Innovative portfolio, along with future products, partnering with libraries to understand their needs and involve them in development is a critical step in our process," said Chris Fields, Chief Technology Officer at Innovative. "This type of engagement leads to more innovative and well-rounded products."
Sierra Release 3.2 also includes enhancements to the Sierra Admin App for customers harvesting content into Encore. Users will now be able to add OAI-PMH compliant repositories and profiles, and set up targets through the admin app. This feature requires Encore Release 4.6 SP2.
RedHat or Centos 6 or above is required for running Sierra Release 3.2 and future releases. Running on more current versions assures that the latest operating system updates for security, performance and stability are available to Sierra users.
The launch of Sierra Release 3.2 marks the third enhancement release in 2017, with new functionality and fixes built into each one. For more detailed release notes, library partners can review the Sierra Release 3.2 announcement on the Innovative Supportal.
For more information on Sierra's open access system, visit the Innovative website.
Innovative 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.