Syracuse, NY – October 21, 2002 – More than half of all Polaris customers attended the Polaris Users Group meeting held in Syracuse, New York on September 26-28, 2002. The Users Group adopted by-laws, elected officers for 2003, and established a process for providing input to Gaylord Information Systems (GIS) for Polaris enhancements. The following people were elected to serve as officers of the Polaris Users Group for 2003:
|Chair:||Sylvia Lee, Southern Oregon Library Information System – SOLIS (Oregon)|
|Vice Chair:||Maryam Phillips, Montgomery County Library and Information Network Consortium – MCLINC (Pennsylvania)|
|Secretary:||Dana Hines, Cooperative Libraries Automated Network - CLAN (Nevada)|
|Treasurer:||Gary Branson, London Public Library (Ohio)|
|Member at Large 1:||Susan Hill, Paulding County Carnegie Library (Ohio)|
|Member at Large 2:||Lesta Sue Hardee, Chapin Memorial Library (South Carolina)|
|Member at Large 3:||Christine Lind Hage, Clinton-Macomb Public Library (Michigan)|
Katherine Blauer, GIS president, set the theme for the meeting with her keynote address, Technology Convergence and its Impact on Libraries and Library Users. “What's going on in the IT world affects the library world and your specific library's world,” Blauer said. “This has a direct impact on the types of services we are providing through Polaris, integrating the technology you want to improve service to patrons and increase staff productivity. We're putting this development emphasis on convergence in Polaris and doing the work for you, rather than leaving the integration to each of you to figure out.”
Blauer pointed to the partnerships GIS has formed with vendors to enhance specific areas of library workflow, including acquisitions, cataloging, PAC, and circulation. “We want your Polaris system to work as the backbone for your library's service infrastructure,” she said. “We're committed to expanding our Polaris Partners Program so that you can look at new technologies, evaluate their usefulness in your communities, and readily adopt them knowing that Polaris' commitment to standards makes it all possible.”
User Group participants heard presentations on upcoming software releases from GIS staff and had an opportunity to meet with several vendors with whom GIS partners to enhance the Polaris system. Customer presentations highlighted the benefits of voice notification; implementing wireless technology; data mining Polaris statistics using Crystal Reports; and using software to manage access to patron PCs. Vendor presentations were heard on thin client technology (Veicon Technology), virtual reference services (LSSI) and PC management software (GuardiaNet and Comprise Technologies). A customer-only web site (Extranet) was introduced, including a fully searchable knowledge base of resolved technical support incidents and a tracking system to enable customers to follow the status of a reported problem.
“The Steering Committee was pleased by the number of Polaris customers who were able to attend the Users Group meeting,” commented Sylvia Lee, system administrator, Southern Oregon Library Information System (SOLIS). “The participants were enthusiastic and enjoyed the benefit of sharing information with each other. We also appreciated the opportunity to talk one-on-one with GIS President Katherine Blauer and other GIS staff throughout the meeting. We accomplished a lot at this meeting and are already planning for next year.”
The first national meeting of the Polaris Users Group generated a high level of energy and an array of creative ideas,” commented Barbara Kesel, automation program specialist, Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS, Oregon). “As participation in the Group grows, we look forward to partnering with GIS on enhancements that make Polaris the premier ILS choice for libraries today and provide the technology we need for the future.”
As part of the Users Group meeting GIS hosted a President's Reception at the Everson Museum of Art. Katherine Blauer welcomed the guests and paid special tribute to the libraries that have served as beta test partners for new releases of the Polaris software. Honored for their participation were MCLINC, CLAN, WCCLS and the Clearwater Public Library (Florida). “The willingness of Polaris users to take the time to test each release in the field helps ensure a high-quality product for all customers,” Blauer said. “Our customers are an integral part of the beta test process, helping GIS improve the overall usability of the Polaris system.”
The Polaris integrated library system facilitates all aspects of library operations by providing innovative workflow solutions packaged in a familiar Windows interface. The Polaris staff client offers a complete solution for acquisitions, collection management, cataloging, circulation, interlibrary loan and serials control. With its object-oriented design and integrated Z39.50 capabilities, Polaris avoids the artificial boundaries common to legacy systems built on a modular framework. It also avoids the costs and downtime associated with installing modules one piece at a time. The Polaris PowerPAC extends this innovation to the end-user by providing a fully customizable library portal to the library's catalog and other library resources, including enhanced bibliographic data such as book images, tables of contents, and reviews. With embedded metasearch capabilities, patrons can search the library's catalog, the web, other library catalogs and Z39.50 databases at one time using one common interface. Today 300 libraries use Polaris every day to serve the information needs of their communities.
Headquartered in Syracuse, New York, Gaylord Information Systems is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Provider and the 27-year-old software development division of Gaylord Bros., Inc., a leading supplier and innovator in the library industry for more than a century. In addition to its library automation systems, GIS offers workflow analysis, retrospective conversion and database enhancement services to libraries of all types. Thirty percent of GIS staff is composed of professional librarians, including GIS President Katherine Blauer.
More information is available via telephone +1-315-457-5070 or 800-272-3414; fax +1-315-457-5883; or email firstname.lastname@example.org and at www.gis.gaylord.com.