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Pierce County Library System purchases Polaris ILS

Press Release: Polaris Library Systems [November 11, 2003]

Copyright (c) 2003 Polaris Library Systems

Abstract: GIS Information Systems, Inc. announced that the Pierce County Library System (WA) selected Polaris as its next library automation system. Polaris replaces the library''s twelve-year old Dynix system.

SYRACUSE, New York, November 11, 2003 -- GIS Information Systems, Inc. announced today that the Pierce County Library System (WA) has selected Polaris as its next library automation system. In addition to implementing the all-inclusive core Polaris system -- PAC, circulation, cataloging, serials control, acquisitions and system administration --Pierce County will provide its community with the Spanish and Korean interfaces to the Polaris PowerPAC; and the newly released Polaris PowerPAC Children's Edition. Polaris replaces the library's twelve-year old Dynix system.

Located in Tacoma, Washington, the Pierce County Library System (PCLS) consists of sixteen branch libraries and three bookmobiles. The library has a large service district of over 1,600 square miles and serves a population of 473,000, more than 50% of which are registered borrowers. A member of the Urban Libraries Council, PCLS maintains a collection of 1.2 million items and circulates 5.2 million items annually.

PCLS' major goal in replacing its current automation system was to implement a contemporary solution to provide its customers state-of-the-art library services. The library’s main concern was to select a system that provides innovative yet customer-friendly robust features, has a proven history of reliability and stability especially with its web-based PAC, and maintains a clear direction that ensures the technology will grow and adapt to customer needs.

Of special importance to PCLS was increased self-sufficiency for library customers. PCLS has a sophisticated user base with heavy remote usage. Polaris offers, for example, the ability to provide real-time online registration for a library card, which means users can apply for a card from home and immediately search the electronic databases or place an item on hold. They don’t need to wait for the library to process their application and mail them a card. This makes PCLS’ library service instantly accessible when and where people need it.

The ILS Selection Team said the library is very excited about the foreign language interfaces to Polaris. PCLS' largest branch library -- Lakewood -- has a huge Korean population. With the old system, only one Korean language terminal was available in that branch. If more than one person needed to search in Korean he or she had to wait. Korean-speaking customers in other branches had to go to Lakewood to search the catalog in their native language. With Polaris, every terminal throughout the system will have Spanish and Korean interfaces accessible at the click of the mouse. This increases service to PCLS’ highly diverse community. PCLS also has a large Russian population and may consider adding a Russian interface in 2004. The Polaris PowerPAC is available in 115 languages.

The PCLS ILS Selection Team pointed to other examples of Polaris capabilities that will be popular to the PCLS community. These include the Polaris personal search agent that allows users to save searches to run automatically on a periodic basis and the ability for customers to save their personal reading histories if they choose.

"Pierce County is a perfect example of the type of library system for which Polaris is ideally suited" said Bill Schickling, GIS president and CEO. "Our Windows platform and 3-tiered technology architecture allow for rapid product development, which is important to a sophisticated user community like Pierce County. We are delighted to welcome them to our Polaris family where they will join other new customers such as Maricopa County Library District in Arizona and the Fayetteville Public Library in Arkansas in helping Polaris R&D continue to be the most innovative in the library automation market today."

About GIS Information Systems

Headquartered in Syracuse, New York, GIS is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Provider and the developer of the Polaris integrated library system. From its beginnings as a division of Gaylord Bros., the company has for more than twenty-five years served libraries with innovative technology, from its first circulation system in the mid-1970's through its third-generation Polaris system. Ranked number 1 by users for the quality of customer support they receive*, Polaris 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. 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.

In addition to its library automation systems, GIS Information Systems, Inc. offers workflow analysis, retrospective conversion, database enhancement and network security services to libraries of all types. Thirty percent of GIS staff is composed of professional librarians. More information is available via telephone 800-272-3414 and at

View Citation
Publication Year:2003
Type of Material:Press Release
Language English
Issue:November 11, 2003
Publisher:Polaris Library Systems
Company: GIS Information Systems
Polaris Library Systems
Products: Polaris
Libraries: Pierce County Library System
Subject: System announcements -- selection
Record Number:10613
Last Update:2012-12-29 14:06:47
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00