Syracuse, NY - October 5, 2005 – Polaris Library Systems and announced today that the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library (AL) has completed their migration to the Polaris Integrated Library System. Polaris ILS replaces the library's Innovative Interfaces Millennium system.
"We were attracted to Polaris because it is designed with the needs of public libraries in mind," said Elisabeth South, collection development manager and leader of the ILS project team. "We don't have to figure out workarounds to make the system work. As busy as we are, it's very important for patrons and staff that workflow is smooth and intuitive."
Located in the northwest corner of Alabama along the Tennessee River, FLPL serves a population of 80,000 with a collection of almost 92,000 items. Annual circulation from the new facility that opened in 2002 is approximately 300,000.
"Making the decision to leave our multi-type library automation consortium and go out on our own was a big step for us," South said. "We are a very busy, medium-size public library and we needed an automation system geared to the needs of public libraries. Once we saw Polaris we knew we had found the right system for our library."
South pointed to several key factors in their decision to implement Polaris.
- Ease-of-Use. South said Polaris' workflow is simple and "makes sense." The Windows interface is familiar, allowing staff to increase productivity with right-click shortcuts and by utilizing multiple open windows to move back and forth without losing track of their tasks.
- Customer Support. During the procurement process South said they talked with many Polaris customers. FLPL liked the idea of an assigned Site Manager who would know them and their system. "In our consortium we had an intermediary between our library and the vendor. Operating independently, being confident of vendor responsiveness is critical to us. Everything we heard from Polaris customers and that we experienced with Polaris staff throughout the procurement process gave us confidence that Polaris Library Systems would provide the level of support we needed."
- Rapid Implementation. FLPL wanted to go live on their new system within three months of contract signing. "Polaris assured us they could meet our deadline and they have. We have not had any delays and our library staff are impressed with the speed with which Polaris has migrated our data and prepared us to go live within our timeframe."
- Good Value. As they compared systems, South said, they could see that with Polaris everything they wanted was basically included in the core product. Polaris ILS server software for FLPL includes the Polaris PowerPAC, Circulation (including offline circulation), Patron Services, SIP2, Cataloging (including import/export and authority control), Z39.50 client and server, Acquisitions (including EDI), System Administration, and System Reports. "We feel we've gotten a good value – a good product at a fair price," she said.
- Right Kind of Company. "Vendors are not all alike in the way they present their products. We were impressed with the professionalism of Polaris staff in the way they focused on Polaris' strengths with honesty and integrity. If you have a good product you don't have to run down the competition," she said.
In addition to the core Polaris ILS server software, the library will use outbound telephone notification and the collection agency services of Unique Management Services.
For enhancement to their PowerPAC, the library has selected the enriched data available through Syndetic Solutions. Included in their subscription are Tables of Contents; Summaries and Annotations; Chapters and Excerpts; Cover Images; reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, School Library Journal, Choice and Booklist; and Author Notes.
To ensure network security, FLPL also will install Polaris Library Systems' Perimeter Security Service Firebox, an ICSA/IPSec-certified firewall appliance designed for small businesses or branch offices that require powerful, high-performance network security.
The library will run Polaris ILS on a Dell PowerEdge 2800 server with fifteen staff client licenses, ten dedicated PAC workstations, and an unlimited license for Internet access to the PAC.
About Polaris Library Systems
From its beginnings thirty years ago, Polaris Library Systems has served libraries with innovative technology, from its first circulation system in the mid-1970s through its third-generation Polaris Integrated Library System. Ranked higher by users for the quality of customer support they receive than any other public library system vendor, Polaris ILS facilitates all aspects of library operations by providing innovative workflow solutions packaged in a familiar Windows interface. In addition to its library automation systems, Polaris Library Systems offers workflow analysis, database enhancement, wireless access and network security services to libraries of all types. For more information about Polaris Library Systems, visit www.polarislibrary.com