Syracuse, NY - January 9, 2006 – Polaris Library Systems announced today that the Rochester Hills Public Library (MI) has selected the Polaris Integrated Library System to provide a more positive library catalog search experience for patrons and more responsive customer support for library staff. The Polaris ILS will replace the library's SirsiDynix Horizon system. The move to the new system is expected to save the library thousands of dollars as new processes for cataloging materials are implemented.
"We are very excited about the opportunity to bring advanced technology to our community, giving our users the same quality search experience they are familiar with through web sites like Amazon.com," said Library Director Christine Lind Hage. "With Polaris RSS feeds we'll be able to keep people up-to-date on library news and acquisitions. Users will be able to keep a reading history if they choose and save searches so they are automatically alerted when materials they want become available. Whether searching the catalog in the library or from home, school or office, users will find an easy-to-use tool that consistently delivers quality search results and serves as an entry point to all library resources.
"The automation system is the backbone of library service," Hage continued. "It's how we process and make materials available for public access and use. When it doesn't perform up to expectations our service is severely impacted. The RHPL Board responded to public concerns by selecting a reliable, stable product from a company that has been serving libraries for more than 30 years and excels in customer service."
Hage identified several key reasons why RHPL staff selected Polaris ILS.
- PAC reliability and consistent upgrades. "During the evaluation period RHPL had ample opportunity to use the Polaris PowerPAC and test it for consistency in searching and results display," said Hage. "Our community has not been satisfied with the library catalog so delivering a tool they can use easily and intuitively that provides the type of displays they expect (e.g., book cover images, reviews, etc.) was one of our primary goals in selecting a new system."
- Windows operating system. RHPL staff liked that Polaris ILS runs solely on the Windows platform, simplifying development and support and training issues.
- Acquisitions workflow. RHPL plans to use Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and responded very favorably to the ability to load in MARC record data from Baker & Taylor and other sources.
- Online bookmobile. RHPL staff was shown a live test on the bookmobile using the Verizon wireless service. They were very impressed with the speed with which this worked.
- Value of complete, integrated system. "Polaris ILS is an excellent value, with all core subsystems included. The staff at RHPL liked the way the subsystems are linked to complement our workflow," Hage said. In addition, RHPL will be able to use existing hardware with Polaris ILS, avoiding a potentially large investment.
In addition to purchasing the core Polaris product with PowerPAC, cataloging, circulation, serials control, acquisitions and system administration, Rochester Hills Public Library also will install inbound and outbound telephone services, outreach services for managing circulation to homebound and institutional customers, and patron self-check. Syndetic Solutions will provide enhanced content including fiction profiles, series information, book summaries, cover images, author notes, and Booklist reviews. E.vanced Solutions will provide online event registration capability and the Collection Agency Interface will allow RHPL to easily implement the services of Unique Management Services. RHPL also will install Wireless Access Manager to provide patron authentication for use of the wireless network and to control bandwidth.
"During the evaluation period, RHPL staff had full access to ‘test drive' Polaris ILS without restrictions and access to the Customer Extranet so they could see what resources and tools would be available to them," said Hage. "Once they saw how the system worked and experienced the type of support they would receive, they knew Polaris ILS was the right choice and, having worked in a Polaris library, I knew life with Polaris was better."
About Rochester Hills Public Library
RHPL serves about 92,000 patrons with a collection of 230,000 items. Annual circulation for the main library and one bookmobile is approximately 1.2 million. Polaris will run on a Dell PowerEdge 2800 server. The library will have 194 concurrent workstations for staff and patron use. RHPL will be able to re-purpose the Horizon DB and HIP Servers they currently own to run Polaris applications, further increasing their cost savings.
About Polaris Library Systems
From its beginnings thirty years ago, Polaris Library Systems has served libraries with time-saving technology, from its first circulation system in the mid-1970s through its third-generation Polaris Integrated Library System. Polaris ILS facilitates all aspects of library operations by providing flexible 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 services to libraries of all types. For more information about Polaris Library Systems, visit www.polarislibrary.com.