Syracuse, NY. Gaylord Information Systems (GIS) today announced that Gloucester County College Library and the Gloucester Online Database consortium (GOLD) have chosen the Polaris Integrated Library System as their next generation automation solution.
GOLD, located in Southern New Jersey, is representative of many consortia that have successfully consolidated their information, knowledge, and funding resources. With three academic institutions, four public libraries, and 53,000 patrons, GOLD is a balanced organization with diverse needs. To meet these needs, the consortium required an incredibly flexible automation solution.
GOLD's academic libraries (Gloucester County College Library, Gloucester County Institute of Technology Library, and Salem County Community College Library) required an automation solution with powerful, non-restrictive technical services features. Ellen Tiedrich, Automation Librarian at Gloucester County College and President of the GOLD Consortia, commented that Polaris fits perfectly with GOLD's effort to have all member libraries benefit from a technologically rich automation solution. "This consortium didn't have serials or acquisitions on their old system, so our staff doesn't come to Polaris with preconceptions - they can mold the system to the way they work, not the other way around. And the entire consortium is PC and Internet literate, so there shouldn't be a problem adjusting to the graphical user interface. I know the staff will welcome the solutions possible with this system."
The consortium's public libraries (Woodbury Public Library, Franklin Township Public Library, Westville Public Library, and Johnson Public Library) will also see immediate benefits from the Polaris solution. Tiedrich said, "After implementation we will be one of the first libraries in the area to implement Z39.50. With the Polaris web-based OPAC, patrons will have access to the catalog from any remote site." Yet Tiedrich also noted that more than just software, Polaris demonstrates GIS' understanding of how different libraries (especially those in a consortium as diverse as GOLD) require different solutions. "GIS' parent company Gaylord Brothers has been in the library business for a long time, and that is comforting. They understand the needs of libraries and know circulation better than anyone."
GOLD, which has 258,000 items and 180,000 titles, will be using Gloucester County College as a ‘hub' for the consortium. The campus currently has a Microsoftâ Windows NTâ infrastructure, so the native-NT Polaris solution allows GOLD to maintain a consistent environment across all the member libraries. Tiedrich said the way Polaris exploits Windows technologies was another reason the consortium chose the system. "There is a learning curve with any new system, but our user community (end users and consortium members) is very comfortable with Windows technology. I think everyone will respond well to this system. And because Polaris is a native-Windows NT system, it can be easily integrated into the college's Distance Learning initiative."
Vanel Perry, Vice-President for Instruction at Gloucester County College also commented on how Polaris will support technology initiatives already underway at GOLD member libraries. "I am pleased that the College library and GOLD are moving forward with the Polaris Web-based catalog and that our students will have remote access to our combined collections. Implementing the Polaris automation solution is part of our overall institutional Y2K compliance initiatives and strategically places us at the forefront of library and information technology. We are currently developing the highest level of technology and Polaris will be a valuable additional resource to all users of the GOLD member libraries."
The previously automated GOLD libraries will be migrating off CLSI and GEAC systems. Tiedrich noted that GIS' past success with migrating CLSI/GEAC libraries factored into the decision to go with Polaris. "GIS' Conversion Services group did an incredibly detailed analysis of our data. Having them validate our data prior to migration will help to make the transition a smooth, positive experience."
Polaris is a non-modular, native-Windows NT library automation solution. Polaris offers complete access to integrated cataloging, serials, acquisitions, circulation, patron/student services, and system administration functionality. Polaris was built with Microsoft technologies solely for the Windows NT Server platform and SQL Server.
GIS is the 25 year-old software development division of Gaylord Brothers, a library supplies and furniture company in business since 1896. In addition to its library automation systems, GIS offers networking, retrospective conversion, and database enhancement services to libraries of all types. For more information, visit or contact GIS headquarters at 800-272-3414.