(Syracuse, NY) March 2000. Gaylord Information Systems (GIS) today announced that three library systems (the Lisle Library District, the Arlington Public Library System, and the Clearwater Public Library) have agreed to continue their successful relationship with GIS and upgrade from GALAXY to the Polaris Integrated Library System.
The Lisle Library District was the first GALAXY library to recognize Polaris as the evolutionary next step in automation. The decision to upgrade to Polaris marks the continuation of a long partnership between GIS and Lisle, which bought its first library automation system from GIS in 1982. Polaris, the industry's only installed and functional 3rd generation automation solution, is the fifth GIS system used by Lisle staff and patrons.
With the library live and operational on Polaris version 1.4, Dennis Huslig, Lisle Director, noted, "We have had 17 years of very good experiences working with GIS products and services. Polaris' cutting-edge technology, which allows us to provide extensive services and access to more resources, was a logical and practical next step in our long relationship with GIS." The Lisle Library District serves an area with a population of approximately 28,000 in the heart of Illinois' Technology Corridor, just west of Chicago.
The Arlington Public Library System is the largest of the three libraries upgrading to Polaris. Located in Arlington, Texas, the library system consists of the public libraries in Central Arlington, South West Arlington, East Arlington, North East Arlington, Woodland West, and two more libraries to be added in the next three years. With 172,000+ patrons and 265 client workstations, Arlington faced the challenge of supporting a rapidly growing patron-base and increased demand for information resources.
"Our rapid growth necessitated looking for a new automation system that could meet our staff and patron needs," said Dr. Betsy Burson, Director of the Arlington Public Library. "We thoroughly reviewed the new systems, with a consideration to the degree of stability and ease-of-use we had with GALAXY." After a two-year review process, Arlington selected Polaris. "We are confident Polaris is the only system that provides the flexibility and performance we need as we move forward with our expansion projects," said Dr. Burson. Arlington is in the final stages of Polaris implementation and plans to go live on Polaris in May 2000.
The Clearwater Public Library is a five-library system located in Clearwater, Florida. With 140+ workstations in five geographically separated libraries, Clearwater (600,000 items, 1.5 million annual circulations) required a system upgrade that would not disrupt supporting geographically distributed resources. John Szabo, Clearwater Library Director, believes that the library benefits from moving to Polaris because of GIS' familiarity with Clearwater's staff and patron needs. "Polaris perfectly matches our needs. With our staff and patrons getting more familiar with Windows and the World Wide Web, it's easy to recognize Polaris' advantages in usability. We're convinced that Polaris is ideally positioned to support our libraries as we move forward."
Reiterating feedback provided by Lisle and Clearwater staffs that the transition from GALAXY to Polaris has been very smooth, Cary Siegfried, Assistant Director of Technical Support at Arlington, spoke to the flexibility of the Polaris implementation. "It is nice to have the opportunity to customize the system before going live," Siegfried said. "It has been extremely helpful to see online samples of how our data configurations will display within the system. It gives a better overall idea of how Polaris is set up."
For Lisle and Clearwater, GIS converted bibliographic, item, transaction, and patron records for the libraries. Item record conversion included profiling, mapping tagged call numbers, and other item values such as barcode number, price, volume, and copy numbers. Patron file conversion included profiling, data entry into customized patron record fields, formatting, and loading/indexing. GIS also provided authority control processing at the time of conversion, allowing the libraries to use the extensive Polaris Authority Control features immediately after going live. GIS is currently performing the same data migration work for Arlington.
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. The system provides a Web-based OPAC and a Windows 95/98/NT Workstation-based technical services client. Polaris was built with Microsoft technologies solely for the Windows NT Server platform and SQL Server.
GIS is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Provider and the 25 year-old software development division of Gaylord Bros., a leading supplier to the library industry for over a century. In addition to its library automation systems, GIS offers workflow analysis, retrospective conversion, and database enhancement services to libraries of all types. For more information, visit or contact GIS headquarters at 800-272-3414.