Syracuse, N.Y.. Gaylord Information Systems announced major enhancements to its Polaris library automation product with release of version 1.5 at the end of December.
Polaris 1.5 has more than 140 new product features, including a redesigned search engine, making the library software faster, more precise and easier for patrons to use. A new search feature allows librarians and their patrons to limit search results by assigned branch, material type, date and other bibliographical data. Another unique feature is Polaris OneView™, which allows users to view title, location and availability information all on one screen.
Polaris 1.5 also provides full Z39.50 connectivity in both public access and staff clients, allowing users to search other libraries' databases and enabling Polaris to serve as a host for a Z39.50 session.
"With Polaris 1.5, we are achieving our goal of making our library software as functionally rich as possible," stated Katherine Blauer, president of Gaylord Information Systems. "We are grateful to the many libraries and their staffs who provide feedback to us so we can continue to design software that provides patron-centric solutions for patron-centric libraries."
Polaris 1.5 browser-based PAC offers the security and features of a PC-based application. That flexibility extends to on-the-fly user customizations. Searchers can select from the following bibliography styles at any time during a session: Modern Language Association, Chicago Manual of Style and American Psychological Association. Records can also be printed and saved from the PAC in brief and in full bibliographic display.
Polaris 1.5 accommodates the newly structured Library of Congress Control Number format, and can determine if an abbreviated LCCN is written in the new or old format. Other highlights of Polaris 1.5 include adding standing orders functionality to acquisitions and serials processing, enabling circulation to support the handling of lost items, and adding new transaction functionality to patron accounts.
In addition, the text editor used for editing bibliographic authority records has new selection and edit actions, and the editor now uses familiar Microsoft Windows editing commands.
Polaris 1.5 combines two planned releases, a 1.5 functional release with a previously planned SQL Server 7.0 release. This decision was made, according to Blauer, to eliminate the distribution of a second upgrade within a short period of time, and to deliver more functionality sooner and cause less disruption to the library.
Polaris, a native Windows NT integrated system, is the market leader in 3rd generation library automation systems. The system provides a web-based public access catalog, and offers workstation-based Windows 9x, 2000 and NT staff services with integrated cataloging, serials, acquisitions, circulation, patron/student services and system administration functionality. It is currently installed at more than 200 libraries, supporting library systems in high-transaction environments.
Gaylord Information Systems is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Provider and the 26-year-old software development division of Gaylord Bros., a leading supplier to the library industry for more than a century. In addition to its library automation systems, GIS offers workflow analysis, retrospective conversion and database enhancement services to libraries of all types.