INWOOD, WV, March 29, 2001 In an era in which librarians and patrons alike are increasingly demanding web access to library resources and easy-to-use automation tools, a growing tide of libraries of all sizes and types in the Midwest are adopting the latest, third generation technology.
Developed by software innovator TLC-- a leader in library automation for more than a quarter of a century--the new solution has become the fastest-growing automation product of its type. Called Library.Solution, it's a web-based system that operates on a Windows NT operating system, Intel-compatible hardware and an Oracle database. The result is a comprehensive, yet user-friendly automation system that frees librarians from the challenge of patching together separate networks for cataloging, circulation and online resources.
In recent months, seven library systems in Indiana and ten organizations in Kentucky have joined more than 1,000 libraries worldwide in selecting Library.Solution. Aggregated, the new libraries in Indiana and Kentucky account for 32 sites and 399 workstations. In making their choice, library directors throughout the region identify TLC's strong customer focus and feature-rich products as primary decision points. Librarians also cited two newly introduced programs from TLC that work in concert with Library.Solution. One, “YouSeeMore,” allows patrons to create a personal portal, enabling them to “see” book covers, read reviews online and obtain recommendations while searching the online public access catalog (OPAC). The second, “Kid's Catalog Web,” is a web-based program that makes library catalogs more accessible to beginning readers and ensures that Web content for children is age-appropriate.
The Bluegrass North Consortium in central Kentucky presents a compelling model. Three single-site libraries formed a consortium the first of its kind with public libraries in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to share resources and realize economies of scale. The three libraries, Scott County Public Library, Paul Sawyier and Woodford County Public Library, are networked to a common server. While individual libraries maintain their autonomy -- thus preserving their own circulation policies and procedures -- patrons and staff have access to resources at each site within the consortium.
With this unique approach, libraries that may not have had the funding to automate are able to do so, and network with other libraries to share resources -- all at a lower cost. For this very reason, Woodford County Public Library was able to finally shift from manual circulation to an automated approach. In total, the consortium will install approximately140 stations and PACs at the three sites. Installation is anticipated in late April.
Two of the libraries -- Scott County and Paul Sawyier -- migrated from another vendor's system, Gaylord Galaxy. According to one consortium member, Rita Douthitt, Director of Paul Sawyier Public Library in Frankfort, Kentucky, “We needed a web-based system that could operate with one server, network to multiple sites, and upgrade easily. TLC was able to meet our unique requirements both in terms of cost-effectiveness and flexibility. My colleagues and I are very excited about this venture and the potential to add more libraries to the association.”
In bordering Indiana, libraries are coming to a similar conclusion. Jasper County Public Library represents the latest migration from Gaylord Galaxy to Library.Solution. Lynn Daugherty, Director for Jasper County Public Library, said, “We made our selection based on proposals from four different vendors. Our library required a Windows-based system that is feature-rich. Other vendors referred to functions they planned to introduce, but TLC already had them in use.”
Concluded Annette Bakhtiar, Chief Executive Officer of TLC, “Every library, regardless of size and location, should have Web access and an easy-to-use automation system, and libraries worldwide are increasingly discovering the simplicity and power of Library.Solution. It meets the needs of all types of libraries and is tremendously flexible. We take great pride in the warm reception TLC has enjoyed in Kentucky and Indiana.”