Syracuse, N.Y.— Gaylord Information Systems (GIS) has announced that the Mason City Public Library (Iowa) has contracted to purchase Polaris®, the industry's leading 3rd generation integrated library system.
Built in 1939, the Mason City Public Library serves the 46,000 people of Mason City, Cerro Gordo County and the surrounding area with a collection of 105,441 items (books, magazines, audio-video). With its beautiful gardens and unique architecture the library serves as a hub for the community, but up until now its library catalog has not been accessible outside the library. That's about to change.
The Mason City Public Library has been automated since the mid-1980's, but Polaris will allow the library to provide remote access to its catalog for the first time. “When we started to look for a new automation system we knew we needed to deliver the traditional library of the past as well as the virtual library of today and the future,” said Andy Alexander, director of the Mason City Public Library. “Polaris offers a lot of functionality for the virtual library as well as the traditional library at a very reasonable cost.”
Several key areas of Polaris functionality were especially appealing to Mason City. The library recognized the tremendous advantage of the Polaris integrated design where “everything is connected.” In addition, Alexander said, “We really liked the way Polaris handles 856 tags. Imbedding these in the record turns the library into a search engine for the web. In our community, people are using the Internet but not necessarily the library. We need to bring them back – and Polaris will help us do that.”
“Purchasing Polaris was a logical step for the Mason City Public Library,” said Katherine Blauer, president of GIS. “The library's mission statement highlights their commitment to using advanced technology to ‘enhance the delivery of services and maximize access to information and materials.' Polaris is the perfect product to help them achieve this mission.”
With both a Windows and a Web-based public access catalog (PAC), a Windows staff interface, and Z39.50 capabilities totally integrated into all aspects of the system, Polaris offers a familiar look as well as advanced capabilities that only a 3rd generation system can bring to public libraries. With Polaris, Gaylord has taken the lead with a technologically advanced solution that completely embraces the Web and standards such as XML and Z39.50. Today, more than 200 libraries are using Polaris every day for cataloging, circulation, patron services, public access catalog, acquisitions and serials control.
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. Thirty percent of GIS staff are professional librarians, including GIS President Katherine Blauer.