Syracuse, N.Y.— Two more GALAXY libraries have contracted with Gaylord Information Systems (GIS) to upgrade from their GALAXY automation system to the Polaris integrated library system. They are part of a wave of GALAXY libraries that have recognized the value of embracing the most advanced library automation system, while retaining their long-term relationship with GIS.
Lexington County Public Library System
Located in Lexington, SC, the Lexington County Public Library System has nine branches and a bookmobile to serve the residents of Lexington County. A GALAXY user since 1992, the library decided this was the right time to move to Polaris. “Lexington County is the fastest growing area in South Carolina," said Dan MacNeill, Director of the Lexington County Public Library System. “Since 1995, the library has replaced or renovated all but one of our nine buildings. To keep up with the growth in our community, we needed to move beyond the capabilities of GALAXY and upgrade to Polaris.”
The library has 475,000 volumes (books, video and audio) with an annual circulation of approximately 1,450,000. “Our collection size, circulation, and number of registered borrowers are all increasing,” MacNeill said. “We needed a system that was flexible, with the ability to handle our growth in size and in service. Because Polaris is a Windows NT system, we felt it would deliver the capabilities we need today and the expansion possibilities we'll need in the future.”
Another factor in Lexington County's decision to upgrade to Polaris was the incentive to stay with the same vendor, which made Polaris an efficient and affordable way to move to the latest technology. Prior to becoming director of the Lexington County Public Library System, MacNeill worked at another GALAXY library, so he is especially pleased to be able to continue to work with the same people. “We liked the idea of staying with Gaylord because we know they are interested in making sure our system will serve the needs of our library users,” he said.
“GIS staff have worked closely with Dan MacNeill and his staff for many years,” said Katherine Blauer, GIS President. “We're delighted that Polaris will be a part of their growing community for many years to come and look forward to continuing the strong relationship we've built with the Lexington County Public Library System.”
Lexington County will implement Polaris with 215 user licenses.
Columbus County Public Library
Located in southeast North Carolina, the Columbus County Public Library serves a population of 50,000 with a main library and five branches. The library received a large grant from the Gates Foundation in 2000, which became the driving force behind looking for a new automation system. An additional grant from the North Carolina State Library enabled Columbus County to hire an automation consultant, who recommended the library upgrade to a Windows-based system. A GALAXY customer since 1990, the logical choice was to upgrade to Polaris.
“We've always had good service from Gaylord,” said Columbus County Library Director Jamie Hansen. “Price is always a factor when you're working with county government, and the Gaylord people really worked with us to make Polaris affordable for our library.”
The Columbus County Public Library has a materials collection of 115,420 items (books, serials, audio and video). In 2000, their circulation was 257,350. Almost half the people in the county (24,738 people) are registered borrowers of the library. “Our patrons will really like what they see with Polaris,” said Hansen. “Even now, they walk up to our text-based GALAXY system and look for a mouse! They will be excited by what they see with Polaris, and staff will be happy not to have to explain how to search. Patrons will know right away what to do because Polaris with its Windows interface will look familiar to them.”
The Columbus County Public Library will implement Polaris with 32 user licenses. “Our staff are very excited about Polaris,” said Hansen. “We're all ready to go and looking forward to continuing a long relationship with Gaylord.”
“Both the Lexington County Public Library System and the Columbus County Public Library are excellent examples of GALAXY libraries that have worked with us through the GIS Continuum of Services to deliver the best technology to their patrons,” said Katherine Blauer. “The GIS Continuum Team takes seriously its charge to help our libraries find the right technology fit for their community.”
The GIS Continuum of Services creates opportunities for GALAXY customers to adopt new technology in accordance with their own library's growth plan. Products included in the Continuum are GALAXY WebPAC, Graphical GALAXY®, Data Enhancement and Enrichment, GALAXY ZServe (Z39.50 server software), and Polaris, GIS's third generation native Windows NT library automation system.
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. More than 600 libraries nationwide use the GALAXY and Polaris integrated library systems. 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.