Syracuse, NY (January 2002) – Libraries using the Polaris integrated library system are now able to quickly implement an electronic collection agency function as a result of an agreement between Gaylord Information Systems (GIS) and Unique Management Services. Polaris libraries that elect to use this capability for material recovery can simply turn on the collection agency function in Polaris once they have signed an agreement with Unique Management, making it fast and easy to begin using this capability.
The collection agency functionality is fully integrated into Polaris so libraries can set up the parameters to implement the service in less than an hour. Once implemented, libraries can transfer overdue materials information automatically and electronically to Unique Management Services. A 90-day no-risk trial offer is available for interested Polaris customers who have upgraded to Polaris 2.0.
“Gaylord Information Systems was very responsive as they implemented the interface to Unique Management Services,” said Dick Neal, manager strategic partnerships, Unique Management Services. “Programming the interface into the software means we can work easily with Polaris customers who want to try our services and see for themselves the difference we can make in helping them recover past-due material.”
Once a library has signed up to use Unique Management Services, Polaris manages all collection functions automatically, from sending reports electronically to the agency to updating the patron record. The patron’s standing with regard to the collection agency, dates reported, amounts owed and paid, are visible in the patron’s account. Using a defined “gentle reminder system” of phone calls and letters, Unique Management encourages patrons to return overdue items to the library. Unique Management provides the library with a detailed monthly report showing the status of each patron account and summary results to date. The system is flexible enough to accommodate reporting in single libraries and in consortia.
“Recovering overdue materials is an ongoing problem for libraries who want to be more fiscally responsible for the materials entrusted to them,” commented Katherine Blauer, GIS president. “Through our relationship with Unique Management Services and our rapid development of the interface to their electronic system, GIS is pleased to offer our Polaris customers an easy way to implement a material recovery program.”
The Polaris integrated library system is currently installed in more than 200 libraries. The system features client/server design that supports wireless and thin client technologies; object-oriented programming that seamlessly links elements throughout subsystems; multi-tiered architecture that facilitates rapid development to adapt to new technologies; and graphical presentations for all aspects of the system, including the application software, operating system and network management facilities. In addition to providing an interface to Unique Management Services for material recovery, Polaris 2.0 also introduces advanced metasearching capabilities and enhanced content; Z39.50 searching for authority records; and support for EDI X12 ordering, order acknowledgement, and invoicing using the 4010 enhanced standard.
Unique Management Services, Inc. specializes in helping libraries recover over-due materials. More than 450 libraries throughout North America currently utilize their material recovery service. The focus of their service is to help recover over-due materials in a gentle and professional manner so patron goodwill can be maintained. Most library clients take advantage of Unique Management's budget neutrality guarantee to recover enough cash along with the materials to cover their fees. Unique Management works hard to utilize technology to the maximum knowing that library staff typically stay very busy. For most clients, data is processed completely electronically to eliminate paperwork and library staff time requirements.
Gaylord Information Systems is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Provider and the 27-year-old software development division of Gaylord Bros., a leading supplier and innovator in 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.