Syracuse, NY (March 2000) Gaylord Information Systems (GIS) today announced that the Albemarle Regional Library System has accepted GIS' Polaris integrated library system as its automation solution. The library system, headquartered in Winton, North Carolina, provides library services to a four-county region. The Albemarle system consists of the Gates County Library, the Hertford County Library, the Northampton Memorial Library, the Sallie Harrell Jenkins Public Library in Aulander, the Elizabeth Sewell Parker Library in Murfreesboro, Lawrence Memorial Library in Berti County, and the Ahoskie Public Library.
By automating with Polaris, the libraries in the Albemarle system are solidifying their positions as information hubs in their communities. Valerie Hiatt, Director of the Albemarle Library, believes that the libraries will be the primary ‘gateway' to the Internet and the World Wide Web for many Albemarle patrons. "Our libraries provide the only public access computers in the county. With Polaris we are able to exponentially increase that offering by extending access to information beyond our local catalogs. Coupled with our recently installed T1 lines, Polaris is preparing us for a tighter integration with all that is possible with the World Wide Web."
Pam Price, Albemarle System Administrator, added, "We are impressed with the entire Polaris OPAC feature set. In the past our libraries functioned separately – patrons registered at one library were unable to check out items at other libraries in the system. With Polaris our patrons are accessing items from any of our libraries, and other Z39.50-compliant catalogs – anywhere. That brings us closer to our patrons, and our patrons closer to the information."
Albemarle chose and accepted Polaris after reviewing a number of automation systems, joining more than 160 libraries that currently use Polaris as their automation solution. Hiatt said, "Polaris met 97 percent of our RFP requirements and came with an extremely competitive price. Our staff has also been comfortable with the Windows-compliant interface and customizable workflows."
Albemarle's Polaris system provides the library's 35,000 patrons access to 200,000 titles. The library has deployed the Polaris OPAC on 40 public access workstations, supporting up to 200 concurrent users accessing the catalog from outside the library. GIS also provided retrospective conversion of the library's entire catalog, including authority control.
After 38 years of service to libraries (15 spent with Albemarle), Valerie Hiatt is preparing to retire on a high note. "I'll be leaving in August 2000, confident that with Polaris, the Albemarle libraries are prepared to move forward in this age of information proliferation. With the help of the Library Services and Technology Act we were able to outfit each library with the tools they need to compete with the Web. Polaris and GIS are a big part of that."
Polaris is a non-modular, native-Windows NT library automation solution. The system offers complete access to integrated cataloging, serials, acquisitions, circulation, patron/student services, and system administration functionality. Polaris provides a Web-based OPAC and a Windows 9x, 2000, or NT Workstation-based staff services client. Polaris is currently installed in more than 160 libraries, supporting a number of libraries with more than 350 concurrent users in high-transaction environments.
GIS is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Provider and the 25 year-old software development division of Gaylord Bros., a leading supplier to the library industry for over a century. In addition to its library automation systems, GIS offers workflow analysis, retrospective conversion, and database enhancement services to libraries of all types. For more information, visit or contact GIS headquarters at 800-272-3414.