Monday, January 14, 2013

Big Changes Coming to Library District

The Mississippi Valley Library District, which includes both the Collinsville Memorial Public Library and the Fairmont City Library Center, is in for some big changes in the spring of 2013.

The M.V.L.D. is currently a member of the Illinois Heartland Library System and currently lends items to and borrows items from most public libraries south of Springfield, Illinois. This spring, all of the libraries in the IHLS - including the M.V.L.D. - will be merging onto one database, which has formed the group known as SHARE (Sharing Heartland’s Available Resources Equally).

The merge will make the Mississippi Valley Library District a part of the largest library consortia in the United States and will give patrons a wider selections of materials to access. According to the official website of the Illinois Heartland Library System, “Approximately 450 libraries belong to the IHLS SHARE automation group. Patrons of those libraries will have access to almost 10 million books, DVDs, CDs, and magazines from any other library in the SHARE system. The online public catalog will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

As of a result of the merge, the circulation software for many libraries will be changing from Millennium to an automated system called Polaris, which has been praised for having a very user-friend and intuitive interface.

There is, however, one downside to the transition: the library district will be circulating offline for two weeks before they go live. As a result of this, patrons will lose any holds that they have placed on items and their reading histories will disappear. The library district suggests that patrons should start keeping backup electronic copies of these two things on their personal computers or physically in a notebook starting in early March. In addition, the M.V.L.D. will not issue new Library Cards during those two weeks.

According to Barbara R., Director of the Mississippi Valley Library District, “The Library Staff will do everything in its arsenal of expertise to make this an easy transformation for you. We will appreciate your patience while we learn and perfect our control of the new software.”

“Your current library card will gain you access to all of those collections through the new online card catalog as well as your ability to walk into any of our Illinois libraries and borrow onsite,” she added.

The M.V.L.D. will leave the Millennium System and move to the Polaris System on March 25. The library district’s “Go Live on Polaris!” Day will be April 9.

Both library centers will be closed on Friday, January 18th and March 22nd for Polaris Training. In addition, both centers will be opening at 1pm on Friday, February 15th for Polaris Training.
Posted by Jed Robbins, Library Assistant