New library system 'like shopping online'
Patrons can get text messages when 'holds' are in
Change is on the forefront for local libraries with a new catalog system that mimics online shopping sites in its ease of use for patrons.
The new catalog arrives this week for all Waukesha County libraries and features a new look with easier searching, more options, and the ability to send text messages when material a patron has 'on hold' becomes available.]
Kathy Klager, director of Pauline Haass Public Library in Sussex is excited about the change and the additional elements the new system offers patrons.
"I think the biggest change is that it will look much more like what they are used to with online sources. It will be familiar in that regard," she explained.
"You'll be able to do a search and limit it and see the number of hits you will get," right away, she added.
She said the new system moved libraries "into the current age of Internet service."
Highlights of the new catalog allow people to compile lists, save searches and receive alerts on requested materials.
"If people choose, they can keep lists of the books they have read or want to read," Klatt said.
Maria Hinners, head of youth services at Alice Baker Library in Eagle, said that option will be welcomed by many.
"What patrons can do is log in and keep a reading list of all the things they have checked out. That will really be nice; a lot of people keep notebooks with that information. The whole set up is like shopping online," she explained.
Klatt said there are other advancements patrons will enjoy as well.
"Another thing I love is saving a search and being notified anytime anything is added to the catalog. People can get text messages when their 'holds' are in," she added.
Klatt said implementation of the new system is being done on both ends, from the CAFÉ consortium to individual libraries.
CAFÉ (Catalog Access for Everyone) is the name of the group of Waukesha County libraries that have voluntarily joined together to provide a cost effective shared catalog of their resources. Material checked out from one CAFE library can be returned to another. The 15 CAFE libraries are Big Bend, Brookfield, Butler, Delafield, Eagle, Elm Grove, Hartland, Mukwonago, Muskego, New Berlin, Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, Town Hall (Merton), Sussex-Lisbon (Pauline Haass), and Waukesha.
"The Café staff consortium has been working on the actual software. Our staff has been testing and training," Klatt said.
She said the computer screens previously available for searches that libraries have had for some time now, while more sophisticated than the old card catalog, but the new system is much more up to date.
"It's not difficult in any way to use. The very first search on the screen is a keyword search and then it offers you options. It's no fail in that regard. It won't offer something that is not in the catalog." Klatt explained.
"The change on our end is it's a more Window's-friendly program," Hinners said.
"It's a nicer cleaner look and very similar to what they already see online," she added.
Both librarians believe the change will go well.
"We have been practicing since October and hoping for a smooth transition," Hinners said.
"We are always really happy to talk directly with all our customers. We'll be there sharing features and helping with the learning curve. It's another way of building relationships," she added.
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