News and Tribune

July 25, 2013

New Albany-Floyd County library upgrade emphasizes technology

New system to make facility more user friendly; will close for three days

By CHRIS MORRIS
chris.morris@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — When it’s unveiled Aug. 14, a new and improved New Albany-Floyd County Public Library emphasizing technology will be much more user friendly, according to library Director Rose Frost.

An integrated computer software system that controls the library’s key services will be installed beginning Aug. 12. Library staff use the software to check books in and out, print notices, and the online computer catalog that patrons use to look up books and other materials. The library has been on its current system for more than 20 years.

“This is a huge deal,” Frost said. “We will be able to do so much more with this system.”

Along with the system, the library will also launch a new website next month which will include more staff blogs and better indexing.

The library budgeted $100,000 for the new system, but Frost said the final cost will likely be less. Along with the system and website, the library will also be getting new, larger computer monitors.

The library will be closed on Sunday, Aug. 11 through Tuesday, Aug. 13 so that the new software can be installed and configured. There will also be staff training for two days.

The new system is called Library Solution 2 and is sold and supported by The Library Corporation (TLC) in Inwood, W.V.

Current library card holders will be able to keep their same library cards. Information about holds, items checked out, addresses and phone numbers will be transferred automatically from the old Horizon system to the new TLC software.

The process of replacing the old system began at the beginning of the year, according to Frost. Several members of the staff were involved in developing criteria for a new system, viewing demonstrations and evaluating features. TLC’s Library Solution 2 was selected for the NA-FC Library according to Frost because it offers:

• a user friendly interface.

• email and text message capabilities.

• e-commerce so that patrons can pay their fines with credit and/or debit cards either online from home, using a mobile app, or paying at the library.

• a special graphical card catalog for children.

Library notices will also be able to be emailed or sent by text message instead of mail.

“This system will also allow the staff to do more statewide reports and will allow us to borrow books anywhere in the state that is on this system,” Frost said. “Another big advantage is the old system will not allow us to do e-commerce. Now there will be an application where people can pay fines and fees from their home or office.”

Frost said when the library reopens Aug. 14, the staff will be prepared to answer questions and help patrons maneuver through the new system. However, during the three days the library is closed, its website will not be available for use.