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The Alachua County Library District is switching its automated library system. What does this mean for the average library user?
The good news: The new system will have many improvements that our users have been asking for. Read about the exciting new features of the new online catalog.
The not-so-good news: Like any major computer system change, there will be some inconvenience for a couple of weeks.
Here's what to expect during this time of transition:
- Beginning May 15, 2012, library users will not be able to place holds on physical library items, until the new system is up. (Holds on eBooks and other digital media will not be affected.) Holds already placed before May 15 will not be affected and should carry over to the new system. The online Purchase Request system also will be unavailable.
- After closing on May 24, the Library District will freeze most transactions (other than basic checkout with a library card) so the situation that exists in the old system at the end of the day on May 24 can be re-created when the new system goes live on May 30.
- The old online catalogs (AquaBrowser, the Alternate Catalog and its My Account features) will be brought offline and retired after closing on May 24th.
- Patrons MUST present their library cards to check out materials from May 25-29.
- No new library cards will be issued from May 25 through May 30 because of the system upgrade.
- Checkout due dates have been extended in hopes you will Babysit Our Books. We will not be able to check in books during the transition period when we are offline, and so we are extending due dates to compensate for this.
On May 30, we will introduce a great new system and online catalog with many popular features. But please be patient as we learn the new system. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
A note for those curious about exactly what an automated library system is:
An automated library system is the computer system that keeps track of the library’s lending collection and your account information. From the Library District website you have most likely used this system to search for books and other items, place holds, or check account information. The system we have been using, from a company called SirsiDynix, is being replaced by a new system from a company called Polaris Library Systems. Many large library systems have switched to Polaris in recent years, including Miami-Dade and Lee County in Florida, as well as public libraries in Denver, Dallas, Maricopa County (Phoenix, AZ), and Pierce County (Tacoma, WA).