County library system switching to new ILS

Libraries across Warren County are in for a change.

At the Warren Library Association’s board of directors meeting Monday afternoon, Library Director Patty Sherbondy announced the library system will be switching to a new integrated library system (ILS) service provider.

An ILS is an information management system which tracks library resources, usually both internally, such as acquisition activities, and externally, such as circulation of materials taken out by the public.

The library, according to Sherbondy, began examining alternatives to the current system, provided by the SirsiDynix, due to rising costs. After weighing the options, the library will switch to a system provided by Polaris Library Systems.

While there is an initial investment in the new system of approximately $52,225, Sherbondy noted the annual cost of the new system is approximately half that of the current system. The library budgeted approximately $26,000 for the SirsiDynix system. The Polaris system will cost approximately $13,000 annually.

While $52,225 is a large expenditure, Sherbondy noted Polaris is offering a discount of $16,248, reducing initial investment to just under $36,000.

Sherbondy said she is looking into further funding to, “…cover as much of that up front as possible.”

Financing is available if needed for remaining initial investment costs.

“If you’re online and you’re used to Google,” Sherbondy said of the new system interface, “that’s the kind of interface you’re going to see.”

The board unanimously approved a new budget totaling $1,094,198, with no substantive changes from 2012.

Sherbondy said the budget maintains, “The same hours, same services and same staff.”

New board officers were elected.

Steve Sigmund will take the reins as board president, Pat Evans will serve as vice president, Cindy Price will remain secretary and Keith Kirsch will remain as treasurer.

Board members also approved a resolution formally recognizing Chase Putnam for his contributions. Putnam is ending his monthly jazz series, which has run for 15 years.

Sherbondy reported the 2012 giving campaign raised approximately $40,600.

“Given the economy, I think we did very well,” she said.

Sherbondy also reported money has been raised to cover sidewalk replacements.

“The community supports us so well,” Sherbondy said. “We are so grateful.”

It was also noted the mid-winter benefit held Jan. 19, has raised $11,655 so far.

It was announced the library saw an increase in circulation of eight percent and an increase in both public computer and microfilm usage of six percent each.