The Upper Arlington Public Library Joins the CLC

The Upper Arlington Public Library (UAPL) is pleased to announce that it will be joining the CLC and switching to Polaris as its new Integrated Library System (ILS).

With the click of a button, UAPL patrons will have access to an expanded collection that is ten times larger than what is currently offered.  An efficient delivery system will deliver most requested material from other locations to UAPL within two to four days.

A mobile friendly catalog, credit card online fine payment and the ability to return items to the UAPL or to any CLC member library are added benefits of this collaboration.

The UAPL has been a standalone library system since its inception.  However, there are multiple factors that make joining a consortium a better option for our patrons at this time.  Our current ILS hardware is at the end of its useful life.  Our existing patron catalog interface will no longer be supported at the end of 2013.  Efficiencies are gained by sharing services with 11 other local library systems.  Buying power can be leveraged on certain products to reduce costs.

The CLC offers all the benefits of shared services with the ability to maintain the UAPL’s individual identity.  The UAPL will still set local policies, purchase items that our patrons want and maintain our great customer services practices.  The CLC offers the best of both worlds and is the right step for the UAPL to take at this time.  Shared services with our new partners will make the UAPL stronger.

The migration to CLC’s Polaris system is expected to be complete by June 2014.

Finished Clearing Office Space in Lithopolis

Today the CLC Staff finished clearing out the last of our office space in Lithopolis. Many thanks to the Wagnalls Memorial staff for all they did over the past 14 years to make this a wonderfully collaborative space for us to work in! The space is now up for rent. If you’d like to make the charming community of Lithopolis, home to your business and work next to a castle (for real!) please get in touch with their realtor.

Also thanks to Dustin and his crew from eGreen Computing for helping us responsibly recycle the old equipment that we were no longer using.

Finally I want to personally thank CLC Staff members Mike & Alex for all their assistance in helping to clear out our old space in such an orderly fashion. As IT pros, they didn’t know they’d be called to do so much manual labor – thanks guys!

We look forward to welcoming you at our new office space in Gahanna. Feel free to setup an appointment to drop by and take a look.

New library partners will be joining CLC in 2013

Columbus Metropolitan Library, Worthington Libraries and Southwest Public Libraries have made the strategic decision to join the Central Library Consortium (CLC) in 2013. This partnership results in 11 library systems serving 1.4 million residents across six counties with nearly 1.2 million titles, doubling the number of titles all of those libraries currently offer their customers.

The CLC is a 25-year-old partnership among library systems who share materials, resources, servers, licenses, group purchases and even staff while remaining strong, independent library systems. Libraries in the consortium include: Alexandria, Fairfield County, Grandview Heights, Marysville, Pickaway County, Pickerington, Plain City and Wagnalls Memorial.

“We are very excited about this partnership and we think it’s a wonderful opportunity for all of our library systems,” said Ryan McDonnell, CLC Governing Council chair and the Director of Marysville Public Library. “The CLC Governing Council voted unanimously to welcome Columbus Metropolitan Library, Worthington Libraries and Southwest Public Libraries into the consortium. This will open so many doors for our library systems and more importantly, for our customers.”

This opportunity presented itself when Columbus Metropolitan Library, Worthington Libraries and Southwest Public Library chose to make Polaris Library Systems its new Integrated Library System (ILS) because all of the libraries in the CLC also operate with Polaris. An ILS is the core software that manages library business. It keeps track of items the library purchases, materials that have been borrowed, customer information, fines and fees, everything a library needs to control inventory and communicate with customers. The Columbus Metropolitan Library Board of Trustees voted today to make Polaris Library Systems its new vendor for its ILS. In that same meeting, the Board voted to join the CLC.

“Joining the CLC is a win-win for libraries and our customers throughout central Ohio,” said Patrick Losinski, chief executive officer of Columbus Metropolitan Library. “Polaris will give us the ability to better manage our resources, connect with customers and reduce costs. Our current in-house system has stood the test of time but it is now time to move into the next generation of library service and new technology.  All governments and non-profits have been challenged to look for ways to collaborate, save resources, and offer better services.  Libraries have been and continue to be at the forefront of this movement.”

Put simply, any customer from any of the libraries in the CLC will be able to borrow materials from any library in the consortium. Sharing services and materials will standardize customer experiences within the systems, making them more efficient and less costly. All these library systems appreciate the value of collaboration in a time that funding from the state has been diminishing.

“Polaris has been great for our current members,” said CLC Executive Director of Information Technology Wes Osborn. “We can offer effective resource sharing while allowing each library system to maintain its own identity. The CLC staff looks forward to building on our proven ILS platform by adding these new partners.”

“This will dramatically change the face of public library use in Central Ohio,” said Director of the Grandview Heights Public Library Mary Ludlum, a CLC founding member and the CLC Administering Library. “It is a thrill to join forces with the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Worthington Libraries, and Southwest Public Libraries. The sharing of these resources not only helps Ohio public libraries save money, it offers unprecedented access to materials for the public. This is a dream come true.”

Columbus Metropolitan Library, Southwest Public Libraries and Worthington Libraries have been partners in sharing a catalog and materials for over 20 years so they have already seen success with sharing materials.

“We are pleased to have this opportunity to advance our goal of increased resource sharing and excited about the possibility of greater collaboration and cooperation among public libraries in central Ohio and beyond,” said Worthington Libraries Director/Chief Executive Officer Chuck Gibson. “It will help us better meet the information demands of the communities we serve in a time of diminished state funding for libraries.

“This partnership demonstrates to our community, legislators and other stakeholders that we understand the need to think differently and collaboratively in a time of diminishing dollars,” Losinski said. “By investing in advances in technology and strategic partnerships, we position ourselves as an organization ready to meet the needs and demands of our customers and communities in every strategic way we can.”

“There is a lot of work to be done in a short amount of time,” said Columbus Metropolitan Library Collection Management Director Robin Nesbitt, ILS project manager. “But in the end we believe this move will save money, make our library systems better and our customers happier.”