Users of the public libraries in Richfield and Salina can now pick up new library cards.
A new cataloging system designed to allow greater interaction between public libraries in Richfield, Salina and Gunnison started functioning in earnest last week. The Central Utah Collaborative ILS — Integrated Library System — is an endeavor that started last summer with grant application.
“We’ve had to go slowly, but it’s been good so far,” said Patrick Bodily, director of the Richfield Public Library. He said the library is transitioning from its old cataloging system to the upgraded software. The goal is to be completely reliant on the new system by Monday, July 1.
Richfield’s library is currently checking out books through the new system and handing out new library cards to patrons. There is no charge to receive a new card for people who already have a library card. Switching to a new card takes just a few minutes, Bodily said.
The new system also allows for upgrades to the online catalogs of the three libraries. In addition to the ability to search for books online, the new system allows users to reserve materials.
Bodily said this means a user in Salina can search Richfield’s collection online, place a hold on a book, and then pick it up when he or she is in town.
The ILS system also allows users to set up reminder e-mails so that they know when a book they have checked out is due, helping people prevent late fees.
“You can also look up a list of everything you have checked out,” Bodily said. He said for families that check out several books at once, this allows a way to better keep track of the materials on loan from the library.
While Richfield has been making the transition a step at a time, Salina’s library had to dive into it head first, said Ronda Huntsman, Salina’s library director.
“The other system crashed,” Huntsman said. Rather than try to repair an old server, the library opted to start using the new system exclusively, Huntsman said.
Huntsman said the new system, which also came online last week in Salina, is working well so far.
“People are going over to the new cards,” Huntsman said. “It makes it so much nicer.” She said patrons are already taking advantage of the ability to check out books at other locations.
Huntsman said once a week, books turned in to different locations will be transported back to their home libraries. There is no extra fee for users to check out books at one of the other libraries in the group.
Gunnison’s library has not yet transferred over to the new system, but is expected to make the switch later this summer, Huntsman said.
Other libraries involved in the ILS project include Beaver Public Library, Ephraim Public Library, Manti City Library, Milford Public Library, Minersville Public Library and Mount Pleasant Public Library.