Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Preparing for the Future

You can read the previous post from Alex Estabrook, who is away at the New England Library Leadership Symposium (NELLS) this week. We're really proud that Alex was chosen for this program. It's a small but select group of people in the early stages of their careers. During this week, they'll challenge themselves to develop leadership skills that will drive library services when old dinosaurs like me are ready to retire. Don't let Alex fool you with his food commentary.
It's a pretty intense week, and the mentors leading the sessions are among the best librarians in New England. They'll make sure the future is in good hands with the next generation of library leaders.

Meanwhile, at the Hooksett Public Library, another kind of training is starting this week. We're getting ready for Polaris, the new integrated library system (ILS) that will replace Horizon next month. After evaluating three systems last year, the GMILCS Board chose Polaris for its ease of use, value, flexibility, and exceptional customer support. Trainers are being trained this week, and staff training will begin soon. Polaris will work like Horizon, only better and faster. As customers, you should find that you will be able to step right into Polaris with ease.

Horizon will go offline on August 21 and Polaris goes "live" on August 27, with a few transitional days during which system functionality will be limited. You'll find that no materials will have due dates that fall during the transition period, and we'd like you to keep things until they're due, if possible. You won't be able to place holds or renew materials online. Please call and we'll be happy to help you with those functions. You will be able to view the Horizon catalog, but the status of materials (On Shelf, Checked Out, Item Being Held, etc.) will not necessarily be accurate. New materials added during that week will not be visible until we switch to Polaris. You will be able to check out materials during that week.

We can't promise you that there won't be any glitches as we make this big move, but we can promise that we will do all that we can to make the transition as smooth as possible. Please feel free to ask questions in a couple of weeks when we will all be a lot smarter about Polaris.

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