|Gaylord Information Systems (GIS), a division of Gaylord Bros., Inc.,
has announced the introduction of systemwide metasearch capabilities in
its Polaris integrated library system. With Polaris 2.0, GIS becomes the
first library automation system vendor to offer fully integrated metasearch
capabilities in every subsystem, not just the public access catalog (PAC),
according to the announcement. The company also announced that the London
(Ohio) Public Library has installed the Polaris system.
According to the company, the need to integrate external resources
into library automation systems is no longer optional for service-oriented
libraries. Today's patrons expect to issue just one search to access information
in the catalog, other library databases, the Web, and the catalogs of cooperating
libraries. Library staff also needs these powerful search capabilities
to enhance its productivity in cataloging and acquisitions.
"GIS has always been on the leading edge of technology," said Katherine
Blauer, GIS president. "We introduced the first automated circulation system
and were one of the first automation vendors to implement Z39.50 when we
included it in our GALAXY system. With the metasearching capabilities of
Polaris 2.0 we are again taking a leadership role in library automation."
Polaris 2.0 delivers the capability to do metasearching in all Polaris
subsystems, including the Polaris PowerPAC (the new Polaris Public Access
Catalog), cataloging, acquisitions, circulation, and serials control. For
a cataloger, this capability represents the ability to create MARC records
on the fly.
"Because of the Polaris architecture and the programming we've done,
we are able to hand back brief MARC records of Web search results, even
if the Web site isn't Z39.50-compliant," said Bill Schickling, GIS vice
president of research and development. "So, a cataloger could do a subject
search in Yahoo! and all the Web sites returned would come back as MARC
records, which could then be added to the library's catalog. This represents
an incredible time-savings for the librarian who can now instantly add
Web sites to the catalog in MARC format."
The Polaris 2.0 search engine was developed by GIS staff to perform
metasearches using the Z39.50 protocol that is fully embedded throughout
the Polaris software. Unlike other vendors, GIS did not import metasearch
capabilities from a third-party supplier.
With the Polaris PowerPAC in Polaris 2.0, libraries have the option
to subscribe to enhanced content services so that book jackets, tables
of contents, reviews, etc., display with the titles. If a library subscribes
to these services, enhanced content will display with a Z39.50 search of
other library catalogs as well, even if those libraries don't provide enhanced
content. The Polaris PowerPAC will generate OpenURL links to return enhanced
content from a Polaris Enhanced Content Server or other third-party servers
"This is a really cool aspect of the way we've designed our PAC and
the way we use Z39.50," said Schickling. "What this means for patrons is
consistency of display—whether they are searching their library's catalog
or other catalogs their library has selected, they will always see the
same type of display. This seamless integration of resources makes it much
easier for patrons to find what they need through their local library."
London Public Library
According to the announcement, the London Public Library is the first
GALAXY site in Ohio to migrate to Polaris.
Gary Branson, assistant director of the London Public Library, highlighted
customer service, advanced technology, and full integration of all subsystems
as key factors in the library's decision to purchase Polaris. "Service
is always great with Gaylord. It was with GALAXY, and we've found with
Polaris that when we call the staff is on top of the problem right away."
In addition to being the first Polaris site in Ohio, the London Public
Library is also GIS's fastest Polaris implementation, according to the
announcement. The library was installed, trained, and fully operational
in just 2 months. Branson credits this in part to the training the library
staff received from GIS.
Source: Gaylord Information Systems, Syracuse, NY, 800/272-3414; http://www.gis.gaylord.com.