|Gaylord Information Systems (GIS) has announced major enhancements
to its Polaris library automation product, with the release of version
1.5 at the end of December. In a separate release, Gaylord has announced
that the Clearwater (Florida) Public Library System will implement Polaris.
According to the company, Polaris 1.5 has more than 140 new product
features, including a redesigned search engine, making the library software
faster, more precise, and easier for patrons to use. A new search feature
allows librarians and their patrons to limit search results by assigned
branch, material type, date, and other bibliographical data. Another unique
feature is Polaris OneView, which allows users to view screen headings,
bibliographic information, and item-level information on one screen.
Polaris 1.5 also provides full Z39.50 connectivity in both public and
staff clients, allowing users to search other libraries' databases and
enabling Polaris to serve as a host for a Z39.50 session.
"With Polaris 1.5, we are achieving our goal of making our library software
as functionally rich as possible," said Katherine Blauer, president of
Gaylord Information Systems. "We are grateful to the many libraries and
their staffs who provide feedback to us so we can continue to design software
that provides patron-centric solutions for patron-centric libraries."
The Polaris 1.5 browser-based PAC offers the security and features of
a PC-based application. That flexibility extends to on-the-fly user customizations.
Searchers can select from the following bibliography styles at any time
during a session: Modern Language Association, Chicago Manual of Style,
and American Psychological Association. Records can also be printed and
saved from the PAC in brief and in full bibliographic display.
Polaris 1.5 accommodates the newly structured Library of Congress Control
Number (LCCN) format, and can determine if an abbreviated LCCN is written
in the new or old format. Other highlights of Polaris 1.5 include adding
standing-orders functionality to acquisitions and serials processing, enabling
circulation to support the handling of lost items, and adding new transaction
functionality to patron accounts.
In addition, the text editor used for editing bibliographic authority
records has new selection and edit actions, and the editor now uses familiar
Microsoft Windows editing commands.
Polaris 1.5 combines two planned releases: a 1.5 functional release
with a previously planned SQL Server 7.0 release. This decision was made,
according to Blauer, to eliminate the distribution of a second upgrade
within a short period of time, and to deliver more functionality sooner
and cause less disruption to the library.
Polaris is a native Windows NT integrated system that provides a Web-based
public access catalog, and offers workstation-based Windows 9x, 2000, and
NT staff services with integrated cataloging, serials, acquisitions, circulation,
patron/student services, and system administration functionality. It's
currently installed at more than 200 libraries.
Clearwater Public Library System
Clearwater purchased Polaris as an upgrade from GIS's GALAXY system,
which the library has used since 1992. In making this decision, Clearwater
joined a number of other public libraries that have migrated from GALAXY
to Polaris to provide a more technologically advanced automation system,
according to the announcement. Polaris offers full Windows functionality
and helps position libraries for adopting new technologies in the future
to serve their patrons.
"Polaris delivers satisfied patrons," said John Szabo, director of the
Clearwater Public Library System. "It features an easy-to-use public access
catalog and requires little patron education, and its Windows NT foundation
makes it a 'friendly face' for users."
Clearwater Public Library System has 97 user licenses, approximately
400,000 volumes, and five branches.
"We upgraded to Polaris because we were ready for the latest technology,"
said Linda Lange, Clearwater Public Library System's automation coordinator.
"I love the ease of Polaris and the fact that it's so easy to maneuver
through the staff client. I've also always greatly appreciated the support
we've gotten from GIS."
Source: Gaylord Information Systems, Syracuse, NY, 800/272-3414; http://www.gaylord.com/automation.