Information Today
Volume 19, Issue 3 March 2002
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Gaylord Partners with Unique Management Services, Announces Polaris Implementation

Gaylord Information Systems (GIS) has announced that libraries using the Polaris integrated library system are now able to quickly implement an electronic collection agency function as a result of an agreement between it and Unique Management Services, Inc. Polaris libraries that elect to use this capability for material recovery can simply turn on the collection agency function in Polaris once they have signed an agreement with Unique Management Services. GIS has also announced that the Harrison Regional Library System in Alabama has selected Polaris.
 

Unique Management Services
The collection agency functionality is fully integrated into Polaris so libraries can set up the parameters to implement the service in less than an hour. Once implemented, libraries can transfer overdue-materials information automatically and electronically to Unique Management Services. A 90-day no-risk trial offer is available for interested Polaris customers who have upgraded to Polaris 2.0.

"Gaylord Information Systems was very responsive as they implemented the interface to Unique Management Services," said Dick Neal, manager of strategic partnerships at Unique Management Services. "Programming the interface into the software means we can work easily with Polaris customers who want to try our services and see for themselves the difference we can make in helping them recover past-due material."

Once a library has signed up to use Unique Management Services, Polaris manages all collection functions automatically, from sending reports electronically to the agency to updating the patron record. The patron's standing with regard to the collection agency, dates reported, and amounts owed and paid are visible in the patron's account. Using a defined "gentle reminder system" of phone calls and letters, Unique Management Services encourages patrons to return overdue items to the library. Unique Management Services provides the library with a detailed monthly report showing the status of each patron account and summary results to date. The system is flexible enough to accommodate reporting in single libraries and in consortia.

Unique Management Services, Inc. specializes in helping libraries recover overdue materials. More than 450 libraries throughout North America currently utilize its material-recovery service. The focus of its service is to help recover overdue materials in a gentle and professional manner so patron goodwill can be maintained. Most library clients take advantage of Unique Management's budget-neutrality guarantee to recover enough cash along with the materials to cover its fees.
 

Harrison Regional Library System
According to the announcement, the Harrison Regional Library System is the first GALAXY site in Alabama to migrate to Polaris.

Barbara Roberts, director of the Harrison Regional Library System, highlighted customer service, advanced technology, and full integration of all subsystems as key factors in the library's decision to purchase Polaris. She said: "GIS has been serving our library system for 6 years with the GALAXY system. We have been pleased and very satisfied with the service we've received. We are excited about the future of our library with the Polaris system and confident GIS will continue to meet our needs."

She said: "With Polaris we are getting a complete system that was developed to take advantage of today's newest technology. We wanted a system that not only meets our needs today but will continue to grow with our countywide library system throughout the coming decades. After looking at other systems the staff of our libraries agreed that Polaris was right for us."

Located in central Alabama, the Harrison Regional Library System serves over 145,000 Shelby County residents and is made up of 11 member libraries. Working together, the libraries circulate over 600,000 items annually to over 65,000 registered library users. The combined materials collection for the library system is more than 255,000 items.

Source: Gaylord Information Systems, Syracuse, NY, 800/272-3414; http://www.gaylord.com/automation.

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