Monday, August 15

Integrated Library System to be Upgraded

The libraries in your county no longer stamp cards or books with due dates; and yet customers check out, request, and return books in greater numbers today. Thanks to computer software known as an integrated library system, you and your libraries joined others across the nation using barcodes and scanners, computers, and even your cell phone to conduct library business. This technology has allowed Central Mississippi Regional Library System (CMRLS) to improve customer service, and track books and other materials more efficiently.
When this began 10 years ago, many staff and patrons balked at using computers to check out and request books. "The personal interaction with our customers will be gone," many said. However, the libraries have grown and CMRLS now has more than 120,000 library cardholders. "We have more time to give our customers than ever before," said one staff member. "Because of the computers we can help them find exactly what they are looking for, whether it is in the next county or across the country!"

It is time to update the integrated library system in CMRLS libraries. All computers and software have a lifespan, and few live more than 10 years. The system used in your libraries is and will continue to be a product of SirsiDynix, the world's leading provider of library automation solutions today. With the upgrade to the CMRLS system, less tech-savvy customers can look forward to natural language searching complete with 'spell check', while those who prefer to use their iPhone apps for everything will have the full power of the library catalog in the palm of their hand and may share their reading preferences with friends using Facebook. Many of the changes are staff related, but will also enhance the whole customer experience.

CMRLS Director Kaileen Thieling said, "The upgrade of the integrated library system is part of the long range plan adopted by the board of Supervisors and CMRLS Board of Trustees to use the latest technology to provide library service and customer service that is second to none."

For these changes to take place, library staff will need training and this unfortunately will mean closing the libraries. Libraries will close:

  • Scott County branches, August 17
  • Pelahatchie, Sandhill Pisgah, and Pucket, August 19
  • Simpson County branches, August 22
  • Brandon and Florence branches, August 26
  • Pearl and Richland, September 2
  • Flowood and Reservoir branches, September 6
  • Smith County branches, September 13
The training dates are staggered to inconvenience customers as little as possible. Your CMRLS library card may be used at all public libraries in Rankin, Scott, Simpson, and Smith counties. For information regarding hours of operation and location of any CMRLS libraries visit the Internet at http://www.cmrls.lib.ms.us/ or call 601.825.0100.

All CMRLS libraries will close once more on September 26 and 27 for the actual migration from the old system to the new. The libraries will open their regular scheduled hours on September 28 and following with staff eager to help with any questions concerning the changes.

Central Mississippi Regional Library System serves the public libraries of Rankin, Scott, Simpson, and Smith counties. You may address questions relating to the changes or closings to your local library or email them to the Customer Service email address, custsvc@cmrls.lib.ms.us.

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