Library to change catalog system; joins material ­sharing consortium

Patrons of the Cherokee County Public Library will, soon have more options when it comes to choosing what items they would like to check out.

On November 9, the library will migrate into the South Carolina Librarv Evergreen Network Deliverv System (SCLENDS),a consortium of 19 other countylibrary systems throughout South Carolina, as well as the State Library Membership in the consortium will give CCPL patrons access to the collections of the other member libraries, a total of 2.75 million items, which will be delivered to the Cherokee County Public Library for pick­up, usually within a matter of days. CCPL will be switching from its current catalog system, Horizon, to the open­source software Evergreen, which is used by the consortium.

SCLENDS was created in 2008, with three libraries implementing the system in 2009. Over the last eight years, the consortium has seen significant growth, now serving nearly half the counties in the state and about 1.5 million residents. The consortium made the decision to use open­source software based on the flexibility it had provided similar consortiums in other states. Patrons will be able to view the catalog, both items local to CCPL as well as the consortium as a whole, and place holds on items of interest, though items must have been in the system for at least six months before being placed on hold when coming from outside of Cherokee County Items, including books, DVDs, audiobooks. arid music CDs, are shipped between libraries via the state's Inter­Agency Mail Service (IMS), with items typically arriving within about a week of the request being placed. Holds can be selected to be picked up at either the Gaffney or Blacksburg locations.

The library will close the day of the migration, November 9, but will reopen Monday; November 13 following the Veterans Day holiday The library plans to operate in "off­line" during the week leading up to the migration, and patrons may experience some difficulties using the catalog at that point as information is transferred from the old system to the new.

While there may be some temporary setbacks during the migration process, the library expects patrons and staff alike to enjoy the new system. With the new system, patrons will have the opportunity maintain a history of the items they have checked out or placed on hold. Additionally patrons can opt to receive text message alerts when items will come due or holds become available. Perhaps most exciting, though, is the increase in access to items, with the move allowing CCPL patrons to have access to not only the 130,000 items available locally but also to the approximately 2.75 million items available Within the consortium. While placing items on hold is typically the most convenient way of obtaining items, CCPL patrons will also be able to use their library cards if they happen to be visiting other member libraries, a useful opportunity for patrons who may be on vacation or visiting relatives in one of the member counties.

"We are really exciting about making the move to SCLENDS," said library director Ben Loftis. "The consortium is. a great opportunity for CCPL to offer patrons additional, access to materials and to really expand the possibilities of our collection. Partnering with other libraries and organizations is a great way to maximize our resources, and SCLENDS is a great example of that on a state­wide scale. While we recognized it may take some time to get used to the changes, we believe our patrons will really love the service and look forward to getting started."

For more information, you can view the original article printed in the Gaffney Ledger.