The Portage Library Consortium (PLC) is pleased to announce the upcoming arrival of its new online catalog and circulation system on August 31, 2017. The PLC partners, Kent Free Library, Portage County District Library, and Reed Memorial Library, are now in the final stages of preparation before deploying the new system at the end of the month. Checkout and catalog data will be moved to the new Symphony software, by SirsiDynix, between Monday, August 28 and August 30. During this transition time, library users and staff will not have access to library accounts. Library patrons will need to have a library card when checking out materials during the transition as the old circulation system is taken offline and library information is moved to the new one.

The new online catalog will debut on August 31 as well. Links to the new catalog page will be on your library’s website. Library patrons accessing their accounts should note that personal identification numbers (PINs) will have changed to the last four digits of their phone number. After logging in, patrons will be able to change the PIN.
“We are very excited about this change,” said PCDL director Cecilia Swanson. “We are going to have a more modern online catalog for library users, with better searching capabilities and our libraries will be saving money on the cost of the software. It is a win/win situation for all of us.”

Online users will see more search options in the catalog, will be able to opt in to save their borrowing history, and will be able to e-mail or text titles to themselves. Patrons will still be able to pay fines and fees online as they can now. “One of the best new online catalog features is integration of our eMedia materials,” said Reed Memorial director Brian Hare. “Patrons will be able to see everything we offer, whether it is physical or digital, all in one place.”

The Portage Library Consortium partners have been preparing the move since the beginning of the year after a lengthy process of examining circulation system options. The final selection was based on improving the library experience for patrons and on cost-saving factors. “The current library software is fourteen years old. I’m very happy that the consortium is able to purchase new software, at a lower cost, that offers improvements that will benefit both library staff and library users” said Stacey Richardson, Kent Free Library Director. The change in circulation software has required a temporary halt to the SearchOhio and OhioLINK services, but the Consortium expects to resume these services before the end of the year.

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