GALLIPOLIS — The Bossard Memorial Library updated its main automation system over a period of four hours Thursday in order to better meet cataloguing and reference needs for library patrons in preparation for the spring season.
“Our library’s main automation system is called Polaris, I guess you would call that the brand,” said Library Director Debbie Saunders. “It’s our check-in and check-out cataloguing system. It’s the engine that runs the library as far as the technology side in terms of the collection and patron records.”
Saunders said in March she will have worked at the library for roughly 26 years. Saunders said she still remembers when library associates would stamp due cards for books.
“When I started in ‘91, we were automated some, but not to the degree this system can (assist) library services,” said Saunders. “We did have an online card catalogue starting. Libraries started to get automated in the 80s but you still had your physical card catalogue. Many would remember looking through subject, title and author cards. Now, that’s all online.”
Saunders went onto say library searches had become easier with computer Boolean searches. A Boolean search is a type of computer search which allows users to type keywords and add operators (or modifiers) such as “and,” “not” and “or” to refine relevant search results.
“You also had the rise of what was called a machine readable cataloguing which was MARC record,” said Saunders. “It rose the library’s ability to search as well.”
Saunders said the advent of digital libraries such as the one Bossard has available also allow for patrons to make use of e-books, audio books, video resources and other digital material for limited amounts of time.
“It’s important that we keep those updates instituted here to home,” said Saunders. “There are greater enhancements and added features that weren’t in Polaris. We’ll probably see the most progress in the cataloguing side.”
In the near future, Saunders said the library would likely instill an electronic feature in its checking out system which would allow for patrons to view the amount of money they would save on a book by displaying its value. By having borrowed the book instead of buying it, the patron will be able to see the kind of money saved by using library services, according to the director.
“I always want people to see their return on investment when using the library,” said Saunders.
Saunders said in March the library would be making another big reveal in its digital services to be announced at a later date.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 21o3.