We'll be posting additional details this week, but the new catalog is almost here - just seven more days!
The Chelmsford Public Library, along with 34 other libraries from the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium (MVLC), will be launching a new catalog over Memorial Day weekend.
The new catalog is part of a move to the Evergreen open source library system. While giving more control to MVLC libraries over the features offered in their catalog, this move is also expected to save money for the library, primarily in annual service fees and upgrade costs.
In order to launch the new catalog on May 31st, 2011, the current catalog will be taken offline at the end of the day on Friday, May 27, to allow the migration to happen over the Memorial Day weekend. Patrons will be able to check out and return materials at the library during our regular weekend hours, but the catalog will be unavailable for searching and placing holds. Since the catalog will be unavailable, patrons wishing to borrow library material on Saturday, May 28th, should bring their library cards with them to the library. Also, the library will have a delayed opening on Tuesday the 31st - our hours that day will be 1:00 PM - 9:00 PM.
Answers to common questions about the new catalog and migration process are available at http://www.chelmsfordlibrary.org/newcatalog/ including concerns about existing holds and access to other library systems.
Any holds previously placed on materials should carry over to the new system. Patrons will find that their personally-created lists in the bookbags will be available in the "My Accounts" area of the new catalog.
Access to some online databases may be disrupted, and our connection to the state-wide Virtual Catalog will be shutdown Friday, May 20, and restored during the summer.
Library patrons will enjoy some new features with the Evergreen system, such as the ability to share their bookbags with others, more flexibility in creating user passwords, and the ability to update their street and e-mail addresses. Patrons will also have more flexibility and control over their catalog searches with the new system, including setting account preferences to search the Chelmsford Library only or MVLC as a whole. Coming attractions over the next few months include an improved catalog design, a feature allowing users to track their reading history and a version of the catalog usable on mobile devices.
The Merrimack Valley Library Consortium will be the first large library system in Massachusetts to use Evergreen. The move to Evergreen is part of a larger project that will see MVLC, along with two other Massachusetts' library consortia, NOBLE and C/W MARS, using Evergreen by early 2012. These three library networks encompass approximately half of the public libraries in the Commonwealth along with a number of academic libraries. The project includes locally-sponsored development funded with a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and by participating libraries.
MVLC staff has already been active in developing enhancements to Evergreen. The staff has made changes to the software that have made it into the core Evergreen package. These changes include customizations to the patron registration form providing more flexibility to libraries operating in a consortium like MVLC; automatic staff client updates; an overhaul in the configuration of rules that control how long items circulate and improvements to staff client menus and toolbars. MVLC plans to continue contributing to the development of Evergreen in a way that will allow the software to best meet the needs of library users in Massachusetts.
For more information about the new Evergreen catalog please visit the Library's website at http://www.chelmsfordlibrary.org/newcatalog/ or contact Library Director Becky Herrmann at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-256-5521, ext 100.