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The Chelmsford Public Library to Unveil New Catalog

   Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

Evergreen logoThis is our official press release for the catalog migration.

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 bherrmann@mvlc.org or 978-256-5521, ext 100.

   Posted in Library Information | No Comments »




Questions and Answers about the New Library Catalog

   Tuesday, May 17th, 2011 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

Evergreen logoThe new catalog we're getting at the library will look and act pretty differently from our current catalog - it'll still have the same basic features and functions (and then some), but the links, buttons, and information will be in different places.

We'll be posting how-to instructions for using the catalog soon, but we're still getting a lot of general question about the migration process. We've compiled a list of common questions and answers, but here are a few of the most significant:

  • Why change - can't we keep the old catalog?
    The Chelmsford Library is part of the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium, and we share our catalog with the other 35 MVLC libraries. The catalog we had been using, Horizon, was discontinued by SirsiDynix. After evaluating many options, MVLC chose to migrate to Evergreen as the catalog for all MVLC libraries.
  • When is this change happening?
    Migration to the new system is planned for the Memorial Day weekend. The current system will be taken down at the end of business on Friday, May 27th, and the new system will go live on Tuesday, May 31.
  • Will Service be Disrupted?
    Yes, there will be some interruption in our normal services. Libraries will be able to check materials in and out, but we won't be able to search the catalog or place holds. Many databases and most electronic content, including Overdrive e-books and audiobooks, will also be unavailable. We will provide more specific information as the time draws closer.
  • What happens to all my holds and requests?
    MVLC staff have been working hard to make sure all patron data (names, contact info, requests, etc) is carried over to the new system. If you notice anything missing, please contact Brian Herzog, Head of Reference, at bherzog@mvlc.org or 978-256-5521 x211.

Check out the full list of questions and answers so far. If you have additional questions, please contact the Reference Desk at askus@mvlc.org or 978-256-5521 x211.

   Posted in Library Information | No Comments »




A New Catalog is Blooming at the Library!

   Monday, May 9th, 2011 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

Evergreen logoThe Chelmsford Library will be changing to a new catalog on May 31st, along with the rest of the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium. The new catalog, called Evergreen, will still contain all the books, movies, music, and other items in the libraries of the Merrimack Valley, but will also include new features and conveniences.

Although the launch isn't until Memorial Day weekend, we'll be posting information about the new catalog - including answers to common questions - at http://www.chelmsfordlibrary.org/newcatalog

Some common questions so far are:

  • Why change - can't we keep the old catalog?
  • Will Service be Disrupted?
  • What happens to all my holds and requests?
  • Why did you spend money on a new catalog during these tough economic times?
  • Evergreen is "open source" - what does that mean?

Please check out the answers, and if you have any questions at all, please contact Brian Herzog, Head of Reference, at bherzog@mvlc.org or 978-256-5521 x211.

Although development on the new catalog is still progressing, a demo version - for testing purposes only! - is available. Give it a try, and let us know what you think.

This is a major change for us - we've had our existing catalog for over 10 years. The new catalog is designed to continually upgraded and improved, so we expect more new features to be added after the launch, too!

   Posted in Current News, Library Information | No Comments »




Requesting an Item Online

   Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

requestbuttonAs a patron of the Chelmsford Library, you have access to the books, movies, magazines and other materials of the 36 member libraries of the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium.

You can request items in Chelmsford and/or from other libraries, and these items will be sent to Chelmsford for you to pickup.

To request an item through our online catalog, first search for the title you're looking for. Then, on either the search results screen or the item details screen, you should see a "Request Item" button on the right side.

When you click that you'll be prompted to enter your library card number (no spaces) and your PIN. Your PIN should be the last four digits of the telephone number you gave us when you signed up for your library card.

If that doesn't work, please call us at 978-256-5521 x211 and we can reset your PIN.

login

After you enter this information, you'll be shown your position in the request list (if it says you are 1, then there is no one waiting ahead of you for the same title), and you'll be able to choose the library in which you'd like to pick up the item. To submit the request, click the "Request" button.
details

If there you encounter any trouble along the way, or have any questions, please let us know via email or call us at the Reference Desk at 978-256-5521 x211 for help.

   Posted in Library Information, Web Tools | No Comments »




Tips for Searching the Catalog

   Thursday, July 30th, 2009 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

Searching the library's catalog can sometimes be quirky, so here are a few tips explaining how it works, and how to more easily find what you're looking for.

Using the Basic Search
Basic SearchMost of the time, people use the Basic Search - it gives four options:

  • General Keyword: tries to match your search to anything in any field
  • Author Keyword: tries to match your search to anything in the author field, in any order
  • Title Keyword: tries to match your search to anything it the title field
  • Subject Keyword: tries to match your search to the Library of Congress Subject Headings field

Using the Basic Search is best when you're starting out, or know a little but about what you want to find. For instance, if you know some of the title and the author's last name, Basic Search is perfect. You can even use the General Keyword to combine words from the author and title.

 

Using the Advanced Search
Advanced SearchFor people wanting a little more control over their search, Advanced Search lets you set various limits. In addition the same four search options as the Basic Search, you can also:

  • Limit by Location (only see what's in the Chelmsford Library)
  • Limit by Format (search for only books, or only DVDs...)
  • Limit by Language (find only material in Russian...)
  • Sort the Results (by publication year, title, author...)

 

General Search Tips:
No matter which kind of search you do, here are a few general tips to improve your ability to find what you're looking for.

  1. Spelling is Important! Our catalog doesn't have a "Did you mean…" spell check feature, so if you're not sure of the spelling, use wildcards
  2. Pluralization Matters! Searching for gladiator will not also match gladiators - use a wildcard to search for both
  3. What Doesn't Matter: capitalization, punctuation and initial articles (The Memory Keeper's Daughter is the same as memory keepers daughter)
  4. Search Limiting

  5. Limit Your Search! The catalog searches all the libraries in the MVLC - to see only the items in Chelmsford, use the Advanced Search or click on Chelmsford in the Limit Box at the top of the search results page (and pictured here) and click the arrow button
  6. Use Wildcards! Wildcard characters let you build in some flexibility to your search. There are two kinds:
    • use * and the end of words (for instance, librar* will find library, libraries, librarian, etc.)
    • use ? inside of words (for instance, wom?n will find woman, women, womyn, etc.)
  7. Use Boolean Logic - including the words NOT, AND, OR (must be in all capital letters) lets you narrow a search, for instance potter NOT harry NOT beatrix

If you have any questions on the search tips above, or have questions about finding items in the catalog or on the shelves, please contact the Reference Desk at askus@mvlc.org or 978-256-5521.

Thanks to Tracy Swaim at MVLC for creating a list of search tips.

   Posted in Computer | No Comments »




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