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How to See New Library Books, Movies, and Music

   Friday, February 10th, 2012 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

New Book AlertsWe now have an easy way to view all the brand new books, DVDs, and audiobooks that get added to the library catalog each week.

To see this list, just click the New Book Alerts button on our homepage. Once there, you can use the menus on the left to see just DVDs, or just Childrens books, etc.

Along the top, you can click to see previous weeks, or see more than one week at a time. These new items lists just started last week, so it'll take a few weeks to build up.

Speaking of book lists, did you know the library has a Reading Room webpage devoted to provided reading suggestions? From there you can find best seller lists and lists of award winners, "read-a-likes" similar to your favorite books and authors, staff picks, and also a list of places from which to download ebooks.

And if you'd like to have reading suggestions delivered to you automatically, via email or RSS feed, check out our Electronic Signups page. You can sign up to receive notifications of new items, best sellers, library events, our Twitter feed and more!

If you have any questions about these options, please contact the Reference Desk.

   Posted in Library Information, Reading Room, Resources | No Comments »




Highlighted Features of the New Library Catalog

   Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

Evergreen logoOne of the advantages of the new Evergreen catalog is that it is built on open source software - that is, software that we have the ability to modify and develop, according to our needs.

When the new catalog launches on Tuesday, May 31st, that won't be the end of the story. There will be some new features included in the new catalog that we're excited about, but there are even more features scheduled for development this summer.

And the best part is that additional improvements are always in development - so if there is something you'd like the catalog to do, please let us know by emailing askus@mvlc.org or calling the Reference Desk at 978-256-5521 x211.

New Catalog Features Available On Tuesday, May 31st

  • Expanded search tools, including the ability to limit to just fiction or non-fiction, by age range, and more
  • New "Did you mean...?" search suggestions, for searches with few or no results
  • Enhanced content for each book, including "if you liked this, you might also like" suggestions, series listings, similar author suggestions, reviews, excerpts, previews, and more (all from a variety of sources, conveniently gathered and presented in the catalog)
  • Customizable control of your account preferences, including saving which libraries you like to search, custom login passwords and usernames, options for hold notifications, and more
  • Ability to create multiple "bookbags" (previously called "My List"), and the ability to share your bookbags with others
  • RSS feeds for searches, so you can be notified when new items are added

"Coming Attractions" Launching Later This Year

  • Improvements to the overall design of the catalog
  • A version of the catalog that is mobile device-friendly
  • Ability to edit more of your contact information, including street and email addresses
  • An opt-in reading history, so you can track the books you've read and movies you've seen (or anything you've checked out)
  • Plus more!

If you have any questions about the new catalog, any of these features, or suggestions for additional new features, let us know!

   Posted in Library Information | No Comments »




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 »




Upcoming Changes Due to Budget Cuts

   Friday, August 21st, 2009 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

Cutting CostsAt a special Town Meeting on Aug 16th, town reps voted to adopt new taxes in order to help offset the Town's budget shortfall. Unfortunately, this didn't close the budget gap entirely, so Town Departments, including the Library, are making an additional 2% cut to their operating budgets effective September 1, 2009.

What This Means for the Library
This latest cut to our budget (which is about $8,000 - on top of the initial $100,000 cut for FY10) will affect the Library in several ways:

  1. Reduction of Hours at the Main Branch - opening time on Friday and Saturday will now be 9:30 a.m. (instead of 9:00 a.m.). This has the benefit of bringing Friday and Saturday opening time in line with the rest of the days of the week. The new hours are Mon-Thu 9:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. and Fri-Sat 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  2. Reduction of our Materials Budget - This latest cut further reduces our book budget. We continue to be the busiest library in the consortium but our collection resources are now limited. Donations from the public are greatly appreciated and can now be counted towards our municipal requirement for certification. Certification allows us to continue to receive state aid and to participate in inter-library loan within our consortium and across the state. As so many communities are having financial difficulties, the Board of Library Commissioners will be granting unlimited waivers this year - provided the cuts made to the libraries are equitable within the context of other town services.
  3. Reduction of Hours at the MacKay Branch - MacKay will be closed on Mondays. The new MacKay hours are Wednesdays 1:00 p.m. - 8:00 pm and Friday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. This is a result of the initial FY10 cut of $100,000.

These changes will take effect September 1st. The last Monday MacKay will be open (until our budget situation improves) will be August 31, 2009.

The Chelmsford Library is always trying to balance the needs and expectations of our patrons with the resources we have available to us. Since these changes affect all of us, we'd like to hear what you think. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact at Becky Herrmann, Library Directory, at bherrmann@mvlc.org or 978-256-5521 x101.

   Posted in Library Information | 2 Comments »




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