Tacoma Public Library
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Service Alert UPDATE (Wednesday, October 24 @ 8 p.m.)

Unexpected (and continuing) problems with the transition to the Tacoma Public Library's new catalog and circulation system will delay the reopening of Tacoma's Main Library until 2 p.m. on Monday, October 29th. Branch libraries will open as scheduled at Noon on Tuesday, October 30th.

"We have been caught by surprise by this latest development," explained Library Director Susan Odencrantz. All library records had been successfully loaded into a testbed server in early September which was used for training staff. The test transition was successful. "Our vendor, Innovative Interfaces, has now twice tried to load the actual records into our primary servers during the final process and both times they were unsuccessful." Loading patron and catalog records into the server is a time-consuming process which takes several days and, until the process is completed, the library does not have the ability to check out materials to its patrons, nor can patrons access the online library catalog.

"We are as frustrated as our patrons are with this delay," said Odencrantz. Library staff are working closely with software engineers at Innovative Interfaces, but as the Library Director explained, "it is really in their hands at this point. There is not much more we can do until they identify the problem and create a solution that allows them to successfully load our records."
Library staff plan to work with the engineers at Innovative Interfaces throughout the rest of this week and the weekend to get the new system up and running.

Innovative Interfaces, based in California, provides Integrated Library Systems to thousands of libraries of all types in over 50 countries. Work on the migration to the new catalog and circulation system began last year at the Tacoma Public Library.

Note:. The Photoshop Freakshop Drop-In Workshop from 1:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 27 at the Main Library's StoryLab will take place as scheduled even though the rest of the library is closed.

The Tacoma Public Library will roll out its new catalog and circulation system on Wednesday, October 24 at all locations. In preparation for the roll out:
  • The current Library Catalog will be shut down at 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 20. The new catalog will go online at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, October 24. The library catalog will not be available during this transition.
  • The downtown Main Library will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, October 22 and 23 for staff training.
  • All libraries will be closed on Tuesday, October 23 in preparation for the launch of the new catalog .

The new system allows visitors to find books, movies, articles and more with one search; easily access downloadable AudioBooks and eBooks; refine searches to find exactly what visitors want; search what is currently on the shelf; and place a hold on an item that is currently checked out or on order. It also allows parents to view the Accelerated Reader, Lexile, and other reading level tools of books for young readers.. The new system also allows online library users to find out when items are due back and renew on-line; save reading histories; create lists of titles for research or future reading or listening; and make a recommendation that the library purchase an item. Eventually, library patrons will be to pay library fines online and sign up for SMS (text) alerts on mobile devices.

While the library will no longer provide online access to a listing of all new materials added to the shelves, patrons will be able to sign up for email newsletters focusing on books in a variety of genres and subjects.

Classes on using the new catalog will be offered at the downtown Main Library. Check our calendar for a current schedule.

Patrons needing assistance with the new catalog are encouraged Call the Tacoma Public Library at 253.292.2001 or visit the library's  Ask A Librarian and have your question answered by e-mail or in a live chat session.


Last Updated 24.10.2012