This opportunity presented itself when Columbus Metropolitan Library, Worthington Libraries and Southwest Public Library chose to make Polaris Library Systems its new Integrated Library System (ILS) because all of the libraries in the CLC also operate with Polaris. An ILS is the core software that manages library business. It keeps track of items the library purchases, materials that have been borrowed, customer information, fines and fees, everything a library needs to control inventory and communicate with customers.
“Joining the CLC is a win-win for libraries and our customers throughout central Ohio,” said Patrick Losinski, chief executive officer of Columbus Metropolitan Library. “Polaris will give us the ability to better manage our resources, connect with customers and reduce costs. Our current in-house system has stood the test of time but it is now time to move into the next generation of library service and new technology."
Put simply, any customer from any of the libraries in the CLC will be able to borrow materials from any library in the consortium. Sharing services and materials will standardize customer experiences within the systems, making them more efficient and less costly. All these library systems appreciate the value of collaboration in a time that funding from the state has been diminishing.
"Polaris has been great for our current members,” said CLC Executive Director of Information Technology Wes Osborn. “We can offer effective resource sharing while allowing each library system to maintain its own identity. The CLC staff looks forward to building on our proven ILS platform by adding these new partners."
Columbus Metropolitan Library, Southwest Public Libraries and Worthington Libraries have been partners in sharing a catalog and materials for over 20 years so they have already seen success with sharing materials.
“We are pleased to have this opportunity to advance our goal of increased resource sharing and excited about the possibility of greater collaboration and cooperation among public libraries in central Ohio and beyond,” said Worthington Libraries Director/Chief Executive Officer Chuck Gibson. “It will help us better meet the information demands of the communities we serve in a time of diminished state funding for libraries.
“This partnership demonstrates to our community, legislators and other stakeholders that we understand the need to think differently and collaboratively in a time of diminishing dollars,” Losinski said. “By investing in advances in technology and strategic partnerships, we position ourselves as an organization ready to meet the needs and demands of our customers and communities in every strategic way we can.”