New Library Catalog Coming To Los Alamos County

A patron accesses a new library catalog. Courtesy photo

LIBRARY News:

Get ready for a great new library catalog, with features you’ve been asking for:

  • Mobile compatibility – search from your phone
  • Simple single-box searching, as in search engines
  • Searching all formats – books, downloadables, audiobooks, DVDs – simultaneously
  • Integration of e-books and e-audiobooks into the catalog
  • Fuzzy logic – gives good results even with spelling errors
  • Separate kids and teens catalogs

With great advances in technology comes the increasing rush to keep up with these advances. Libraries are great users of these advances, because of their role as record keepers, catalogers, reference sources, and providers of free reading, listening and viewing materials.

The Los Alamos County Library System is upgrading to a new Integrated Library System (ILS) this month, in order to have the capacity to accommodate new resources, and to make all these resources easy for you to find.

Library patrons use the system to search the catalog, see what books they have checked out and which are overdue, to place holds, request interlibrary loan items, search databases and much more. In the month of February alone, more than 30 percent of the visits to the library pages on the County website were done with mobile devices. The ILS is used by staff to help patrons find the resources they need, to keep track of the status of all the library holdings, to track orders and purchases, and to generate reports.

The new system will allow multiple filters and more search parameters. Angie Manfredi, Head of Youth Services, uses the following example to illustrate one way children and teens, in particular, will benefit from the new system.

“Let’s say your child is writing a report for school about monkeys and their habitats. With our new system, when you type in ‘monkeys’ you’ll be able to quickly limit your search to our non-fiction collection only so you won’t have to sort through Curious George adventures, too,” Manfredi said. “This is going to make searching and using the library so much more accessible, useful, and thus fun for kids.  And I hope it might save some parent headaches, too!”

The library staff has been looking into upgrading the ILS for many months, because the previous system had become antiquated to the point that it was not possible to add to it or improve the way it worked. The new system does not require any upfront costs to the County.

“In a time of tight budgets, we’re happy to be able to offer improved services with no budgetary implications,” Library Manager Steven Thomas said. “We quickly realized that we could do this without spending a lot of money.”

Library users can expect to see the new and improved look beginning March 19. For more information, call 505.662.8250.

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