Joining new regional group, library could soon shelve balky software

Published 8:50 am Monday, August 25, 2014

The Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library will soon be part of a new regional organization and that means it might not be long before a balky software system checks out and a new system checks in.
The ECCPL Board unanimously approved the agreement forming the Organization of Watauga Libraries during a called meeting Thursday.
By forming OWL, the libraries will be able to buy new software to continue operating as a regional system. The library staff uses the software to check materials in or out of the library and what patrons use to search for books or make renewals online.
Library Director Mel Goff said through the agreement, the regional libraries could buy a new operating software system at a lower cost for each library than purchasing the system individually.
Goff said the system’s cost hasn’t been finalized, but is expected to be close to $9,000. If the library bought the system on its own, the cost would be $50,000 for the software alone, with an extra $10,000 to $30,000 for data migration.
Goff said the contract was for seven years, with the cost fixed for the first four years. The library currently pays around $7,000 annually for the operating system.
Board chair Richard Barker asked if library patrons would notice a difference in service.
“There will hopefully not be a disruption in service,” Goff said. “With software switches, it is hard to say for sure. We hope that patrons do notice a difference for the better.”

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