Library to be closed for operating system upgrade

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library will be closed most of next week to allow staff the opportunity to transition to a new software system.

While patrons will have to face a few days without their favorite library services, more services will be available soon due to the upgrade.

“We’re doing a whole new system,” interim ECCPL Director Gary Sparks said. “All of the information in the system needs to be moved over.”

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To prepare for the switch, the library will be closed Monday, May 13 and May 14. The library will be open on Tuesday for Internet, copy and fax services only. There will be no programs and no book circulation Tuesday. The library will open for regular hours May 15.

For years, the ECCPL  was in a consortium with nine regional library systems, East Tennessee State University and Northeast State, in which patrons were able to search all of the libraries’ catalogs from any computer.

Last year, the two colleges went through a system upgrade and chose one with a more academic focus. The public libraries wanted a system more oriented for their needs and went with a different system. Along with the change in operating system, a new consortium called the Organization of Watauga Libraries, OWL, was formed.

“After many long months of preparation and detail-filled hard work, the system will finally be implemented,” Sparks said.

The new system will offer library patrons many new services that have not been available before. Library customers will find a more user-friendly system to search for books and other materials right off the bat.

“Our online catalog will feature lists of books recently added to our collection, various best seller lists and also reading recommendations,” Sparks said.

The catalog will also feature a “buy it now” option to purchase books through Amazon, with a portion of the purchase amount going to the library.

Over time, more features will be rolled out for patrons to use. These will include receiving text notifications when requested books are available, paying fines online with a debit or credit card and choosing to have their circulation history saved. The ECCPL will still share catalogs will Bristol, Kingsport, Greeneville/Greene County, Johnson City, Johnson County, Mosheim, Sullivan County, Unicoi County and Washington County public libraries.

A courier will still deliver books between these libraries to fill hold requests. Items belonging to ETSU and Northeast State will not be in the OWL consortium catalog, but reference staff can search these holdings and request items with our Interlibrary Loan Request services.