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New online library catalog means big changes! | News

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New online library catalog means big changes!
New online library catalog means big changes!

Riverview, Florida  - After nearly a year of preparation, the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative will launch a new online library catalog, Polaris, on April 29.

Officials say the system will enhance the Cooperative's management of library resources, reduce costs, boost productivity, and is expected to improve customer satisfaction.

The migration to the new system begins today, April 8 and is expected to last through April 29.

Polaris will offer the following enhancements and tools for library customers:

  • FREE mobile applications to access and search the library materials catalog
  • Manage your library account with a customized username and password
  • Make online payments 24/7 and receive receipts for library transactions by text message or email
  • Save searches and keep track of library items previously checked out
  • Find materials just for kids with a special children's catalog
  • Smart search tools to quickly find library resources
  • Sort search results by relevance and popularity
  • Text It feature to send a catalog number by text message
  • Map It feature gives customers a map to the location of the specific book they are looking for.

Throughout the entire migration process, customers will be able to check out and return library materials as usual.

If they wish, customers may keep any of the library materials they borrow between April 8 and 28 until May 19. This extended loan period is offered as a convenience to library customers.

Access to Internet computers, eBooks and the library's subscription databases will not be interrupted during the migration to Polaris, but a few customer services will be limited.

From April 8 - 28, the libraries will not be able to fill existing hold requests and customers will not be able to place new holds requests. This is to assure that each customer's place in the library's holds queue will be retained as their requests are transferred to Polaris.

From April 22 - 28, library catalog access will be limited, but librarians will support customers in person and by phone to help them find what they are looking for.

Polaris is currently used by more than 1,000 library systems, including Alachua County Library District; Lee County Library System; Miami-Dade Public Library System; Monroe County Public Library; and Pinellas Public Library Consortium in Florida; and other major public library systems across the United States.

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