On January 9, 2013, the Marathon County Public Library system will begin using new library catalog software as part of an upgrade coordinated by the Wisconsin Valley Library Service. The new software will look different than what patrons are used to, but will have many more features that will help patrons more easily find the materials they need.
The new software, known as “Sierra,” will offer simplified searching options that will allow patrons to search for an author, subject or title from the same search box, much like how Google works. Patrons also will not need to know exact spellings of author names or titles to find books; Sierra will offer search suggestions that will help patrons find exactly what they’re looking for. Sierra also offers keyword searching, meaning you don’t need to know the exact library classification to find materials in the library.
With Sierra, patrons can save the books they’ve checked out to a reading list, so with the click of a mouse they can see if they’ve already read a book or which book they last read in a series.
Although WVLS libraries currently use phone messages and email messages to let people know when their materials are ready to be picked up or if they have overdue items, Sierra gives patrons the option of getting text alerts for materials.
This is a big change and more than likely there will be some bumps in the road, but the end result will mean a better library experience for everyone.
If you have any questions during the transition, please call us at 715-261-7200.
image credit: Fair use.