Finding that copy of the newest John Grisham novel is about to get easier.
The La Crosse Public Library, along with the Winding Rivers Library System automation consortium (WRLSweb), is upgrading to Iluminar, a new catalog and checkout system, on Monday.
To do that, the library will be closed Sunday to transfer all the data from the old system to the new system.
Library Director Kelly Krieg-Sigman said staff will begin the work as soon as the library closes on Saturday. But in truth, this new system has been a long time coming.
“We’ve been working on this for years,” said Kristen Anderson, executive director of Winding Rivers Library System. “And really, for the past six months we’ve had our noses to the grindstone.”
The result should be a smooth switch over, Krieg-Sigman said.
“We’re pretty confident. This is a known vendor; they’ve worked in library land for many, many years.”
“The first thing our customers are going to notice is something that looks a lot less clunky and a lot more like a webpage. It’s going to behave a lot more like a Google search. It’s going to look sharper and more current and more contemporary,” Krieg-Sigman said. “And for our early adapters and savvy users, there are a whole bunch of new things they can do with their personal account, including have the system remember what they have checked out.”
But even those with less sophisticated online habits can appreciate the new system Krieg-Sigman said, because it will be easier to use.
The system can create reading lists, recall past searches and find books across the area’s library network.
Krieg-Sigman says the system is also child-friendly.
“There is an option known as kids catalog and that has a totally kids look,” she said. Kids and parents can also search for books under categories such as animals or places.
“It’s much more user-friendly,” Anderson said, and it links to more library catalogs and does everything the old software did but better and faster.
Krieg-Sigman said the library intends to constantly update its Facebook for tips on how to use the new online catalogs. Or visit the library’s website at www.lacrosselibrary.org/new for user guides and videos.
The Sunday closure affects all three La Crosse Public Library buildings, and online access to the catalog will not be available during the upgrade period. Other features of the library website will remain available.
Normal hours will resume Monday.