The computer backbone of almost all our services, including the catalog you use, was upgraded. It looks different and works slightly differently, but generally all the services and features you are used to will still be there. There will be some new features too.
Q– Why are you doing this to me? The old catalog was perfectly fine.
A– The catalog you see and use is only one part of the computer system that manages almost everything we do. The Westchester Library System is upgrading this software or Integrated Library System (ILS). Circulation, acquisitions, cataloging are changing too.
Q– Is there any training in the new catalog?
A– Yes. We’ve made a little cheatsheet about searching for things and placing holds. We’ve also made a cheatsheet about baskets. If you have questions, you can drop by the Information Desk or (if you want the security blanket of an actual appointment) sign up for a Tech Tuesday. We’ve already held three training sessions, but if there is demand we’ll hold more.
A– Our cheatsheet about baskets goes into it more detail, but baskets allow you to something like place a hold to a lot of things at once. When you do a search, every item you find will have right under “Place hold” on the right hand side. Click on it and the item will be added to your basket.
Do another search and add something else to the basket. The little “1” will change to a “2” and so on. Then you can use the “–Basket Actions –” menu to place holds on all at once.
Q– I had text notifications of holds, etc. set up in the old system. Do I need to do anything to keep them coming?
A – Yes. You need to set it up again. The new system also requires that you designate your mobile carrier. Log in to the new catalog. Under the search bar there is a menu. Select Preferences and then Notification in that menu. Fill out the appropriate boxes. Unlike the old system, you can have phone, email and text messages or any combination thereof. Click “save” at the bottom of the page when you are done. Or you can call the Circulation Desk, 834-2281 x.2, and they’ll set it up for you.
Q– I can’t even sign in to the new catalog. Have all our PINs changed?
A– PINs are called “passwords” in the new catalog. Some passwords did not switch over cleanly. It has something to do with the field the telephone number was entered in or some other such thing. Call the Circulation Desk (834-2281 x.2) and they will reset your password to the last four digits of your phone number.
Q – Why did Larchmont have to change? I thought you were an independent library?
A – We are, but we share the ILS with the 37 other public libraries in the county. This shared ILS allows you to place holds on books owned by other libraries and to return items at any library. Cataloging is done at the Westchester Library System for all the libraries at a significant savings. There’s plenty more. Just ask any librarian and he or she would be glad to bore you at great length.