On March 29, all members of the Fontana Regional Library system will be closed in order to implement new library software. Our libraries are participating in the NC Cardinal project, a new library cooperative funded by the State Library of North Carolina. During the month of March, Fontana Regional Library is doing lots of staff training and computer maintenance to serve the public more efficiently and effectively with this new software.
The new software, known as Evergreen, is being paid for entirely by the State Library. Fontana Regional Library received $47,396 for costs associated with this project. Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds awarded by the State Library of North Carolina are made possible through funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. These federal funds are investments that help libraries deliver relevant and up-to-date services for their communities.
Evergreen is an open source product, which means that the software is both owned and changeable by its users, not a private company. By the end of June 2012, nine public libraries will be participating in NC Cardinal using the Evergreen software; another six to nine will be added the following year.
One of the biggest benefits for library users is that Libraries participating in the NC Cardinal project have all agreed to honor one another’s library cards. Buncombe County Public Library is among the libraries already using the NC Cardinal system. Fontana Regional Library card holders will be able to use other NC Cardinal libraries on the same basis as local residents, and the same will hold true for their card holders when they visit Fontana libraries. Our staff will be able to see both the patron records and the collections of those libraries. Our patrons will be able to search the collections of participating libraries. As more of North Carolina’s libraries join the consortium, these benefits will multiply.
Once the new catalog is up and running, Fontana Regional Library users will note that Evergreen screens are cleaner in design and easier to navigate. There is less emphasis on appearance, and more emphasis on functionality. The ongoing annual costs of maintaining Evergreen are expected to be significantly less than that of the system it is replacing – resulting in a big savings to our library system.
The Fontana Regional Library staff asks for patience as they, along with library patrons, learn to use this new software.
In preparation for the transition to the new system, no new holds will be accepted from March 8 – April 9. Books and movies checked out in mid-March will have extended due dates: all books checked out between March 12 and March 26 are due on April 9. All DVDs and videos checked out between March 19 and April 2 are due on April 9. The Fontana Regional Library’s online card catalog will be unavailable from Saturday, March 24 at 5:00pm until Thursday, March 29.
If you have any questions call Fontana Regional Library at 828-488-2382 or the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva at 828-586-2016.