Local libraries announce technology upgrades

PHILIPPI — The Belington and Philippi Public Libraries are members of the Northern Library Network (NorLN), a consortium of libraries that was founded in 2005.

It includes 47 member libraries in Barbour, Braxton, Brooke, Doddridge, Gilmer, Hancock, Harrison, Marshall, Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Webster and Wetzel counties. NorLN promotes cooperation among libraries to enhance and expand availability of resources and information through resource sharing in a timely and cost-effective manner. They share technology, e-Books and more.

Several years ago NorLN upgraded its technology to include Sierra Integrated Library System, computer software that provides integrated systems for library management. This allows the libraries to catalog their collections, circulate materials, keep track of holds, and many other library tasks.

Recently, NorLN also purchased technological enhancements to the NorLN Online Public Access Catalog system, a computer-accessed database that enables the patron to view the library holdings. This program may be used in the libraries or accessed from a home computer by visiting the libraries’ websites.

Prior to OPAC, patrons and library workers used the library’s card catalog, which was physically housed in the library in order to access the library’s holdings. The new technological enhancements for the OPAC systems is called Syndetics Unbound, which provides cover art, reviews, awards, series information and much more information that will be readily searchable for library staff and patrons.

The Syndetics enhancement funding is provided by the NorLN libraries. The new upgrade has seamlessly integrated information on the same page as the record being searched thereby reducing the time it takes for he patrons to find the information. The new upgrade provides new ways to search for other items, learn about the item selected, learn about the author and much more. The enhancement has similar features to many popular e-Commerce platforms.

Funding for Sierra was provided by the West Virginia Library Commission and the West Virginia Legislature. Funding for OPAC is provided by the Library Services and Technology Act and administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the West Virginia Library Commission.