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Hinderman: Exciting changes coming to Orland Park Library

Updated: May 15, 2013 6:15AM



You changed your clocks for daylight saving time and are enjoying the longer afternoons, and that’s good. Hopefully, you also changed the batteries in your smoke detectors, which is also good. And the recent spell of warmer weather has been good.

What’s also good is that the Orland Park Public Library is offering some new technology, including a new online catalog that will provide significant improvements.

Many of you who have been trying to access your account at the library through the SWAN system may have encountered a screen stating that you cannot during maintenance hours “renew or request materials or make changes to your account information” through SWAN.

The new catalog system, accessed through the library website, is named Polaris and was launched this month. It’s easy to use and offers lots of great new features.

You may place holds, renew materials and pay fines online. Library cardholders can still check out materials from other libraries through an interlibrary loan. Orland Park Library materials also continue to be available to other libraries’ cardholders through an interlibrary loan and reciprocal borrowing.

Bridget Bittman, the library’s public information coordinator, provided the following information for patrons to be able to gain access through Polaris:

Log in to your new online account with your library card number and under the password, use the last four digits of your phone number. Visit “My Record,” then “Login” to set up a user name and create your own password if you like. By creating a user name, you will no longer have to enter your library card number each time.

While online at the new site, please double check your account and ensure that your personal information and list of materials that you have checked out and placed on hold is correct. Also, you may use your account to choose email or text notifications for holds, courtesy notices and receipts. You may still search other libraries’ materials under “Keyword Search.” Choose the drop-down menu labeled “Using” and select WorldCat Libraries.

By implementing these changes, the Orland Park Library has moved to a more individualized program, meaning that books in the library inventory will now be first available to Orland Park residents.

The result is that residents will likely get reserved books sooner. Bittman also said the library would have more latitude to purchase copies of popular books and receive them much quicker, adding to its inventory.

The e-reader inventory, currently “Overdrive,” is being expanded to include “3M,” which includes titles not previously available to Orland Park Library patrons, including those from Penguin and Putnam publishers. Titles like “The Help” and others will now be available for download onto your tablet or other electronic reading device.

There are also changes to the library’s check-out procedure as well. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology has been installed to provide a more user-friendly experience for patrons.

New self-checkout stations were installed to replace older ones for which software was no longer supported. These new self-checkout computers are multifunctional, allowing patrons to check out materials, view their accounts and pay any fees or fines owed with a credit card (an option to begin in May).

The library is in the midst of tagging all materials with RFID tags, which will assist the staff with inventory, but more importantly make checkout a faster and easier process. Staff will always be available to assist patrons with this new technology.

On Monday, the beginning of National Library Week, Zinio, a digital magazine collection, will be available to all Orland Park Library cardholders. This service allows you to download magazines for free to your iPad, Android tablet and computer.

Examples of available magazines include Newsweek, Readers Digest, Martha Stewart Living, Everyday with Rachael Ray and Seventeen.

To get started, select “Digital Materials,” then choose Zinio at www.orlandparklibrary.org or call the computer help desk at (708) 428-5171 for more information.

To allow patrons to see and learn these changes, the library staff is hosting an open house from 9 a.m. until noon on April 16 as part of National Library Week.

The library will offer coffee, doughnut holes and apple slices to patrons while they peruse the new technology.



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